Netanya's disabled residents are claiming victory after a local synagogue was finally made fully wheelchair-accessible in November, three years after a battle began to make the city's synagogues accessible to the disabled, reports www.local.co.il. Observant wheelchair-bound resident Avraham Ruash, who has led the fight to make the synagogues accessible, said he was delighted that he could at last go to synagogue to pray in a respectable fashion. According to the report, three years ago Ruash and other disabled residents of Netanya began complaining of the city's "scandalous" attitude toward accessibility for the disabled at most of the city's synagogues. The residents complained that synagogues were spending large sums on beautification and decoration, but not on providing access for worshipers, with the main problems for the disabled being stairs, narrow doorways and inaccessible toilet facilities. The report said that in the wake of the complaints, the city decided about a year ago to order all synagogues to dedicate a portion of their renovation budgets to making their facilities accessible for the disabled. But Ruash said this was done only in part at his local synagogue, Heichal Raphael, and several months ago he initiated legal proceedings against the synagogue. Synagogue managers then decided to make the building fully accessible, with work being completed only last month. "Today, when for the first time I succeeded in praying at Heichal Raphael in a way that respected me, I was moved," Ruash said. "This is not a private battle but a public one for all the disabled of Israel."