First West Coast Yachad Family Shabbaton to be Held 5/31-6/2 in LA
It started on the East Coast, spread in the past two years to the Midwest, and now the Yachad Family Shabbaton has come to the West Coast for the first time, to be held Friday, May 31-Sunday, June 2 at the Sheraton Agoura Hills in Los Angeles. It is anticipated that 200 people will attend.
The purpose is to bring together families who have children with disabilities for a Shabbat of networking, inspiration, creating friendships, and attending sessions on issues of importance to the families—and of course, experiencing a beautiful Shabbat for all ages. Mainstream children attend along with their siblings.
“Yachad,” the flagship program of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), provides unique social, educational and recreational programs for individuals with learning, developmental and physical disabilities with the goal of their Inclusion in the total life of the Jewish community.
“I am incredibly excited about the upcoming Yachad Family Shabbaton,” declared Ian Lurie, director of Los Angeles Yachad. “Over the weekend, families will have the opportunity to network, hear from professionals, and gain guidance about the bright future of their children with special needs. Such a service has not been provided in Los Angeles and Yachad is proud to offer such a meaningful weekend experience.”
Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, national director of Yachad, will give the Keynote Lecture on Friday night. Many other professional staff from Yachad in New York will be in attendance as well, to lend their expertise to the program.
“The Yachad Family Shabbaton has had a profound impact on the families who participate,” said Dr. Lichtman. “From viewing their sibling differently to preparing for jobs; from learning about cutting edge behavioral interventions to realizing there are possibilities when other people or professionals have said there are none. This one weekend program has drastically changed the lives of hundreds of families. And so we invest heavily in both human and financial resources to make it possible for everyone who wishes to come to have this amazing experience and become inspired and ready to move forward.”
According to Mr. Lurie, a group of presenters is now being finalized to discuss education, vocational training, residential options, financial planning, legal guidance, dating and marriage opportunities, and more.
The cost is $195 for adults 19 and above; $125 for 12-18 and $95 for 6-11. There is no charge for children under six.
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