There will be several events taking place in New Jersey as part of Yachad | Jewish Disabilities Inclusion /National Jewish Council for Disabilities’ North American Inclusion Month (NAIM).
Yachad/NJCD, an agency of the Orthodox Union, is dedicated to enhancing life for those with disabilities. February 2011 is North American Inclusion Month (NAIM), a timeframe specifically designated to raise awareness and to develop sensitivity of what it means for those who live with disabilities, and how to Include them within the greater Jewish community.
“We believe that every synagogue, school and community organization can be involved in NAIM to bring Inclusion to their members and students,” declared Dr. Joe Goldfarb, co-NAIM Coordinator. “Yachad works very closely with each organization on an individual basis to assist in determining the best style of involvement for NAIM from numerous options.”
The official NAIM website, which will list events as they are added, can be found at www.njcd.org/naim. Additionally, the website provides easy access for program ideas and resources provided by Yachad.
NAIM events in New Jersey, with more to be added, include:
• There will be a Rayim Yachad Shabbaton (for those 26 years of age and above) on Friday, February 25;
• Junior Yachad will spend a special Shabbat on Friday, February 25 with students of Yavneh Academy at Ahavat Achim Congregation;
• Congregation Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob and David (AABJD) in West Orange will be hosting a “Shabbat Shalem (Inclusive Shabbat)Weekend,” February 4-5. National Director of Yachad/NJCD Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman will be addressing the community at seudat shlishit about Inclusion, in memory of Joel Danner. Friday night will be small group presentations in various areas of the community on inclusion topics. Tefillah on Shabbat will be interpreted into American Sign Language;
• Members of Senior Yachad (16 - 25 years of age) and students from Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School will have a Shabbaton on Friday, February 25;
Inclusive Social Programs:
• Monsey and New Jersey chapters of Senior & Rayim Yachad are invited to attend the Nets vs. Pacers Basketball Game in East Rutherford, on Sunday, February 6;
• A special “3 on 3 Basketball Tournament” will take place on Sunday, February 20 at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, 110 S. Orange Avenue in Livingston;
• New Jersey Yachad will present “The Relationship Building Course (RBC),” a social skills group for adults, ages 25 plus, with special needs on Thursday, February 3, and Thursday, February 10. The event, which includes dinner, will take place at the New Jersey Yachad Office in Teaneck, 1345 Queen Ann Road;
• Saturday Night Live! will take place on Saturday night, February 5 as an Inclusive social group for young adults with learning disabilities and Asperger's Syndrome (ages 17-26). Location TBD;
• A “Torah and Learning” Inclusive social group (for ages 15-25) on Tuesday, February 8, will offer a program about the Torah & Jewish holidays at EJ's Place, 1448 Queen Anne Road -- Dinner is included.
• There will be a New Jersey Yachad CAP (Cultural Arts Program) of sports, arts and crafts, and more, on Sunday, February 27, for ages 5-15, at RYNJ during the “Parent Conference and Resource Fair” (See next event)
• A “Parent Conference and Resource Fair” featuring workshops, resource fair and Yachad programming for kids with special needs will take place on Sunday, February 27 from 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey (RYNJ), 666 Kinderkamack Road in River Edge. Dr. Daniel Tomasulo will be the keynote presenter at 10:00 a.m. This event is hosted by NJ Yachad and UJA-Federation of Northern New Jersey.
Sensitivity Training Workshops:
• “Sensitizing your Students to Their Peers’ Learning Challenges” is a workshop is intended to help sensitize students to a variety of learning challenges that their peers may be experiencing in school. The workshop consists of stations that mirror the disability for the student (for example hearing loss, Autism spectrum, reading and writing challenges, visual loss, and fine and gross motor issues) and include discussion questions for each station. The workshop will be presented on Thursday, February 10 at Bruriah High School, 35 North Avenue in Elizabeth; Monday, February 14 at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School; and on Thursday, February 24 at Hillel Elementary School, 1025 Deal Road in Ocean.
• Support groups for mothers of children with special needs will meet on Tuesday, February 4; Tuesday, February 11; and Tuesday, February 18 at the New Jersey Yachad Office in Teaneck.
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