Close to 1,000 guests are expected to attend Yachad/the National Jewish Council for Disabilities Annual Family Shabbaton from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5 at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa in Kerhonkson, in New York’s Catskill Mountains. This is the 27th consecutive year that the National Family Shabbaton has been held.
The Shabbaton offers Yachad families cutting edge information in a warm, supportive setting with programs for siblings; child care; fun activities; and a Shabbat whose memories last the entire year until the next Family Shabbaton.
“The weekend empowers our families who might be struggling with a number of difficult issues and circumstances to continue to find strength and know that they are not alone. Yachad is there, and will always be there, to help them and their children and to continue to promote the Inclusion of people with disabilities in the broad Jewish community,” said Yachad International Director Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, who will be a featured speaker throughout the Shabbaton.
Yachad/NJCD is an agency of the Orthodox Union that 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.
“It’s amazing how more than 900 people are going to join us for this weekend,” said Eli Hagler, Yachad assistant director. “Families continue to come back, and new ones join each year, because the networking opportunities and information shared is an incredible resource for families with a child or adult with a disability. Additionally, experiencing a shalosh seudah with 900 voices together, and seeing families share experiences with one another, is a site to be seen.”
The success of the Yachad Family Shabbaton has given birth to Yachad Family Shabbatons other communities. For the first time, in March 2012, together with the Hartman Family Foundation, Yachad hosted a Midwest Family Shabbaton in Chicago with more than 300 people; and the West Coast Family Shabbaton, based in Los Angeles, will take place for the first time May 31-June 2.
At the Upstate New York event, OU Executive Vice President, Emeritus, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, a noted speaker and psychologist, will return as a guest presenter, addressing, “Getting Past The Pain: Moving Forward With God, Family, and Community.” Additionally, he will give the sermon “Courage and Encouragement” during Shabbat morning services, and will be available to consult with parents and staff.
Other noted speakers at the Shabbaton include Dr. David Pelcovitz, who will address “Raising Healthy Families—Keeping Families Strong When Living With a Child Who Has Special Needs.” Dr. Pelcovitz, a highly sought-after speaker and educator, is the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.
Dr. Pelcovitz will also participate in a panel presentation moderated by Dr. Lichtman, on “Looking Ahead; Planning for My Child’s Future;” joining them will be Bruce Meier and Milton Erdfarb.
For further information, visit www.yachad.org or call 212.613.8229.
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