The mainstream high school students, Yachad members, and staff will spend the weekend bonding over games and a surprise night activity, while learning leadership skills and how to get their schools involved in programs for those with disabilities. There will be an emphasis on teaching about tolerance and diversity, as well as looking at leadership from a Torah perspective and learning about the difference that even one person can make.
Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), is an agency of the Orthodox Union that provides educational and social inclusion programs through its two major components, Yachad, for children and adults with learning and developmental disabilities, and Our Way for the deaf and hard of hearing. There are Yachad chapters located throughout the United States and Canada. An important part of the Yachad mission is to emphasize full inclusion in Jewish life for those with disabilities.
Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, Assistant Director of Yachad, stated, “Yachad highlights the fact that a true leader must relate to all the people who form a community. By assuring that the high school leaders of today learn to believe in and to promote inclusion of all people, we expect to help raise an inspired and inclusive communal leadership for tomorrow, and thereby a more open and accepting community as well.”
Speakers at the Shabbaton include the following:
• Dr. Lichtman;
• Rabbi Eli Rubin, Principal, Kushner Yeshiva High School, who will deliver a speech, “The Power of a High School Student,” and
• Jason Lieberman, who will deliver a talk, “The Loneliness of Disabilities and What You Can Do to Change It.”
The cost of the Shabbaton is $190 for members and $210 for non-members. For more information and to sign up, contact Yehuda Charm at 212-613-8223, or firstname.lastname@example.org.