Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), is an agency of the Orthodox Union. NJCD 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.
Throughout the Simchaton, Yachad members and their advisors will participate in the community’s prayer services, meals, and dancing. Community members will host the participants for some meals, as well.
Rabbi Mayer Waxman, Assistant Director of Yachad, who plans to attend the Simchaton, said, “Simchat Torah is one of the most festive days in the Jewish calendar; a day where the community joins together to publicly celebrate God’s great gift of the Torah through song, dance and prayer. The Simchaton is thus a zenith of the active Yachad year. The fact that Keter Torah and the Teaneck community are inviting Yachad back to celebrate with them for a third year in a row is a testament to the community’s embrace of Yachad’s message of insuring inclusion of people who have disabilities in the full spectrum of Jewish life.”
Ari Klein, Director of Rayim Yachad (the division for Yachad members ages 26 and above), is running the Simchaton for the first time, after having helped plan it in previous years. He declared, “Rabbi Baum and the Keter Torah Teaneck community always welcome us with open arms. After two successful years, they have invited us back for what should be a great time once again.”
He stated that he expects over 100 people to attend, including staff, Yachad members, and mainstream students who participated in various Yachad summer programs.
Aryea Aranoff, an assistant program director for Yachad, has attended several Simchatons in the past. “I think this specific Yachad event is truly inspiring,” he said. “By the end of the Yom Tov, it’s really as if the Simchaton participants and community members are like one big family. I feel lucky to be a part of that.”
The cost of the Simchaton is $95. Registration closes on October 7. For more information or to register for the Simchaton, contact Ari Klein at 212-613-8238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.