GIDEON GOLDSTEIN BRINGS HIS FRIENDS HOME TO PHOENIX AFTER CALIFORNIA VISIT, ON OU/NATIONAL JEWISH COUNCIL FOR DISABILITIES SUMMER TRIP
Gideon Goldstein of Phoenix is spending his summer traveling on Yad B’Yad West Coast, a summer program of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD) that tours Arizona and California. Yad B’Yad is a program of Yachad, a division of NJCD, which addresses the needs of individuals with disabilities, with the goal of their full inclusion in the Jewish community.
According to trip leader Yehuda Charm, Gideon and his fellow Yachad members spent action-packed days in Los Angeles, visiting sites such as Disneyland, The Museum of Tolerance, and The Grove. To many of the campers’ delight, they even met up with the pop-star A.J. McLean, member of the popular band The Backstreet Boys.
Following Los Angeles, Gideon and his friends traveled to San Diego, where they were welcomed by the San Diego Jewish community for a wonderful Shabbat experience. After the weekend, they had a blast at SeaWorld, where many members of the program had the opportunity to feed the dolphins.
The highlight of Gideon’s trip was traveling home—with the entire group! Following San Diego, Yad B’Yad went to Phoenix, where Gideon led his peers around his hometown. One of their favorites was the Arizona Science Museum, where they visited the planetarium and the IMAX.
On Yad B’Yad, Yachad members are joined on the program by high school students from around the country. This one-of-a-kind program offers unparalleled interaction and friendship between high school students and Yachad members. Both the high schoolers and the Yachad young men and women grow tremendously from the experience; the high school students mature and develop leadership skills as they learn about themselves and others, and the Yachad members learn vital social and life skills from peers with whom they develop strong and meaningful friendships.