Woven through the fabric of Yachad is our commitment to ensure everyone is an integral part of Klal Yisrael. To achieve that aim, all of Yachad’s departments and programs strive to accomplish at least one of two main objectives:
A. Provide individuals with disabilities and their families the skills, tools, and resources needed to integrate into the community and society.
B. Provide the community with the resources, education, and experiences needed to best integrate individuals with disabilities into the community.
This year, Yachad expanded geographically in New York (Monsey), New Jersey (Passaic), and Israel (Efrat) and provided more programs than any year in its history. Nightly programming at “centers,” weekend retreats, Sunday programming, and virtual programming for those still unable to attend programs in person, have reached individuals ages 6-85 in Israel and throughout North America.
After a three-year hiatus, Yachad re-introduced the Family Shabbaton in Israel and the Northeast. The Family Shabbaton is a full weekend at a hotel/resort where Yachad members and their families come for inspiration, education, support, networking, and a chance to rest and have fun. This year over 1,000 people attended the two Family Shabbatonim. Families coming together and learning from one another produces a powerful feeling of achdut.
We eagerly await the Yachad Family Shabbaton, as it allows us the opportunity to connect with others and gain much-needed support for our entire family.”
The summer of 2022 was a summer to remember. Over 500 participants attended one of the more than 25 programs across the U.S., Canada, and Israel, including camping, vocational, and travel programs. Yachad partners with camps across the globe and integrates Yachad participants into the camps. Vocational programs give Yachad participants, ages 21-29, the ability to work in these camps through job skills training.
Yad B’Yad is one of Yachad’s crown jewels. This year over 100 individuals participated in Yad B’Yad, with most describing the experience as “life changing.” For five weeks, Yachad and teen participants come together in Israel for a fully inclusive and immersive experience in which they grow socially, emotionally, and spiritually while gaining a new appreciation of their fellow Jews.
IVDU, Yachad’s special education school system in New York, offers a comprehensive and nurturing educational environment for students ages 7-21. This educational program provides 125 students with a core Judaic and general studies curriculum, as well as social and life skills classes designed to help each student reach their highest potential and develop into happy and productive adults.
The Marilyn and Sheldon David IVDU high school students receive extensive career training opportunities including electrician, graphic design, and food service. This year IVDU celebrated its largest graduating class ever with 21 graduates. These young men and women are going on to attend yeshivot and seminaries in Israel, local colleges, adult day programs, and paid employment opportunities.
Launched at the end of 2021, Yachad’s REACH is a one-of-a-kind resource and referral service. REACH supports parents and caregivers using its proprietary database to connect callers to the most appropriate resources, regardless of whether Yachad offers that service. REACH is staffed with experienced professionals who provide advice, referrals, and at times just a shoulder to lean on. Initially launched in New York, REACH quickly began receiving calls from across the globe. REACH serves anyone in need, with a primary focus currently in New York and New Jersey.
You are all ANGELS and HEROES for what you do for Tali and all of the Yachad members. You really have no idea of what you give to each member. At these times, it’s a lifesaver for Tali, and even during “normal times,” Tali just LOVES Yachad, and of course so do we!!! She looks forward to each program, each Shabbaton, each event.”
Aaron and Sarah Trauring have three wonderful sons, who have been part of the Yachad family for more than five years.
It all started in the summer of 2017, when Joshua, now 21, attended Yad B’Yad as a high school participant; he has been hooked ever since. Joshua’s younger brother Judah began attending the Marilyn and Sheldon David IVDU High School after that summer. IVDU is not only concerned with Judah’s scholastic success, but with his overall success outside of school. Judah has benefited from IVDU’s STEM program,
learning about 3-D and laser printing, and even built his own computer. Even after a long commute, Judah is enthusiastic and happy to go to school.
In back-to-back summers of 2018 and 2019, Joshua and Judah attended Camp Morasha Yachad, Joshua as a fellow and then counselor, and Judah as a camper. In the summer of 2021, Judah’s twin brother, Gabriel, joined in on the action and the three brothers attended Yad B’Yad together, Joshua as a counselor and Judah and Gabriel as participants, marking the first time where three brothers were together for this life-changing experience. Gabriel went on to be president of his Yachad high school club as a senior, and Joshua continues to be involved as a coordinator in Yachad New York. Judah is still thriving at IVDU and went back to Yad B’Yad this past summer to relive the experience, and to help teach the meaning of belonging to those attending for the first time.
Sarah and Aaron remarked, “We are so thankful for the way Yachad has enriched our family’s lives by teaching our children about inclusivity, leadership, responsibility for others, and the true meaning of v’ahavta l’reacha kamocha.”
We are so thankful for the way Yachad has enriched our family’s lives by teaching our children about inclusivity, leadership, responsibility for others, and the true meaning of v’ahavta l’reacha kamocha.”