300 to Attend Yachad Midwest Family Shabbaton in Chicago, 3/16-18

07 Mar 2012


As many as 300 people from all over the Midwest will gather in Northbrook, IL, a suburb of Chicago, the weekend of March 16-18 for the 2012 Hartman Family Foundation Midwest Family Shabbaton, a program of the Orthodox Union’s Yachad | Jewish Disabilities Integrations/The National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD). The Shabbaton, with its rich program and opportunities for families to socialize, will take place at the Marriott Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel in Northbrook, IL.

In addition to attendees from all over the Chicago area, families have registered to attend from Cleveland, Columbus, OH, Milwaukee and Omaha. Participants will also be attending from Los Angeles and even London.

The much-anticipated Family Shabbaton is expected to be a highlight for all attending, as Yachad’s New York Family Shabbaton has been for many years. The weekend retreat will allow parents, siblings, and individuals with disabilities to join for a festival of learning, sharing, fun, games, respite, networking and togetherness.

Parents will attend sessions which provide up-to-date information on disability interventions, problem solving strategies, and the opportunity to share experiences. Siblings will enjoy workshops unique to their needs, while participants with developmental disabilities will have sessions, and activities of their own, as commonly experienced at the popular “Yachad Shabbatons.” Mealtimes are special, with singing, “talks” by the Yachad members, and families basking in the glow of their children’s happiness and success. The Yachad members are truly the stars of the show.

Chicago Yachad Program Director Efrem Popel said, “We plan the Shabbaton to be a well-rounded experience for families by giving the kids a great time and parents and siblings the tools they need to strengthen their families. We have top-notch presenters and amazing activities planned.”

Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, National Director of Yachad/NJCD, commented, “We are tremendously pleased to bring this national Yachad program to the Midwest. The large attendance is a reflection of the wonderful weekend we have planned, with Shabbat as the centerpiece.”

The sessions include:

• Support groups, by age, for mothers, fathers, adult and high school siblings;

• Shabbat morning sermon with Rabbi Micha Greenland, CEO/Regional Director of the NCSY Midwest Region;

• Marriage and Communication with Dr. Jerry Lob;

• Intervention-Based OT Approaches to Sensory Challenges with Deborah Michael;

• Social Skills session;

• Effective Behavioral Approaches when Working with Young Adults and Children with Disabilities with Dr. Joe Goldfarb, Assistant Director, Yachad;

• Walk a Mile in Your Siblings’ Shoes with Nicole Bodner, Director of Rayim (ages 26+) Yachad;

• Don’t Forget the Siblings, with Deborah Berman;

• Take Care of Yourself! Self Renewal Workshop for Parents and Caregivers, with Deborah Berman;

• Dating and Marriage: A Unique Perspective with Dr. Lichtman and Nicole Bodner;

• What Can You Expect from a Vocational Program with Michael Appelbaum;

• Faith in the Face of Challenges with Rabbi Greenland and Dr. Lob;

• Play with My Child…He Won’t Bite! with Batya Jacob, Program Director of Our Way, the OU/NJCD program for the deaf and hard of hearing;

• The Group Home Experience with Elise Appelbaum and Shalva Meyers, moderated by Dr. Lichtman;

• The ABC’s of RBC: Social Skills and Yachad Members with Efrem Popel, Program Director, Chicago Yachad;

• Legal and Financial Planning for Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families with Chaim Suss and Ira Piltz;

• Accessing Illinois State Services with Margaret Tannenberg;

• Aging and Disability with Dr. Tamar Hellel;

• The Role of the Parent/Guardian in the IEP Process with Elliot Marks and an introduction by Batya Jacob;

• Encouraging Financial Independence in Your Adult Child with Maureen Schumar;

• The Role of Motivation in Transitioning to Work with Michael Appelbaum.

For more information or to register, please contact Zahava Gutstein at 917-553-9047 or midwestyachadshabbaton@gmail.com.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please be in contact with Efrem Popel at {encode=”mailto:Chicagoyachad@ou.org” title=”Chicagoyachad@ou.org”}.

OU | Enhancing Jewish Life