The weekend of February 12-14 was a family affair for Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, of West Orange, Director of Yachad/National Council of Jewish Disabilities (NJCD) of the Orthodox Union. While he was in Boca Raton, FL serving as the keynote speaker for Yachad’s Special Needs Family Day, two of his children – Jeremy, 21, and Adina, 17 – were also raising awareness for Yachad’s mission of emphasizing inclusion for those with disabilities.
The three events were part of Yachad’s North American Inclusion Month (NAIM), a month specifically designated to raise awareness and develop sensitivity of what it means for those who live with disabilities, and how to include them in the larger community. The Congress recently passed a resolution recognizing February as NAIM.
Jeremy, a sophomore at Yeshiva University and a coordinator for the New Jersey Senior Yachad (for Yachad members ages 15-25), was in West Hartford, CT for Shabbat speaking at a variety of synagogues and schools about Yachad’s mission to promote the benefits of inclusion to the entire community. His younger sister Adina, a junior at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston and a member of Yachad’s Youth Leadership Council, was coordinating a three-on-three basketball tournament on Sunday.
Dr. Lichtman declared, “On a professional level, I’ve always been gratified by my work for Yachad, but on a more personal level, it’s truly wonderful to have my children take their own initiative and raise awareness for Yachad’s mission as well. They have both been active in Yachad event since they were young children, and they are only expressing their natural belief in our obligation to include those with disabilities in the Jewish community.”