Yachad’s IVDU School for Special Education will hold its inaugural scholarship dinner at The Loft Steakhouse in Boro Park, NY on Tuesday, November 27 at 7pm. Internationally acclaimed Orthodox Jewish comedian, Ashley Blaker, who is a father of two children with autism as well as a daughter with Down Syndrome, will provide comedy for the evening. Funds raised will go directly to the IVDU School, helping to defray the enormous cost of highly differentiated special education. Tickets to the fundraiser are $360 per person or $700 per couple.
The IVDU School, based on four separate campuses in Flatbush, Boro Park and Long Island, offers students with special needs a comprehensive and nurturing educational environment. It provides core academic, social, and life skills, helping students ages five to twenty-one reach their highest potential and become productive citizens.
“IVDU has grown immensely over the last few years,” said Jack Gourdji, executive director of the IVDU School. “In three years, enrollment jumped over 60% and we have expanded from two to four New York locations. As IVDU continues to grow, we must come together as a community to support this crucial resource for Jewish families.”
There are currently over 100 students in the Marilyn David IVDU Boys High School, the Marilyn David IVDU Girls High School and Girls Lower School. IVDU’s small student-teacher ratios allow for differentiated instruction to best meet individual needs.
IVDU parents Susan Kopstick and Debbie Rochlin are chairing the Parent Committee as well as this Scholarship Dinner
“IVDU is the yeshiva that accepts my whole child,” said Susan Kopstick, Parent Committee and Dinner co-chair. “They understand that kids learn at their own pace and are willing to differentiate for each individual student so that they can learn. They are ‘chinuch with heart!’”
About Comedian Ashley Blaker
British comedian Ashley Blaker has performed sold-out tours throughout the UK, USA, Israel, South Africa and Canada and recently completed a successful run of his Off-Broadway show, “Strictly Unorthodox”, which the New York Times called “a slickly funny stand-up show”. In August 2018, Ashley also made his debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a sold-out run of his show “Observant Jew”. He is also the first Orthodox Jewish comedian to be given his own BBC show, “Ashley Blaker’s Goyish Guide to Judaism,” which has been recommissioned and will return in 2019.
Yachad, a division of the Orthodox Union is a thriving global organization dedicated to addressing the needs of all Jewish individuals with disabilities and ensuring their inclusion in every aspect of Jewish life. Its inclusive design aims to ensure persons with diverse abilities their rightful place within the Jewish community, while helping to educate and advocate for a greater understanding, acceptance, outreach, and a pro-disability attitude.