OU’s Yachad Program To Open New Office in Teaneck Oct 25, With Mayor Elie Y. Katz to Attend

13 Oct 2006


With its “Grand Opening Day and Evening,” the Orthodox Union’s Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities, will officially inaugurate its new New Jersey office on Wednesday, October 25 with Teaneck Mayor Elie Y. Katz scheduled to attend. Yachad will share the office, located at 1345 Queen Anne Road, with the OU’s NCSY and the Jewish Student Union.

Yachad, the flagship division of the OU’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), is dedicated to addressing the needs of all individuals with disabilities and including them in the Jewish community.

Teaneck resident Chani Herrmann, Director of Clinical Services for Yachad/NJCD, will assume the position of Director of New Jersey Yachad. She earned her MSW from Columbia University, after which she served as National Program Director of Yachad, and in that position helped many new Yachad chapters develop across the country. For the past two years, she worked as Yachad’s Clinical Director and coordinated and developed a unique social skills training program called RBC — The Relationship Building Course.

In her new role, she will continue to develop training for those who serve children and adults with special needs, including Medicaid Service Coordinators and Resident Managers of group homes.

Mrs. Herrmann is a mother of three young children; she is married to Rabbi Dr. Daniel Herrmann, a school psychologist at Hillel Yeshiva in Deal.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, National Director of Yachad/NJCD, “The opening of an additional office beyond the New York National Headquarters is very significant, because while familial needs in New Jersey closely approximate those in New York State, policies, procedures and regulations differ greatly.”

“Chani Herrmann’s presence, with the support of the entire New York office, will not only allow all of us the ability to create unique local programming and support, but will also empower us to better cater to our local New Jersey participants as well as to reach many more families,” declared Dr. Lichtman.

The opening day includes two segments:

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., families will be able to meet with Mrs. Herrmann and other Yachad staff to discuss all that Yachad has to offer their family.

At 8 p.m., Rabbi Michael and Beth Taubes will open their home in Teaneck to guests such as Mayor Elie Y. Katz, Rabbi Steven Burg, National Director of NCSY, and Yachad staff. Dr. Lichtman will speak about Facilitating your Child’s Inclusion in the Community.

Dr. Lichtman explained, “The evening segment will provide a unique opportunity to meet and interact with other Yachad families. It will be especially helpful to Yachad staff for families to let them know what programs they would like created for their children.” He noted that Yachad serves children and adults in three different age divisions, beginning at age eight.

“We are delighted that Mayor Katz will attend on behalf of the entire Teaneck community,” stated Dr. Lichtman. “His presence shows the importance of this event for Teaneck and the surrounding area.”
“The future of New Jersey Yachad is bright,” declared Mrs. Herrmann. “We have activities such as Shabbatons (full weekend programs); social skills training groups; L-I-N-K-S — the Buddy Program; workshops for parents; a wide variety of summer programs; as well as vocational, school and individual consultations.”

“When a family is part of Yachad they feel supported,” Mrs. Herrmann exclaimed.

“Becoming part of Yachad is not only a wonderful opportunity for an individual with special needs but for the entire family,” Mrs. Herrmann said. She added that Relax and Renew, a new mother’s support group which incorporates relaxation techniques, will begin Wednesday morning, November 1.

“In addition to parent workshops, there is an Annual Family Shabbaton, in which families from across North America will be able to network and learn from similar experiences. Brothers and sisters will benefit from a large sibling network and special sessions will be held to express their unique experience,” she said.

“Having Yachad in New Jersey will broaden the social opportunities for children and young adults with disabilities,” Mrs. Herrmann added.

For more information contact Mrs. Herrmann at 201-833-1349 or at herrmann@ou.org.