Starting this Spring, OU’s Yachad to Offer Its Successful Relationship Building Course

01 Feb 2008


The Orthodox Union’s Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities, which addresses the needs of individuals with developmental and learning disabilities, announced today that its successful Relationship Building Course-RBC for young adults with developmental disabilities, will now be available to children and teens with mild to moderate learning challenges for the first time in the Spring 2008 semester.

The spring semester is a 12-week period beginning in March. The younger group, for ages 9 to 14, will meet in a school in Manhattan and the teen group, for ages 12 to 16, will meet in Teaneck at the New Jersey Yachad office. The Teaneck RBC group for young adults over 18 years of age with developmental disabilities will meet every Monday evening, starting February 4.

In September, the course will also be taught to junior Yachad members ages 8 to 15 in Queens.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, National Director of NJCD, “Social skills are the single greatest determinant to success i0n all aspect of life. Social skills are important because they facilitate our interaction with the world around us; they help us to make friends; to develop and to sustain meaningful relationships; to engage in important leisure and recreational activities; and ultimately, to acquire and keep a job in the workplace. If I had one thing to teach someone, this would be it.”

“Everyone can benefit. We are now focusing on children and teens who have slight learning and social skills challenges to help them improve their interaction skills and to get them on a fast-track to success in life,” he added.

The Relationship Building Course was designed to teach social skills for everyday living, and for participants to learn how to build meaningful and lasting relationships. It uses a cognitive social integration and behavioral approach which emphasizes teaching through discussion, modeling, role-play and problem-solving of each individual skill.

RBC topics include, but are not limited to: listening, making conversation, decision-making, exercising self-control when angry, understanding our bodies, developing good hygiene, and dealing with unsafe situations.

“The most telling results, the most graphic are when parents are approached by family and friends and are told that their child is different in a positive sense of the word. Something has changed. Well the answer is that they have participated in the Relationship Building Course,” Dr. Lichtman said.

A mother of a RBC participant said, “My son gave me a compliment for the first time! He learned how to give compliments at the RBC group.”

For more information on the Relationship Building Course or about Yachad contact Dr. Michelle Orgel, at 212-613-8172 or; or Dr. Lichtman at 212-613-8224 or; or Mrs. Chani Herrmann at 201-833-1349 or