The Orthodox Union’s NJCD Will Host Its 21st Annual Family Shabbaton in Monticello, NY, May 18-20

09 May 2007


The Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD) will celebrate its twenty-first annual Family Shabbaton at the well-known Kutsher’s Country Club, in Monticello, NY, Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20.

Hundreds of people have attended the Shabbaton each year, and now it is expected that more than 500 guests will be present, including Yachad and Our Way members, their parents and extended families.

Yachad, the flagship of NJCD, provides unique social, educational, and recreational inclusive programs for communities throughout North America for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities. Our Way provides programming for members of the Jewish community who are deaf or hard of hearing. The goal of both programs is inclusion of its members into the general Jewish community.

Yachad programs and speakers will focus on future planning, behavioral challenges and communication skills, and will be geared toward the individual needs of members and their families. Family members looking for more support and guidance will be able to make individual appointments with Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, National Director of NJCD, to discuss their child’s needs.

“The Family Shabbaton is a singular event which brings together all of the elements that make Yachad/NJCD the unique and special organization it is; namely our wonderful Yachad members, their loving family members, our very special and talented staff,” declared Dr. Lichtman.”With sessions that speak to the issues, and provide real strategies and answers, with ruach ( spirit ) that speaks to the heart and provides inspiration, here the sum total experience far exceeds the individual parts. Any family that has a child with a disability — young or old — does not want to miss out on this amazing experience.”

“Parents and siblings of Yachad members will have the opportunity for mutual support and networking as they receive vital and timely information. Featured speakers will include psychologists Dr. Lichtman and Dr. Rona Novick; developmental pediatrician, Dr. Jack Levine; and Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union, who is also a psychologist, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hirsch Weinreb.

In addition to the basic family program, Our Way’s Jewish Singles Deaf Registry will offer programs, such as the Dating Game; Mini-Golf; What’s on Your Mind for Singles? Dating How-To’s; and Game Time. A youth component will offer teens, ages 13-18, sessions on Connecting with God Through Tefillah (prayer); Game Time; Babysitting Essentials; and Teen Chat.

According to Batya Jacob, Our Way Program Director, “The Family Shabbaton has become an integral part of Our Way and this is an opportunity for our children to interact with their deaf and hard of hearing friends and to make new ones.”

The Our Way program, including the prayer services, will be interpreted into American Sign Language. Speakers will include Steven Lependorf, a psychologist in Brooklyn whose practice centers on families with deaf and hard of hearing members, who will discuss Emotional Intelligence; and Rabbi Weinreb, who will present on Helping Your Child to Love to Daven (pray).

There will also be childcare services available, along with recreational activities such as swimming, mini-golf and gym time for all guests.

To register and for information on costs and available scholarships, contact: Yachad – Chani Herrmann, Director of New Jersey Yachad, at 212-613-8373 or; Our Way – Batya Jacob, at 212-613-8127 or