Yachad Announces New Summer Programs in New Hampshire & Toronto Area for 2015

16 Dec 2014

Yachad has partnered with two leading Jewish camp programs, one near Toronto  and one in New Hampshire, in which individuals with special needs will be given educational and social experiences with full Inclusion in the camps.  Registration is now in progress.

The shadow program will be held at Camp Yavneh in Northwood, New Hampshire, (Sunday, July 19 – Thursday, August 13, 2015) for children ages 8-14 and the vocational program for adults will be held at Camp Moshava Ennismore (Tuesday, June 30 – Tuesday, August 11, 2015).

The two programs join 20 others run by Yachad at mainstream camps.

Yachad, the flagship agency of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), provides unique social, educational and recreational programs for individuals with learning, developmental and physical disabilities with the goal of their Inclusion in the total life of the Jewish community.

“We are excited for the new partnership with Camp Yavneh and Moshava Ennismore,” declared Dr. Joe Goldfarb, Yachad director of summer programs.  “Both of these camps will benefit from Inclusion as a new component and we will work hand in hand with each other. We are excited how both programs will impact children and adults with special needs in excellent camp settings.”


Camp Yavneh

The Yachad shadow program at Camp Yavneh –  which is an hour and thirty minutes from Boston (75 miles) and five hours from the New York area (almost 300 miles) – will have the support of trained, highly motivated staff  who will  be placed with Yachad members in mainstream campers’ bunkhouses.  Each day, the Yachad campers will be included in camp activities such as swimming, boating, sports, arts and crafts, drama, learning, and much more together with their mainstream peers.  Enabling special friendships within their bunk and with other children throughout the camp,  the Yachad shadow program at Yavneh is a complete camping experience focusing on the development of social skills, fostering self- esteem and independence within a safe and secure environment.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Yachad to bring greater inclusion to Camp Yavneh,” said Debbie Sussman, director of Camp Yavneh. “Yavneh’s K’lal Yisrael mission of ‘all Jews are one,’ has guided us towards including a Yachad program. What could be better than to enable children with disabilities to be part of our warm community?”

Liz Offen, director of New England Yachad, agreed.“My husband attended Yavneh as did my brothers, sons and niece.  Yachad at Yavneh just makes sense. The camp is steeped in Jewish tradition and has been an established New England summer camp for generations. As the director of New England Yachad I know that many of our local children will love this new opportunity to be completely included in all aspects of the Yavneh experience.  Families like mine have been returning to Yavneh for generations. Now children with disabilities have the opportunity to become a part of this tradition.”


Camp Moshava Ennismore

Camp Moshava Ennismore – nearly 70 miles and less than two hours from Toronto – will allow adults with special needs, ages 22-30, to work for either four or the full eight weeks of the camp season. With the guidance of a job coach, vocational workers will be given assignments based upon interest and skill level — among them, assisting within specialty fields such as arts and crafts, baking, canteen, day camp, or sports.  In addition, Yachad will provide social programming for all staff.

Vicky Shizgal, director of Camp Moshava Ennismore, declared, “We are overjoyed to be working together with Yachad on this very important program. We know that this partnership will be as beneficial for the staff in the vocational program as it will be for the rest of the camp community.”

“The Yachad programs make a huge impact on the camp since every child gets the opportunity to understand their peers with special needs,” said Nechama Braun, Yachad’s administrator of summer programs. “It is really incredible how those who worked as Yachad counselors when we began our first program 16 years ago at Camp Morasha in Lake Como, PA, are now leaders and board members of their synagogues hosting Yachad programs in their communities.”

“Ennismore camp director Vicky Shizgal approached us some time ago looking to formalize the arrangement of a special needs program through Yachad. We’re happy we’re here for both camps,” she concluded.

The other 20 programs, many of which have affiliations with Yachad going back years, and include camper, shadow, and vocational programs include:

            For more information and to register for the Yachad partnership programs, contact yachadsummer@ou.org or call 212.613.8369.