Yachad Annual Family Shabbaton Is Set For May 4-6 At Resort Hotel

27 Apr 2012


With 600 guests expected to attend and the Orthodox Union’s leading professionals giving presentations, Yachad/NJCD will hold its Annual Family Shabbaton Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 6 at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa in Kerhonkson in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

Yachad families look forward all year to this gathering, which combines cutting edge information in a warm, supportive setting with programs for siblings; child care; fun activities; and a Shabbat whose memories last the entire year until the next Family Shabbaton.

Yachad, the flagship program 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.

“The Yachad Family Shabbaton is a retreat like no other,” said Chani Herrmann, Director of New Jersey Yachad and Family Shabbaton Coordinator. “Bringing together more than 600 people, all of whom are connected in a very special way, is something so moving and powerful it can hardly be described with words. The strength that parents and siblings walk away with is often what leads them to make life-changing decisions and gives them the support they so need and deserve.”

This is the 26th consecutive year that the National Family Shabbaton has been held. In March, the First Midwest Family Shabbaton was held in Chicago with 300 participants from seven cities, an extremely successful initial event.

Noted speakers at the Shabbaton include Dr. Alberto Costa, from Denver, the subject of a New York Times story on the search for a drug for Down Syndrome. Dr. Costa MD, Ph.D. trained as a neuroscientist. He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado/ Denver Medical School. The parent of a daughter with Down Syndrome, he has dedicated his career to research in that specific area.

NJCD National Director Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman will be presenting “Interventions for Autism” and “Inclusion in Education.” He will be available all weekend to meet and consult with families and will also be leading the Town Hall Meeting on Saturday night, which will be an opportunity for parents to share their special experiences and give suggestions to staff for future services and programs.
Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, OU Executive Vice President, Emeritus, will present, “Strengthening Families During Difficult Times.” He will also give the Shabbat morning sermon and will be available to consult with parents and staff.

OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil will give the Daf Yomi shiur on Shabbat morning and the men’s shiur in the afternoon, “Three Rambans That Every Jew Needs to Know. R. Akiva’s Magnum Opus and Much More.” Mrs. Yael Weil will be presenting to women on: “A Behind the Scenes Look at the Influence of Women.”

Rabbi Steven Burg, OU Managing Director and International Director of NCSY, the OU’s youth arm, will speak to high school students from the Yachad Youth Leadership Council (YYLC) on “What it means to be a REAL Leader in the Jewish Community.” He will also give a session for high school age siblings of Yachad members.

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