Yachad Family Shabbatons From Coast to Coast

17 Jan 2014

The program started in the Northeast 28 years ago and spread across the country, providing a weekend of fun, stimulation, education, networking, play and a beautiful Shabbat for families of special needs children. Now, for the first time, Yachad, the Orthodox Union’s agency for those with disabilities, will present three Family Shabbatons (weekend retreats) – in Connecticut for the Northeast; in Chicago, for the Midwest; and in Los Angeles, for the Pacific Coast.

The program in the New York, expanded to Chicago three years ago, and now, like a migration of pioneers across the continent, has arrived in Los Angeles.

The details are as follows:

• Northeast, May 9-11, Stamford (CT) Plaza Hotel
• Midwest, March 21-23, Chicago, Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort, Bloomingdale, IL
• West Coast, June 13-15, Agoura Hills, CA (Los Angeles), Sheraton Agoura Hills Hotel

Registration is now in progress for all three. Scholarships are available for each of the Shabbatons. “This is one of those ‘can’t-miss’ weekends for a family of someone with special needs. It‘s time to sign up,” declared Eli Hagler, Yachad associate director.

Yachad expresses its gratitude to two sponsors of the Midwest Family Shabbaton – the Hartman Family Foundation and an anonymous donor in memory of Rabbi Moshe Kushner, z”l.

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.

“These retreats will allow parents, siblings, and individuals with developmental disabilities alike to join for a weekend of learning, sharing, fun, games and togetherness,” explained Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, International Director of NJCD. “Parents attend sessions which provide up-to-date information on the disability world; problem solving strategies; advice on ‘what should my child be doing?’; and the opportunity to share experiences. Siblings enjoy workshops unique to their needs, while participants with developmental disabilities have sessions, games, and activities of their own, similar to the famous ‘Yachad Shabbaton.’

Mealtimes are special, with singing, ‘talks’ by the Yachad members, and families basking in the glow of their children’s pleasure and success.”

Families come from far and wide to attend the Shabbatons; the Midwest program, for example, attracts families from as many as ten states, throughout the Midwest.

Registration information:

• Northeast: Call 212-613-8229 or visit www.yachad.org/family
• Midwest: Contact Nate Rischall at 224-420-1136, {encode=”rischalln@ou.org” title=”rischalln@ou.org”}, or visit Yachad.org/family
• West Coast: Contact Orit Faguet at 310-229-9000 x206, {encode=”LosAngelesYachad@ou.org” title=”LosAngelesYachad@ou.org”}, or Yachad.org/family

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