Yachad Summer Programs: Spaces Filling Up Quickly

06 May 2009

As the school year comes to an end and summer begins, a few openings are still available on some of Yachad’s summer programs, including spots for mainstream high school students in Yachad’s much admired Yad B’Yad program, in which the mainstream students act as companions to the Yachad members. Those who are interested in this and other programs are urged to act quickly because spaces are filling up, declares Nechama Braun, summer program administrator.

“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.

Although the Yad B’Yad Israel program has no more available spaces for Yachad members, a few openings remain for the mainstream students. Yad B’Yad Israel is a unique opportunity to spend the summer touring Israel together with adults with special needs. Beginning with an orientation in the United States and a Shabbaton in New Jersey, followed by a group flight on Sunday, participants form strong bonds of friendship and undergo personal growth as they experience the Jewish homeland in an unparalleled way. The program includes time in Jerusalem, on an Israeli army base, at the Kineret and Dead Sea, as well as camel rides, hiking, special Shabbat programs and more.

“The Yad B’Yad program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!” declared Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, National Director of Yachad/ NJCD. “We’ve got an outstanding group of high school students geared up, with a fantastic itinerary in place, and amazing Yachad members who are so excited to meet everyone. We have just a few spots open for select sophomores or juniors, so apply quickly!”

Regarding other programs, the Yachad camper programs, located at Camps Morasha and Nesher in Pennsylvania, are full but are accepting names for their waiting lists. These programs, which include a variety of unique and inclusive sleepaway camp activities, have seen unprecedented growth. The program at Camp Moshava, also in Pennsylvania, which is geared specifically to children with learning or social issues, has a few more spots for select applicants.
Meanwhile, there are waiting lists for the Yachad work programs which will take place at Camps Morasha, Moshava, and Lavi. Yachad work programs feature full-time work positions in a sleepaway camp setting, in which participants are able to enjoy the camp atmosphere while learning important life and vocational skills.

Finally, Yachad Getaway is filled to capacity with over twenty adult participants. Getaway provides a relaxing two-week vacation in upstate New York at a large estate home, with activities ranging from sitting on a porch to nature walks and swimming. No wonder it’s filled!

For more information regarding the Yachad Summer Programs, please contact Nechama Braun at 212.613.8369 or email braunn@ou.org.