Yachad Family Shabbaton A Smashing Success

Esther Birnhack of Far Rockaway, New York with her six-year-old son Baruch Mordechai. Photo: Noah Wittenberg

Esther Birnhack of Far Rockaway, New York with her six-year-old son Baruch Mordechai. Photo: Noah Wittenberg

More than 650 people from throughout the Northeast attended the highly-anticipated Thirtieth Annual Northeast Yachad Family Shabbaton, held this past April at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut. The weekend provided Yachad members and their families the opportunity to recharge and relax in an inclusive atmosphere. Yachad, an agency of the OU, provides social, educational and recreational programs for Jewish individuals with disabilities.

The Shabbaton featured a wide variety of programming, from parent support groups and sibling workshops to sessions on dating and marriage, being an effective advocate for your child, and navigating Medicaid services. Participants had the opportunity to share their experiences with one another and network with the caring and knowledgeable professionals of Yachad.

“Words cannot begin to adequately describe the very powerful impact this one weekend a year has on so many families,” says Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, International Director of Yachad. “Siblings who have never spoken find their voice. Parents begin a difficult journey towards plans for a time when they will no longer be able to care for their special child . . . so much more can and does happen.”

Many families receive generous scholarships through Yachad in order to participate in this unique event. To sponsor a family, please contact Ken Saibel, Associate Director of Yachad at SaibelK@ou.org.

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This article was featured in the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Action.
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