Yachad Trains Future Leaders

Students from yeshivahs and day schools attended the 12th Annual Yachad High School Leadership Shabbaton, where they honed their leadership and advocacy skills.  Top row, from left: Harrison Kahn from Plainview, New York; Eytan Aryeh from Woodmere, New York; Jonah Ganchrow from Teaneck, New Jersey; Zev Jarashow from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and Azi Fein from Riverdale, New York. Bottom row, from left: Yitzi Rothchild from Teaneck, New Jersey and Jacob Adler from Teaneck, New Jersey.  Photo: Benji Weintraub

Students from yeshivahs and day schools attended the 12th Annual Yachad High School Leadership Shabbaton, where they honed their leadership and advocacy skills.
Top row, from left: Harrison Kahn from Plainview, New York; Eytan Aryeh from Woodmere, New York; Jonah Ganchrow from Teaneck, New Jersey; Zev Jarashow from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and Azi Fein from Riverdale, New York.
Bottom row, from left: Yitzi Rothchild from Teaneck, New Jersey and Jacob Adler from Teaneck, New Jersey.
Photo: Benji Weintraub

For high school kids who want to be future leaders, the Annual Yachad High School Leadership Shabbaton is a must. This past fall, some 170 high school students from yeshivot and day schools from across the US and Canada came together to hone their leadership and advocacy skills while learning about and interacting with Jews with all kinds of disabilities. Attended by 70 Yachad members from every Yachad chapter from New York to Houston, from Los Angeles to Toronto, the Inclusive Shabbaton was a stunning success. Held in Stamford, Connecticut, the event featured interactive sessions on teambuilding and effective advocacy and encouraged the teens to bring the skills back to their schools and their communities. “I had an idea what Yachad did for people with disabilities, but I realized they do so much more than that,” said one participant. “I realize that the Jewish community is a community where everyone belongs—including those with special needs.”

Dovid Fertig, fifteen, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, had never been on a Yachad Shabbaton before and didn’t quite know what to expect. “I met more people than I can count in the first hour of the Shabbaton,” he said. “Everyone was friendly. I met Yachad members and we were just hanging out as friends.”

 

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This article was featured in the Winter 2014 issue of Jewish Action.
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