Posts Tagged: Special Needs

Camp Chazak, Where Miracles Are All Around Us



by Stephen Weitzman Traditionally, the month of Elul is a period of self reflection for Jews who attempt to get closer to God. The tradition dates back to the time when Moses ascended Mt. Sinai for the second time after breaking the tablets because he believed the Israelites had violated their sacred relationship with God […]

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When We Can’t Make Inclusion Work



Sometimes you just can’t make it work. Thirteen years ago Temple Beth-El in Somerset County, New Jersey, recognized the need for a special education expert in the religious school and hired me to help build and run a program to meet the needs of children who were not experiencing success in traditional classes. We have […]

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Expanding Camp Opportunities for Kids with Special Needs



The Foundation for Jewish Camp released preliminary findings last week from their recent research study Jewish Camp for Children with Disabilities and Special Needs, which maps current, potential, and desired camp program opportunities for children with disabilities/special needs. The study paints an encouraging picture of the field of Jewish camping, highlighting a variety of models […]

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Affording Inclusion



This week, I was contacted by a colleague at another Reform synagogue. She shared that a member of their community is interested in endowing a special education program for their religious school, and she hoped that I might be willing to dream with them a little. She asked me, “What would you do with $30,000? […]

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Special Education is Good Education



“Special education is good education.” Have you heard that before? Some might even feel that this has become a cliché.  It doesn’t matter, really, because it is true. Do you find yourself eager to believe it but struggling to make it a reality? Here are some strategies: All students benefit from a multi-sensory approach to […]

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Parents as Partners in Jewish Special Education



Recently I had the good fortune to offer a workshop for educators that I called, “Parents as Partners: Working with Parents in Jewish Special Needs Education.” I was well aware, from the start of the workshop, that the educators assembled wanted pointers on how to handle difficult conversations with parents. They were eager to help […]

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Serving our Special Rights Children



By Sari Luck Schneider Q: What does early engagement look like for families and children with special needs? A: We say, “special needs children” in our country. In the part of Italy famous for its outstanding early childhood programming and family involvement, Reggio Emilia, people say, “special rights children.” I like that. Some children need […]

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There Are No Outsiders



by Sari Biddelman As a nursery school student at the Rodeph Sholom School, I was asked to define community. I drew a self-portrait in the center of a circle surrounded by my family and closest friends. It was not until middle school when I was asked to consider this term again, that I reflected on […]

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Camp, Family, and Home



by Deborah Greene Having a place to go – is a home.  Having someone to love – is a family.  Having both – is a blessing.  -Donna Hedges Before Yael left for her second summer at URJ Camp Coleman, we were out running a few errands. There were, after all, a million little things to […]

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“Helping to Shape Young Jewish Lives”: One Congregation’s Special Needs Success Stories



When you walk into Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough, N.J., on a Sunday morning, you are likely to see an exciting scene. On any given Sunday, you might notice various programs taking place, parents stopping into the building and socializing with one another, children scurrying past on their way to religious school classes, and enthusiastic, committed […]

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An Accepting Community



by Donna Klein I would describe myself as an advocate for people with disabilities.  My beliefs are strong that every individual no matter what, shouldn’t be limited by any disability. An individual should only be limited by his or her own preference with all options left on the table until his or her choice has been […]

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Special Needs and Parent-Educator Partnerships in Jewish Early Childhood Education



by Dana Rosenbloom, M.S. Ed. Each August early childhood program teachers, and teachers of all ages, keep an eye on their mailbox or their inbox for the roster of children who will be in their class the coming year. Are there any children we know? Parents we’ve had before? Children with special needs?  As an […]

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My child is not a mitzvah project – or is he?



by Susan Wiener I can still remember the day, my daughter Tracey ran into the house and announced my neighbor, Nancy, would like Jacob to be Adam’s mitzvah project for his bar mitzvah. Before I could even open my mouth and scream NO, my father, who was visiting, quietly said “be nice, say ok”.  I […]

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The Bar Mitzvah of Benjamin Avi Faber



by Paula Krone and Michael Faber Like most parents, from the time we gave birth to our son, we had many hopes and dreams for him. We wanted him to have a good education, have friends and grow up to live a happy and prosperous life. We also had dreams of our child being brought […]

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