A Shabbat Of Inclusion

Music man Jake Kraus with a new friend
Music man Jake Kraus with a new friend

Temple Sinai of Roslyn’s Chazak outreach program for children and families with developmental differences/special needs, recently hosted a special Shabbat of Inclusion Service. 

It was an environment where the children and their parents felt comfortable and at ease. The 30-minute service led by Rabbi Michael White and Jake Kraus, gave the children the opportunity to follow, understand and be part of the service. In addition to a dairy Shabbat dinner, everyone enjoyed singing, praying and dancing.

The Shabbat of Inclusion was a time for everyone to feel included.

Through Chazak, families within the congregation and in neighboring communities have the opportunity to provide their children with meaningful Jewish learning. The multi-faceted program includes monthly Shabbat and Jewish holiday programs including a three-hour drop off program, Bar/Bat Mitzvah opportunities and social activities/outings.

Reciting the prayer over the challah
Reciting the prayer over the challah

Rabbi White has been a strong advocate for the program since its early planning stages.

“Our temple is proud of this unique program for kids with spectrum disorders and their families,” he said. “I have learned much about this growing population, about how unwelcome they have felt, how generally overwhelmed they are, and I realized that we had provided no way for these children and families to celebrate the joys of Jewish living with us, to be embraced by a concerned and loving community. We are changing that, ensuring that every child, created in God’s image, is at the heart of us, at the heart of our community.”

Chazak is designed for children ages 6 to14 with developmental differences. No synagogue affiliation is necessary. For more information, call Lauren at 516-621-8016. The next program is on Sunday, March 8, as Temple Sinai will be celebrating Purim.

Temple Sinai of Roslyn is at 425 Roslyn Rd. For more information, contact Ethel Liebeskind at 516-621-6800 or visit the website at www.mysinai.org.


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