The Orthodox Union’s (OU) Yachad, the leading group for individuals with disabilities in the Orthodox community, appointed Rabbi Shay Schachter to serve as its rabbinic and halachic advisor.
Rabbi Schachter will provide ongoing guidance pertaining to the spiritual components of Yachad, including deciding halachic matters relevant to the organization; enhancing spiritual growth of Yachad participants, staff and volunteers; and assisting in the development of religiously appropriate content for Yachad programming.
“Having a rabbi on staff will provide additional support for our staffers and more immediate access to a rabbinic authority when addressing the needs of our participants and the unique challenges that they and their families face,” said Yachad International Director Avrohom Adler.
Rabbi Schachter serves as the rosh beis midrash of the Young Israel of Woodmere, overseeing its extensive adult educational programs. Over the past few summers, he has served as the rabbi of Camp Simcha, an overnight camp for children and teens in treatment for cancer and other blood disorders. He previously served as the assistant rabbi at Congregation Kneseth Israel, “The White Shul” in Far Rockaway.
Rabbi Schachter received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), an additional rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Asher Weiss of Jerusalem and a master’s degree in Jewish education and administration from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education & Administration. He resides in Woodmere, NY with his wife, Rina, and their four children.
“Yachad is one of the greatest treasures of our community and the OU. For more than 35 years, Yachad has positively impacted thousands of families and the broader Jewish world,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane. “There are many halachic questions which arise and we’re excited that Rabbi Schachter has joined the team to provide his halachic oversight and spiritual guidance.”
“As Yachad continues to grow, there is a greater need to have a codified halachic response to issues that come up with our participants, families and staff,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “We’re pleased to have Rabbi Schachter join us and contribute his extensive halachic expertise.”