May 29, 2024
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Englewood’s Amanda Parker Selected as Yachad Daner Fellow

Yachad’s Daner Communal Fellowship has selected three outstanding recent college graduates to serve as Fellows for the 2015–2016 programmatic year, beginning in late July. Amanda Parker from Englewood, New Jersey, graduate of New York University, joins Rachel Samuels from Roslyn Heights, New York, graduate of Binghamton University; and Yossi Szpigiel of West Hempstead, New York, graduate of Macaulay’s Honors College of Queens College. The Fellows were chosen from 30 applicants from across North America.

Yachad, the flagship program of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), provides unique social, educational and recreational programs for individuals with learning, developmental and physical disabilities with the goal of promoting their inclusion in the total life of the Jewish community.

“The program, now in its second year, is named in memory of the late Jewish community professional and lay leader Joel Daner, a”h, who truly exemplified what it meant to be a leader in the Jewish community,” explained Eli Hagler, Associate Director of Yachad. “We expect our Fellows to be hard-working and interested in being a part of the Jewish communal work force with the hope of making a difference. They emerge feeling empowered by their experience working for Yachad and continuing to promote Yachad’s mission of inclusion.”

The Fellowship will support the Fellows’ professional development as part of Yachad’s mission to meet the social and inclusive needs of Jewish individuals with diverse disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental challenges, deaf and hard of hearing, physical disabilities and medical health and mental health needs.

The Fellows will function as full members of Yachad’s staff, working out of its national headquarters in lower Manhattan and will be assigned a primary mentor—a staff member under whose tutelage and guidance they will directly carry out their diverse range of duties within the agency.

Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, International Director of Yachad, said, “We hope that our Daner Fellows will quickly become an integral part of the Yachad team going into the 2015–2016 programmatic year. We are hopeful that the Fellows will go on to successful careers and will always remember their time at Yachad as an important step in their professional advancement and development.”

Amanda Parker double majored in Applied Psychology and Global Public Health with a minor in Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Originally from Los Angeles, she has been living in Englewood since she was 8 years old. Amanda was active in both the Hillel and the OU’s Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) at NYU, as well as being involved in her academic department particularly as a peer mentor.

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