July 14, 2024
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JESC Breakfast Honors Staffers, Students and Volunteers

JESC (Jewish Education for Special Children) hosted an elegant breakfast in which there was an opportunity to honor exceptional community members and those assistants who are graduating from high school. Sunday, May 4th, was the date of this year’s event, signaling the 27th year that the breakfast was held.

JESC was started by parents of special needs children who wanted very much for their children to have some immersion into Yiddishkeit, something not available in the weekday schools they were attending. Amazingly, just such a program was developed and held on Sunday mornings from 9-12 at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, where students from the age of 3 until their mid-20s are exposed to the elements of living a Jewish life and belonging to a Jewish community.

Rabbi Yisroel Schwab, the director, has managed to include gym, music, and dancing classes in addition to academics. Classes are inclusive of Hebrew, davening, holidays, and Jewish life skills and are all done with “ruach,” arts and crafts and love. There are also several “specials” during the year for various holidays and some just for fun. Classes are arranged by age and ability, with each child’s potential considered in placement.

The staff is excellent. Each class has a head teacher and assistants—even one on one, when indicated. Many of the assistants work on a volunteer basis, often returning as paid assistants when older and even become head teachers. They arrive with enthusiasm and affection every Sunday morning. The school also has a psychologist who provides guidance to both staff and parents, as well as handling on-site happenings with students.

This year the assistant graduates were Zeesy Blumenfeld, Temima Goldberg, Shoshana Sara Klarberg, and Tanya Stein. Tanya addressed the participants, telling of her fulfilling experience working within the program. Guests of honor were Hedy and Jay Richman. Jay Richman spoke movingly about his connection with the special needs community, having grown up with a special needs sibling, and how wonderful he feels that there is such a program as JESC. The school is also privileged to have Jackie Feigenbaum as its president, Mr. Irwin Levenbrown as treasurer, and Mrs. Barbara Goldstein as the educational consultant.

Rabbi Schwab wants it known that every child, whatever his/her own “special need,” is a welcome student, regardless of the family’s financial circumstances.

Anyone who wants to learn more—whether as a parent, friend, or prospective employee—is urged to check out the JESC website, http://www.jescnj.org/, call 201-262-1083, or write to JESC, PO Box, 361, River Edge, New Jersey 07661.

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