May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Spotlight on The Bayit Association

It is with great excitement that The Jewish Link celebrates the formation of The Bayit Association, and we would like to help familiarize our readers with this exciting endeavor.

How and when did this organization get started?

Northern New Jersey is fortunate to host a number of vibrant Orthodox Jewish communities, including those in Teaneck/Bergenfield/New Milford, Englewood/Tenafly, Fair Lawn and Passaic/Clifton. Within these communities, there is a spirit of connectedness and communal responsibility—-our members are entrusted with caring for one another.

However, there is a burgeoning crisis with respect to adult (21 and over) members of these communities who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). As the parents of these individuals age or become infirm, and as their siblings move out of the community, what becomes of them?

These men and women need a place to live—a home where they can live as independently as possible in an environment that is safe, secure, supportive and culturally meaningful and appropriate. We estimate that 100+ families in our communities in Northern New Jersey will need housing for their adult children with IDD within the next decade.

The Bayit Association came about in early 2021, when a group of parents with adult children with IDD committed to tackling this housing crisis head-on. These parents resolved to create fully Shomer Shabbat and Shomer Kashrut homes for their children and others like them, located within walking distance of the homes in which they were raised, close to neighborhood shuls, stores and other Jewish infrastructure.

Where and when will the homes be opened?

To date, The Bayit has purchased two homes in Teaneck, with one already under construction. The Bayit currently anticipates opening its first home in 2024.

Who is eligible for your program and what are your goals?

Adults over the age of 21 who have an intellectual or developmental disability and are also eligible for housing in the state of New Jersey.

Please share an anecdote that highlights the work that you do.

The Bayit Association is still in its early stages and our first homes haven’t opened yet but it’s our hope and strong belief that our homes will have a significant impact upon the individuals who live there, on their families, and on their neighbors and the surrounding community. We anticipate many special anecdotes once our homes open.

What volunteer opportunities, if any, can community members sign up for?

Once our first homes open in 2024, we will certainly be looking for all kinds of volunteer help, ranging from those who could host our residents for Shabbat meals, if possible, to helping out with all kinds of programs designed to have our adults feel as much a part of the community as possible. However, at this point in time, fundraising for the renovation / construction costs of our first homes is our main priority and we are now starting a multi-million dollar capital campaign. Any and all assistance, advice and help for our fundraising campaign would be appreciated at this stage.

Contact information for The Bayit Association: [email protected]

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