June 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Yachad Revs Up To Honor Locals On Oct. 27

Yachad—the organization that provides social activities, vocational training, job placement, and counseling to disabled individuals and their parents and families—will honor Atara Mauskopf, Tirza and Ariel Bayewitz and Gabi and Aryeh Moskowitz and their children—at a breakfast reception on October 27.

The community service award will go to Atara Mauskopf, who has been involved with Yachad for many years and sits on both the N.J. and national boards. She plans and volunteers at events, and is a fundraiser. In 2012, she ran with Team Yachad in a Miami half-marathon and is now establishing the Marcia Gelbendorf Memorial scholarship fund in memory of her mother, to be used for Yachad Shabbaton scholarships because her first experience with Yachad was at a Shabbaton more than 15 years ago.

“I think the friendliness of everybody, how they embrace each individual for who they are and how they encompass you as part of the Yachad family, makes you feel a part of something regardless of who you are and where you’re from,” Mauskopf told JLBC. She added that her mother had that same ability to make each individual feel as if s/he was the most important in the room.

The Bayewitzs’ involvement with Yachad goes back many years, since Tirza has been on both the receiving end of services as the sister of a special needs individual and on the giving end as a frequent volunteer. The duo frequently speak at events to help further the mission of inclusion in the Jewish community, to raise awareness and sensitivity in the community, and to  help those who have a disability and those who live with someone who does.

The featured family is the Moskowitz family. Gabi and Aryeh are parents to Leora, Ben, Meira and Ilan. Meira, 11, is a participant in junior Yachad, the division for 8-15 year olds. Meira loves Yachad and is excited at the chance to be featured, Mrs. Moskowitz said.

Families contact Yachad on a regular basis to look for referrals for therapists, schools, summer camp options, and residential services. As participants grow older, fewer services are offered and the needs of participants are very different. To fix that, Yachad opened a vocational training program in 2012 to train their participants in vocational settings, and to help them learn the social and work skills necessary for getting and keeping a job.

“N.J. Yachad has seen tremendous growth over the last eight years; however, we need to do more,” Chani Hermann, director of N.J. Yachad said. “Families from New Jersey know that they have Yachad staff to turn to when their child is trying to find a place where they can fit in and belong.”

By Aliza Chasan

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