You know those big signs on Route 4, near Riverside Square in Hackensack?
The big electronic billboards, the ones that usually show images from Holy Name Medical Center, but include some pictures of kids in its regular rotations? One happy-looking kid at a time, standing next to huge letters spelling out My Challenges Don’t Define Me, pointing to a sign with a self-definition? A sign saying I Am Smart, for example. Or Beautiful. Or Hard-Working. Or Cool.
Imagine that you see a small group of students working with an art teacher, concentrating, creating, learning.
Add the understanding that these children have developmental disabilities, and that the art teacher is in fact an art therapist. Be sure, though, that when you add this knowledge, you do not — because you should not — let it detract from the clear truth that there is joy in this learning, and learning in this joy.
For at least 25 years now, Joseph Freedland of Fair Lawn has been hiring people with special needs to help in the production and packaging of shower curtains and hospital curtains at Hospi-Tel in East Orange.
The family business, founded by his father and uncle and now owned by his brother David, has eight to 10 such people working in the factory at any given time. Two of them have been with the company 20-plus years.
On November 10, almost 100 SINAI parents gathered to socialize and to hear from Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, who spoke about how Torah can teach about life’s challenges. Pictured here are brothers Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, rabbi of Congregation Beth Aaron, and Rabbi Yisrael Rothwachs, dean of SINAI Schools.
After several years of planning, SINAI has arrived at SAR. By opening its doors to students with special needs this September, SAR became the seventh partner school providing a special-education yeshiva day-school program inside existing day and yeshiva high schools. SAR joins Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, Torah Academy of Bergen County, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School and Heichal HaTorah in housing a SINAI school within its walls.