SINAI in the News

By Bracha Schwartz on Apr 30, 2015
SINAI Schools have always been a part of Jordanna Rothschild’s life. Her father is a Vice President on the Board of Directors, and both parents are deeply involved in supporting SINAI, a provider of education to Jewish children with special needs. She helps out at SINAI dinners and events. Jordanna has also been developing her love of art as a ninth grade student in the Frisch High School art track. Seeking to combine both interests, she thought of creating a program in which Frisch students in the Artists Beit Midrash program share what they have learned about studying a prayer, and...
By Joanne Palmer on Jan 30, 2015
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.And then pull your gaze back to see that these children are in a larger school, where they have their own individualized learning programs but also sometimes mix with more...
By JLBC Staff on Nov 5, 2014
Imagine a place where Jewish children gather each day to learn, play, and grow as individuals committed to Torah ideals. Imagine boys high-fiving one another in the halls, girls waving over a friend to join their table at lunch, children inviting a quiet child to play with them on the playground, students in a classroom buzzing with conversation until the teacher tells them all to settle down. Now imagine that one of the children in each of these scenes has a disability–physical, social, intellectual, or academic. Hear the sound of all of their voices raised in tefillah together each morning...
By Abigail Klein Leichman on Oct 5, 2014
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.“This has become very important to me,” said Mr. Freedland, the company’s vice president for production. “We started by hiring a few people with challenges to do unskilled labor...
By Shira Greenland Wiesenberg on Sep 1, 2014
With her flowing blond hair, saddle boots, and tattoo, Brooke – a consulting Occupational Therapist – was probably not expecting the challenge I posed to her the day she arrived at our school. “Avi needs your help learning to put on his tefillin,” I said, handing her a mess of boxes and straps that Brooke might have wished came with arrows indicating “This Side Up.” Addressing her unspoken concerns, I continued. “The teacher will show you how they are supposed to go. What we need from you is to figure out why Avi cannot seem to make them work.” For Brooke, this was likely a first. For...
By Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Rothwachs on Jul 24, 2014
Yaakov* started Pre-K at his local yeshiva day school when he was 4 years old, following in his older siblings’ footsteps.  His parents were thrilled with the school, where the opportunities for spiritual, academic and social growth were plentiful and their older children had made lots of friends.  But by the time Yaakov reached Kindergarten, his teachers were concerned.  It was not unusual for some children to mature more slowly than others, but Yaakov was also becoming increasingly introverted and rigid.  With each year that passed, the social, emotional and academic...
By JLBC Staff on Jul 18, 2014
River Edge—SINAI Schools and Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey (RYNJ) have entered into a long-term lease-renewal agreement, cementing the relationship between them, and ensuring that elementary school students with significant or complex special needs will continue to receive a top-quality education in a Bergen County Yeshiva.SINAI was founded more than 30 years ago at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy (JKHA) where, according to Sam Fishman, SINAI’s Managing Director, “SINAI still thrives and has its largest number of students, thanks to the extraordinary vision, commitment and sensitivity...
By Dr. Karen Wasserman on Jul 7, 2014
Summertime! Par­ents around the world breathe a sigh of relief as the everyday stress­es of long school days, hectic schedules, and tense nights of homework ease up. Yet, at the same time, many parents hesitate to complete­ly relax during the prolonged summer school break, especially if their children have learning difficulties or disabilities.We are all familiar with the studies that show that children experience a natural re­gression of academic skills during the sum­mer months due to being out of school. But how can parents minimize this regression and keep their...
By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick on Jun 19, 2014
At the time that we were working diligently to establish Maison Shalom, the group home that our daughter Naama lives in, we received amazingly unsettling telephone calls. There were those in the community surrounding the prospective new home that called and com­plained that they were worried that the real es­tate value of their own homes would go down. Their concern, supposedly, was that the res­idents of the home would be disturbing the neighborhood. There was a well-known Rav in the area who knew that we were involved with the in­ception of Maison Shalom, but did not know that we...
By Jenny Gans on May 8, 2014
Teaneck—“We didn’t know what to do for Binyamin,” Teaneck parents Susan and David Richman told JLBC. At the time, their son was graduating from a special ed. high school and unsure of his next move. For 22-year-old Binyamin Richman, there were few options. He wanted to integrate into a community, but was not able to find his place. Fortunately, in September of 2013, Sinai opened the doors to the Netivot program for young adults, and Binyamin became one of its first participants. A day habilitation program housed in the Teaneck Jewish Center, Netivot is designed for post- high school young...

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