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November 04, 1988 - Image 49

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-11-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

WHAT IL C CIRIUCIE
!PAUL NIEWAAIS ASI1) IVIES NOY
IRCCIE IFSCW A ICC Ulf AlITZVAIHS
TIFIAT ilt 'DON'T?

about six times a year, and
fourth and fifth graders can
work on a computer. The
students prepare their own
Shabbat oberservance, often
making matzah balls and
chicken soup for their "din-
ner" held during class. Each
Saturday they recite kiddush
and the blessings over the
candles and challah.
At least five of the children
from the special needs pro-
gram, including Werney's son
Robert, have become bar or
bat mitzvah. "Each of the
b'nai mitzvah have been done
at the regular Friday or
Saturday service," Werney
said. "It's really been a
beautiful experience for
everyone."
Parent involvement has
benefited the Beth El special
needs program, Werney said.
The parents come in before a
function, assess the needs, ob-
tain the materials, set the
tables and generally provide
moral support.
Werney said she is pleased
by the results the program
has achieved. "So many have
been bar or bat mitzvah and
three have graduated with
the high school kids. The pro-
gram achieves what the kids
achieve. Almost every
youngster has exceeded our
expectations of what they
could achieve:'
United Hebrew Schools'
program teaches prayer

"We like to plug
into anything
that's going on."

skills, holiday concepts,
bar/bat mitzvah preparation,
music, art and drama in its
classes which meet at the
main UHS building on Sun-
day mornings. About 25
students receive special at-
tention, with and the learn-
ing disabled students coming
three days a week, others
twice depending on how
many days the parents feel
their children need. The
severely handicapped or
children working on bar/bat
mitzvah come twice a week.
Children may have individual
attention or meet in groups.
A second UHS class, for
children with Hebrew
reading difficulties, meets
two weekdays plus Sunday at
Adat Shalom
Synagogue. Bayla Land-
sman, special education coor-
dinator for the United
Hebrew Schools, said the
11-year-old program is aimed
mainly at learning disabled,
emotionally impaired,
developmentally disabled and
autistic children. A
developmental kindergarten,
new this year, is for children

in similar programs in the
public schools. Arts, crafts
and music are used to teach
Jewish subjects.
Adults with special needs
also benefit from the UHS
program. There are field
trips, speakers, a tour of
Jewish Detroit, meals at a
kosher reaturant, a visit to
the Holocaust Memorial
Center and other activities.
"We like to plug into
anything that's going on in
the community at that time,"
Landsman said.
Many of the students who
came through the special
needs program over the years
have become bar or bat
mitzvah.
At Temple Beth El, Temple
Emanu-El, Shaarey Zedek
and Akiva there is no extra
fee for children who need
special attention. "They pay
the same tuition as everyone
else," Liberman said of Akiva
parents. "No parent should be
penalized for having a child
with a disability." UHS has a
fee lower than the regular tui-
tion since it is based on
whether a child attends one,
two or three days. However,
Landsman added, many of the
students are on scholarship.
All Jewish children with
special needs, no matter what
their religious orientation are
eligible for each of the
programs.
(The Reform movement,
under the direction of the
Union of. American Hebrew
Congregations, has a special
project called Liheyot (Becom-
ing), designed to served the
needs of gifted, autistic, men-
tally retarded, physically
disabled and visually-or
hearing-impaired. The aim of
the program is to help these
individuals participate in the
life of Reform synagogues and
schools.)
Although Kasoff, Werney,
Landsman, Liberman and
Dressler are happy with what
their respective institutions
offer to children with special
needs, they each see addi-
tional needs.
Dressler would like a
Hebrew computer program
and another Apple II that
wouldn't have to be shared.
Liberman is in need of
resource materials — learn-
ing games, correctible electric
typewriters, a computer and
computer programs geared
for the learning disabled
child. Kasoff would like to add
to his staff "so we could help
larger numbers." Werney
would like to see more kids.
Landsman just wants the
word to get out.
"I would most like to see
everyone who is in need of the
program be aware of its ex-
istence."

United Hebrew Schools in cooperation with B'nai B'rith Youth
Organization, Michigan State Temple Youth, United Synagogue
outh and the Jewish Community Center

Thursday, November 10, 1988
7:30 p.m.
JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER
Maple-Drake Building

Featuring
Noted Author and.
Mitzvah Man,

Parents Welcome
Admission: 1 Can of High Protein Food

For Group Reservations and Further Information Please Call:
Rabbi Bruce D. Aft, 352-7117, Rob Weiss, 788-0700, or Allison Katz 661-1000

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

49

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