Yachad, which means “togetherness”, is an inclusive group made up of individuals with developmental disabilities as well as high school and university students from mainstream schools. The group meets several times a month for a variety of social, educational and recreational events. Support for members and families extend beyond the social network. Yachad programs include weekend retreats, weekly dance program, holiday celebrations, and fun trips and outings in the community. The goal of our members, families, staff and volunteers is to engage in activities that will nourish a valued quality of life. We share a destiny and strive to help every Yachad member obtain personal and individualized goals.
From shabbatons, holiday celebrations and community events, Yachad is there! Our goal is to facilitate inclusion with our members, with the help of dedicated volunteers, into the community. We have weekly programs and work with schools, synagogues, youth groups and other organizations to ensure our participants are included and have a role.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Yachad?
A. Yachad is an organization that provides inclusive social, recreational and educational programs for Jewish youth and adults with special needs. Yachad means “Together”.
Q. Do you have to be Orthodox to become a member?
A. No. Yachad welcomes all members of the Jewish Community.
Q. Is there an age requirement?
A. Generally, Yachad serves the ages of 10 and up. The majority of our participants are teens and young adults.
Q. What types of activities does Yachad do?
A. The group participates in a variety of activities which include: weekend retreats (shabbatons), dance classes, holiday programs, and fun outings in the community such as apple picking, the science centre, the zoo and bowling. Yachad also sends our members who qualify on Birthright trips to Israel, and various summer camp and touring trips.
Q. What type of disabilities does Yachad serve?
A. Yachad serves persons with developmental disabilities. Some of our members may also have a physical disability. The majority of our events are wheelchair accessible. There are varying levels of challenges, and a wide variety of people to interact with, including our Yachad members, high school and university students, and community members of all ages.
Q. How does someone join Yachad?
A. You can contact the Program Coordinator, Sara Cooperman at 216-299-1004, or send an e-mail with your contact information to ClevelandYachad@ou.org.