Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring/Summer 2014 Edition of Connections

The Spring/Summer 2014 edition of Connections is now available! Read it here.  Highlights include:
  • A feature about the history of the Shore-Whitehill Award and this year's winner.
  • An article about the AJL 2014 Special Needs Distinguished Service Award winner 
  • A "Rabbi's Message" from Rabbi Ari Goldberg, Director of the Pittsburgh chapter of NCSY. 
  • piece about the connection between swimming and the torah.
  • Fun and interesting events.

...and more!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Winter 2014 Edition of Connections

The Winter 2014 edition of Connections is now available! Read it here.

Highlights include:

  • An Agency spotlight on the Agency of Jewish Learning.
  • A "Rabbi's Message" from Rabbi Mordy Rudolph and Rabbi Ron Symons. 
  • A feature about "AIM: Support for Families of Individuals with Special Needs" launched by Jewish Family & Children's Service.
  • A beautiful gift a girl gave to herself, and her friends at Friendship Circle,for her Sweet 16.
  • Information about a special bowling league.
  • Fun and interesting events.
...and more!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall 2013 Edition of Connections

The Fall 2013 edition of Connections is now available! Read it here.
Highlights include:

  • Information about the ReelAbilities: Pittsburgh Disabilities Film Festival, October 26-29. This festival showcases films about the lives, stories, and artistic expression of people with different disabilities. It is co-presented in Pittsburgh by JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum and the FISA Foundation.
  • A pilot program through the Agency for Jewish Learning to help students in local synagogues with learning disabilities learn Hebrew without tutors or extra support outside the classroom.
  • An update on a joint effort by Jewish Residential Services and Verland to open a group home in Squirrel Hill where young adults with complex needs can live in a Jewish environment.
  • How Friendship Circle, by having some members work in the office, is providing the chance for members to gain workplace skills and allow everyday staff to have regular input from and regular communication with members. 
  • A beautiful reflection on one young man's twin Bar Mitzvah with his cousin with Angelman syndrome.
  • An update on Jewish Residential Services journey to meet the needs of Jewish Pittsburgh, 20 years after the opening of their first residential facility.
...and more!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter 2013 Edition of Connections

The Winter 2013 edition of Connections is now available! Read it here.
Highlights include:

·         A profile of visiting scholar Devorah Zlochower who will be teaching in Pittsburgh during Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month,
·         How volunteers and residents strengthened community through art at Jason Kramer Hall,
·         Teachings on inclusion from Rabbi Aaron Bisno from Rodef Shalom Congregation,
·         Reflections on the first-ever national conference on inclusion in the Jewish community, Opening Abraham's Tent, organized by The Jewish Federations of North America, the Mizrahi Family Charitable Fund, the Jewish Funders Network, and the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes,
·         The value of surrounding individuals with "Circles of Support",
·         Suggestions for ways to help others during cold winter months,

and more!

Special thanks to this month's contributors and our new editor, Patti Murphy.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall 2012 edition of Connections

The Fall 2012 edition of Connections is now available! Read it here.

This edition focuses on Israel. Read about Taglit-Birthright Israel's renewed effort to strengthen Jewish identity, Jewish community and solidarity with Israel for young people with special needs by providing specially designed trips to Israel, as well as one participant's reflections on the Jewish Federation's Centennial Mega Mission this past summer. Also included are resources for those interested in Israel travel, and a profile of an award winning program to employ people with disabilities in the Israeli government. This edition also features a report on the Spring into Action Conference from this past spring, a report on the consequences of recently approved state funding changes including new co-pays on some health services, and thoughts on the importance of inclusion by Rabbi Michael Werbow of Congregation Beth Shalom.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Into Action! A Special Needs Conference for the Community

Spring Event Header Image
Spring Into Action!
A Special Needs Conference for the Community
This conference and resource fair is open to service providers and families of individuals with disabilities of all ages.

Rodef Shalom Congregation

Join us!
Friday, April 27
Registration -- 8:00am
Conference -- 9:00am - 2:00pm

Registration now open!
Click HERE.

Plan to join us for a Special Needs Conference and resource fair. Workshops on employment, advocacy, inclusion in the Jewish faith community and sibling relationships will be offered.

Keynote Address -- Everybody Matters: Enhancing the Quality of Life for Families by Laura Marshak PhD, author of "Married with Special-Needs Children(funded by the Herbert G. Feldman Jewish Inclusion Project)

Event partners include:
For a flyer with complete event information including breakout sessions, click HERE

To Register Online, click HERE.

To Register by Mail:

Send your name, address, email, and your morning and afternoon breakout session selections, along with a check for $15 made out to "Jewish Residential Services", to:
Jewish Residential Services
4905 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

To learn more:

Contact Linda Marino 
at 412-904-5945 or

Spring/Summer Edition of Connections

The Spring/Summer edition of Connections is now available! Read it here.

This edition focuses on the upcoming Special Needs Conference and Resource Fair taking place at the end of this month, as well as an article on this year's recipients of the AJL Special Needs Service Award. The issue will also highlight resources for people with behavioral health issues, including the Howard Levin Clubhouse and the new Quest Therapeutic Camp program coming to Pittsburgh this summer.