Judaic studies program opens for special needs


Coming this September, Kulanu’s limudai kodesh (Jewish Studies) program will be available to special needs students beyond those currently attending a Kulanu program.
Torah L’Kulanu, a unique hands-on interactive program will fill a community need, said its director, Rabbi David Zeidel.
Kulanu was founded in 2000 by parents to facilitate the inclusion of children with disabilities into yeshivot, shuls and Jewish life in general.
Torah L’Kulanu’s goal is to convey pride in being Jewish while exploring the Torah, Jewish history, traditions, values and ethics. Students will be taught about the holidays, learn basic tefillot (prayers) to be able to, as best as possible, participate in shul, and learn laws of Shabbat and Jewish culture.
Students who are able to, will be taught Chumash, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Navi and Gemara. A separate bar mitzvah class offering multi-year support will also be available. Classes will be held from 3 to 5 pm, Monday through Thursday, with other program options available. Rebbeim and morot are certified in special education and related fields of study.
Rabbi Zeidel said Kulanu is “taking our well respected and comprehensive program and branching out to the community.” He said outreach efforts will focus on the public school based middle school and high school population and others in the community, with students from sixth grade up to age 21. The program will be open to students with various developmental or physical disabilities, and the small class size can accommodate a range of students, from those with no previous knowledge to those who have competency but wish to have a more intensive program of learning.
“It’s consistent, comprehensive and extremely functional,” said Rabbi Zeidel. “The challenge is to take abstract concepts and make them real. We teach to the student. Each has their own way of understanding and learning — not all can learn the same. We provide the accommodations necessary to make the learning environment fun.”
Rabbi Zeidel lives in Far Rockaway, studied at Shor Yoshuv and Touro, and received semicha (rabbinic ordination) through Pirchei Shoshanim.
The new Torah L’Kulanu program will operate through June. For more information, contact Rabbi Zeidel at dzeidel@torahlkulanu.org or call 516 569-3083 x327.