GOA Brings Innovative Family Inclusion Trip to Israel to the Community

March 19, 2014 at 10:43 AM

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Golda Och Academy is pleased to partner with MetroWest ABLE and the Legow Family Israel Program Center to offer a Family Inclusion Trip to Israel that is open to the community. The 10-day trip, which is planned for December 22, 2014 – January 2, 2015, will make an Israel trip accessible to all family members.

Michelle Resnick, a learning specialist at Golda Och Academy’s Upper School, has been dreaming of this trip for years. Resnick has two children, Sarah and David. For her daughter Sarah, participating in community Israel programming was simple—she had her choice of Israel trips and she integrated easily. But for her son David who is on the autism spectrum, it was nearly impossible for Resnick to find a guided trip to Israel that would accommodate his needs.

“It was so painful for me to not be able to share my love of Israel with both of my children. Now my son can become a bar mitzvah at the Western Wall,” Resnick said.

Sign Up for E-News

For Resnick, the Family Inclusion Trip to Israel has been years in the making and is a dream come true, thanks to GOA’s partnership with two important community agencies.  In collaboration with the Legow Family Israel Program Center of MetroWest and MetroWest ABLE, GOA has used its nationally recognized expertise in Israel education to bring forward this 10-day trip. The aim is to strengthen the community’s ties to Israel, while bridging the gap between Israel and a segment of the community that was previously marginalized.

While including all the highlights one would expect on a mission to Israel—Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, archeological digs, dinner on a kibbutz, Masada, the Dead Sea, and more—the itinerary takes into consideration the elements of typical trips that place barriers to special populations. The agencies considered the logistics and worked together to create an itinerary that would hit the important places, while accommodating special-needs family members. There will be ample opportunities for downtime and rest, alternative activities offered, and longer stays in fewer hotels.

Highpoints of the trip will be a B’nai Mitzvah ceremony at the Davidson Center near the Western Wall and a festive New Year’s Eve celebration with the Cooking Women of Okafim, members of our sister community in Israel. According to Rebecca Wanatick, Community Coordinator at MetroWest ABLE, inclusion is about providing opportunities for everyone to meaningfully participate.

“Individuals with special needs in Greater MetroWest have the opportunity to participate in synagogue life, early childhood programs, religious schools, camps and now will have the opportunity to participate in an Israel experience that is geared toward the unique needs of their families.  In a time when there is so much conversation about how Jews connect to their Judaism and the Jewish community, it is wonderful to know that here in Greater MetroWest, we are placing an emphasis on all members of the community, providing avenues through which they can access their Jewish heritage,” Wanatick said.

Amir Shacham, the Federation’s Executive Shaliach and Associate Executive Vice President for Israel & Overseas, agrees—according to Shacham, the mission of the Israel Center of Greater MetroWest is to bring Israel to the community and the community to Israel.

To help families offset the cost of the trip; participants with special needs who are between the ages of 14-21 may apply for the Passport to Israel grant, offered by Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. This grant provides $750 towards the cost of an eligible Israel experience trip, and up to $250 in matching funds if the participant’s synagogue agrees to contribute as well.

 “We strongly believe that a meaningful Israel experience should be available and accessible to every member of our community. We are very proud to partner with GOA on this important project.” Shacham said.

To obtain a grant application, or to sign up to attend one of our information sessions scheduled for Sunday, March 30th or Monday, April 7th, or to obtain a grant application, please contact Justine Reuben at (973) 929-3054 or email her at: jreuben@jfedgmw.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

20-Year-Old Orange Man Arrested for Murder of Missing Montclair Woman

December 7, 2016

NEWARK, NJ - Authorities announced Tuesday that they have arrested Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 20, of Orange, who is suspected of the murder of Sarah Butler, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray and Montclair Police Chief Todd Conforti.

Butler, a 20-year-old Montclair resident reported missing on Nov. 23, was found dead on Dec. 1 in Eagle ...

Randolph's Brendan Fletcher Reaches Top 8 on NBC’s “The Voice”

December 4, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA - “And though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea,” Led Zepplin, Ten Years Gone

After years of changing his course, living in New Jersey, Boston, Brooklyn, and Charleston, all while singing in small local bars, at open mic nights, and working as a bartender to make ends meet, Randolph’s Brendan Fletcher always ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, December 10, 10:00 AM

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit

Cookies & Cocoa with Santa at Reeves-Reed ...

Arts & Entertainment Home & Garden

Sat, December 10, 7:00 PM

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit

Holiday Concert at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_1652222dcc2059dac7d5_untitled_design__10_

Tue, December 13, 8:30 AM

Eisenhower Corporate Campus, Livingston

NJ Social Media Conference for 2017

Business & Finance

Livingston Symphony Orchestra to Perform Winter Concert Dec. 17

December 7, 2016

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Maestro Anthony LaGruth and the Livingston Symphony Orchestra invites areas to join them on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. for their Winter Concert at the Livingston High School Auditorium.

The second performance in the orchestra’s 2016-2017 season, the winter concert includes works from venerated composers such as Beethoven, Dvorak, and Ravel, and will feature ...

Andy’s Family Music Showcases Alex Weiss on Drums

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Andy’s Family Music Center of Livingston is proud to highlight 11-year-old Alex Weiss, a fifth grader at Collins Elementary School with an aptitude for drums.

Alex studies drums at Andy’s under the instruction of Joe Vitello. He says hid favorite band is Fall Out Boy and that his dad is his number one musical influence.

Check him out in the video ...

Q/A With Owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp

Recently, the owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp, Dan Milman and George Stein, took part in a fun Question and Answer session. Below are the questions and their responses. To learn more about Milman, Stein and Meadowbrook, click here to read a recent article that ran on TApinto.net.

WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD CAMP, WHAT VISUAL COMES TO MIND?

George: A six lb.

What's in a Name?

Sign here:   ________________________________

 

And here and here and here.  Initial these five boxes.  Then sign right here and over here stating that you understand that you are signing something you haven’t read.  And on the last page please sign and date this disclaimer stating that you are fully responsible for signing and dating this document even if you ...

Beckerman’s Theory of Everything

Any armchair theoretical physicist knows that Stephen Hawking has pursued a lifelong quest to come up with a Theory of Everything. This all-encompassing theory would tie together general relativity (large scale and high mass galaxies, stars, etc), quantum theory (quantum mechanics, quarks, atoms, subatomic particles), and Newtonian physics (gravity on small bodies, gas laws, electromagnetism) to ...