Temple Israel & WJCS Bring the Joy of Purim to the Developmentally Disabled
Temple Israel of New Rochelle and the WJCS Havorah Program recently joined forces to bring the joy of the Jewish festival of Purim to young adults with special needs. A large troupe of seventh and eighth graders, members of the temple's Kadima Youth Group, welcomed Richmond Community Services residents, who are developmentally disabled. The teens helped their guests create masks commemorating the holiday, performed a play which told the story of Purim, and entertained with a variety of musical numbers. Led by Youth Director David Vaisberg, the young people found participating in the evening's festivities “very rewarding.” “In religious school we are often taught about performing mitzvot and doing good deeds, but rarely do we have an opportunity like this,” said Kadima member Max Abrams. “It was a truly heartwarming experience, and one I will not forget.” The Havorah Program, sponsored by Westchester Jewish Community Services for more than 25 years, provides unique opportunities to experience Jewish life for people with developmental disabilities who live in community residences, independently or with their families.
Richmond Community Services resident, Zlata, enjoyed creating masks with teens Maddy Feiner and Jamie Tarnopal at the Purim Party co-sponsored by Temple Israel and the WJCS Havorah Program.