Life Skills & Community Programming
JFCS provides a rich network of dynamic and engaging life skills workshops and group programming to instill independence and create community for teens and adults with disabilities.
Areas addressed include cooking and nutrition, mindfulness, art, healthy relationships and sexuality, social thinking and social skills, computer and technology skills, financial empowerment, advocacy, and much more.
Socialization programs and community outings include:
- Baking with a Mission: participants work with students from local schools on a weekly basis to bake challah while having fun, making new friends, and learning about and educating the community about food justice. Money raised from selling the challah goes to grocery store gift cards for people experiencing food insecurity.
- B’SIDE Community Programs (Brodsky Support for Independence, Development, and Enrichment): provide inclusive educational and social programs that are designed to teach and foster life skills to achieve self-sufficiency and self-actualization, including art, cooking and nutrition, advocacy, social justice, mindfulness, healthy relationships and sexuality, and more.
- Cooking Together: an ongoing virtual group to learn to cook easy, nutritious, and affordable meals while enjoying conversation and community. For young adults and their families and caregivers.
- Dinner Club: participants meet weekly to prepare and eat dinner together and then participate in various activities and workshops, enjoying both a healthy meal and the company of their peers.
- Helping Heroes: focuses on enhancing kitchen skills and healthy living while helping others in our community. The group meets weekly to cook soups, casseroles, and other dishes for people experiencing food insecurity.
- In-JOY Holiday Celebrations (Inclusive Jewish Occasions Year-round): Jewish holiday celebrations for adolescents and adults with disabilities and their families, caregivers, and friends throughout the year. In-JOY events are open to the general community, not just JFCS clients, and to people of all faiths.
- Teen Network: provides cultural and educational trips which enable participants to practice and enhance social skills needed to confidently build connections with others. Participants engage with peers, gain access to community, and practice skills in real life settings.
- The Network: offers cultural and educational group outings, events, and celebrations. The Network also provides educational workshops that focus on the enhancement of life skills and healthy living.
Other community building and awareness raising programs (currently offered virtually):
- Coffee Houses: inclusive spaces for the wider community to come together with clients and enjoy a cup of coffee, music, comedy, and more.
- Inclusion workshops: students in the community gain education and awareness of issues as they learn from people with disabilities
- Social action and social justice programs: lectures, film screenings, and discussions that bring awareness to key areas affecting the disability community, such as inclusion, belonging, diversity, and more.
- Theatre performances: participants work in small groups to create short plays around relevant themes, and actors perform them for the general community.
- We’ve Got Talent: community events that celebrate the talents of adolescents and adults with disabilities through art, poetry, dancing, and music.
In-person programs are offered at The Barbara and Harvey Brodsky Enrichment Center in Bala Cynwyd.
All potential participants in our People Living with Disabilities Program undergo an initial assessment to determine if programs and services are an appropriate fit.
Lisa Ney, LCSW, Program Officer, Our Closet In Your Neighborhood & People Living with Disabilities
Or Ben Ari, LCSW, Program Manager
Jessica Foltz, LCSW, Program Coordinator & Therapist
Suzannah Rosenberg, LCSW, Care Manager