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Life Skills & Community Programming

woman with downs syndrome cutting carrots on a cutting board

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.
  • 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.
  • Young Adult 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.

Other community building and awareness raising programs (currently offered virtually):

  • 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.
  • 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.

Our Staff

Lisa Ney, LCSW, Program Officer, People Living with Disabilities, Holocaust Survivor Support, Older Adults & Transportation

Or Ben Ari, LCSW, Program Director

Jessica Foltz, LCSW, Program Coordinator & Therapist

Lena Glickman, Programming Specialist

To contact us about our People Living with Disabilities Program, CLICK HERE