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Inclusion/Special Needs at the J

Welcoming. Community. Respect.

Inclusion at the JCC means welcoming all, regardless of age, faith, ethnicity, need or ability. This belief helps make us a strong and supportive community and upholds the Jewish ­— and universal — values of welcoming guests, kindness, respect, and communal responsibility. Individual differences are to be celebrated and can only further enrich the JCC community.

We are encouraging those with special needs to participate in various programs, whether within our traditional classes or in our specialized programs. If you wish to join any class or program, please contact Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or to discuss the details of what the class or program offers and if it is a good fit for you or your child’s needs and abilities. Don’t forget to look on our announcement board at the JCC for the latest events, programs, lectures, and much more!





My name is Liza Fahey and I am the new inclusion coordinator at the Stamford JCC. I graduated from Syracuse University where I majored in child and family studies and minored in psychology. For the last three summers I have worked with Hand-in-Hand here at the JCC, and this past summer served as the assistant director. 






My name is Hannah Goldstone and I am the JCC’s early childhood inclusion coordinator. I received my bachelors of science degree in health sciences, with a minor in special education, at James Madison University. I work with JumpStart, our therapeutic early childhood classroom for two-year-olds with special needs, and also work with children on the autism spectrum and their families.



Teamwork & Social Skills Building


Part of our family of early childhood education programs, JumpStart is a therapeutic early childhood classroom experience for 2-year-olds with special needs. The JumpStart classroom follows the pattern of a typical nursery school classroom, offering invaluable social and educational experiences in a group setting. For more information, click here or please contact JumpStart Director Jane Faherty at 203.487.0980 or


Hand in Hand (Yad B’Yad)
Hand in Hand (Yad B’Yad) is a division of Day Camps@The J, offering a unique summer experience for rising Pre-K – 8th graders with a variety of needs including, but not limited to, communication and learning differences, ADD/ADHD, social anxiety, sensory motor integration challenges, and those on the spectrum. The mission of this program is to improve each child’s ability to develop positive relationships and make social connections in his or her community and with peers, as well as create a fun inclusionary summer experience! For more information, click here or contact Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or


Hand in Hand is partially underwritten by First County Bank and the Louis J Kuriansky Foundation.

Click here to learn more about the National Inclusion Project. 



Other Special Needs Offerings at The J

Angelfish Therapy
We help children with a variety of special needs, sensory issues, and motor coordination difficulties reach their full potential through fun and challenging aquatic therapy sessions, swim lessons, and even land-based therapy. For more information, contact Aileen Tisser at 203.969.6431 or



Inclusion Classes for the Spring Semester


Now there’s more to do on the weekends @ the J!
W - Look for the symbol for weekend class offerings.


NEW! Zumba® Kids Jr.
Ages 4 – 6
Zumba® Kids Jr. classes feature kid-friendly routines based on original Zumba® choreography. We break down the steps and add games, activities and cultural exploration elements into the class structure. Zumba® Kids Jr classes are rockin’, high-energy dance parties packed with kid-friendly routines.

W  Sundays, 10 – 10:35 a.m.
Apr. 22 – Jun. 17 (No class May 20, May 27)
Member $140 / Community $175 (7 sessions)


NEW! Zumba®
Ages 12+
Zumba® classes feature routines based on original Zumba® choreography. We add games, activities, and cultural exploration elements into the class structure. Zumba® classes are rockin’, high-energy dance parties packed with routines.

W  Sundays, 10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Apr. 22 – Jun. 17 (No class May 20, May 27)
Member $140 / Community $175 (7 sessions)


NEW! Unified Sports Program
Ages 6 – 15
This inclusive program will give kids the opportunity to participate in tennis, soccer and basketball. They will move across all three activities under the direction of Special Educator Coach Bill, in addition to three other trained coaches. Student groups of four or fewer will receive personalized instruction and rotate with each coach. In tennis, students will learn how to grip a racket correctly, and the technique of correct forehand and backhand follow-through, and they will practice their serve. In soccer, Coach Bill and his team will lead the class in fine-tuning their ability to dribble the ball with their feet, knees and chest. Students will be practicing ‘street-style’ basketball, including bouncing of the ball between the legs and behind the back, passing to teammates, and scoring into the net. This class will focus on developing confidence, feeling a sense of accomplishment, and executive function skills.

Ages 6 – 10
Wednesdays, 5 – 6 p.m.
Apr. 18 – Jun. 6
Members $216 / Community $256 (8 sessions)

Ages 11 – 15
Wednesdays, 6 – 7 p.m.
Apr. 18 – Jun. 6
Members $216 / Community $256 (8 sessions)




Save the Date for this Inclusion event:

Thursday, April 26 • 7 – 9 p.m.
Special Education Law And Your Child's Rights: Navigating Parents Through the Process of Obtaining
an Appropriate Education


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Boker Tov, Israel! | A Jewish & Democratic State

Join Yael Stolarsky, JCC Israeli Shlicha, for a series of discussions exploring Israel’s politics, innovations, society, culture and values through interactive presentations and videos. No charge. All are welcome. A Jewish & Democratic