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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 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 Jane Faherty at 203.487.0980 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 check our bulletin board at The J for the latest events, programs, lectures, and much more!


Teamwork & Social Skills Building


Serving 2-year-olds with special needs
JumpStart is a therapeutic early childhood classroom experience for 2-year-olds with special needs. The only program of its kind in the Fairfield County area, the JumpStart classroom follows the pattern of a typical
nursery school classroom, offering invaluable social and educational experiences. For more information, contact JumpStart Director, Jane Faherty at 203.487.0980 or


Hand in Hand (Yad B’Yad) at O-la-mi
Grades 3 – 8
Hand in Hand (Yad B’Yad) is a division of O-la-mi, offering a unique summer experience for rising 3rd-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!


Click here to learn more about the National Inclusion Project.



Music, Movement and Yoga
This practice is fun and interactive! Through meditation, movement, and chants instructors provide techniques to work on improving concentration, mindfulness, self-control, and relieving anxiety, as well as improving hand-eye coordination and thoughtful breath. Classes are kept small in order to modify and accommodate any individual needs.

Ages 7 - 12
(parents may stay if they wish)
Sundays, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Oct. 9 – Dec. 18 (No class Nov. 27)
Member $150 / Community $200 (10 sessions)
Register with Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or


R&R (Recreate & Relate)
R&R is an active social program that meets during the academic year. We meet on and off JCC premises to participate in activities together such as cooking, seeing theater performances, varied sports events, pool parties, volunteering, and much more, which are not only fun but also reinforces team-building. The social groups provide youths with a structured and safe environment to develop their social skills and build relationships. The goal of R&R is learning to work together! For dates and prices, please contact Jane Faherty at 203.487.0980 or

Pre K - Kindergarten (ages 3 - 5)
Sundays, 11 - 11:45 a.m.
Sept. 25, Oct. 2, Oct. 9, Oct, 16, Oct. 23, Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Nov. 13
Member $160 / Community $200 (8 sessions)
Please contact early childhood coordinator, Hannah Goldstone at 203.487.0980 or to register for Pre K - Kindergarten classes.

Grades 6 - 8
Wednesdays, 4 - 5:30 p.m. and Sundays, 12 - 3 p.m.
Oct 19, Oct. 26, Oct. 30, Nov. 9, Nov. 16, Nov. 20, Dec. 7, Dec. 11, Dec. 14
Member $180 / Community $225 (9 sessions)
* Admission fees to all Sunday trips must be paid separately. 

High School and Young Adult
Sundays, 1 - 3 p.m.
Oct. 9, Oct, 16, Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Dec. 4, Dec. 11
Member $120 / Community $150 (6 sessions)
Please contact inclusion Coordinator, Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or to register for grades 6-8 or High School and Young Adult classes.


ArtWorks: Arts for Healing
Enjoy the benefits of creating art! ArtWorks takes place in a small group setting and is designed to help artists of various ages and abilities express themselves through art. The class also helps to improve communication skills (expressive and receptive), social interaction, enhance motor function, stimulate emotional development, and foster self-expression. Materials including paint, clay, collage, drawing pens, markers, pastels, and charcoal give group members a wide variety of choices for personal expression. The group leader is a professional artist and art therapist who brings original and unique ideas to encourage individual creative expression. To register, contact Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or

Grades 2-8
Thursdays, 4 - 4:40 p.m.
Oct. 6 - Dec. 15 (No class Nov. 24)
Member $200 / Community $250 (10 sessions)

High School and Young Adult
Sundays, 10 - 10:40 a.m.
Oct. 9 - Dec. 18 (No class Nov. 27)
Member $200 / Community $250 (10 sessions)


Music Mania!
Music therapy provides opportunities for children to acquire and practice skills they learn throughout their education. It targets the entire developmental spectrum for children with special needs and children who are typically developing. This gives children the opportunity to explore their creativity, using music as the motive to improve cognitive, social, physical, psychological, and communicative functioning. A fun music-making class for 3-5 year olds, singing, playing instruments, and body percussion with a music therapist for one hour a week, learn important early education skills, while enjoying social opportunities within a group setting, learn awareness, trust, independence, control, and responsibility.

Fridays, 10 – 11 a.m.
Oct. 7 – Dec. 16 (No class Nov. 11, Nov. 25)
Member $180 / Community $225 (9 sessions)
Register with Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or



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



Spring Inclusion Events:


IEP and 504 Process in the school system
Wednesday, October 5 • 7 – 9 p.m.
at the Stamford JCC
Parents will be offered the unique perspectives of two experts in the field with a combined experience of 55+ years. Dr. Bogart and Attorney Berliner will describe their collaborative relationship in the context of the educational evaluation and the PPT meeting in a school setting. They will discuss in detail their individual professional roles in the PPT process and how they collaborate to best help a student with a learning difference reach his/her potential. This will enable parents to anticipate what to expect and how they can best advocate for their child in helping to construct a framework for success in the school setting.Snacks and drinks provided.
Please RSVP to Liza Fahey at 203-487-0946 or if you would like to attend.


Picky Eaters and Food Exploring for your Child
Tuesday, December 13 • 7 – 9 p.m.

Presented by The Stamford JCC and Abilis, in partnership with ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival

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Next Upcoming Event...


Mother/Son Game Show Night

For moms and sons 5 - 10 years (aunts and grandmothers welcome!) Spend an evening having a blast with friends and family! Play Easy Jeopardy • Name that Tune Beat the Clock • And lots more! Pizza, salads and drinks will be served