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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 Winter Semester


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


NEW! Exploring Science Through Our SENSES
Ages 3 – 5
Messy play is a key component to developing children’s fine and gross motor and coordination skills. Through the children’s seven senses we will explore different ways to help them learn and grow. We will be creating and working with different textures and materials each week. Whether it’s making Play-Doh, calming bottles, or gooey slime, the children will have fun experiencing their seven senses — taste, smell, sight, touch, hearing, vestibular (balance), proprioceptive (joint movements) — in their own way.

To register, contact Hannah Goldstone at 203.487.0980 or

Tuesdays, 4:30 – 5:15 p.m.
Jan. 16 – Mar. 20 (No class Jan. 30, Feb. 20)
Member $160 / Community $200 (8 sessions)


NEW! Ready, Set, Move
Ages 5 – 8
Does your child like climbing and jumping through obstacle courses? This class will allow children to engage their muscles by moving through obstacle courses and yoga positions. Classes will focus on balance, coordination, core engagement and strength, to increase fine and gross motor skills.

To register, contact Hannah Goldstone at 203.487.0980 or

Wednesdays, 4:30 – 5 p.m.
Jan. 10 – Mar. 14
Member $150 / Community $200 (10 sessions)


Music, Movement, and Yoga
Ages 3 – 5 (parents may stay)
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.

To register, contact Hannah Goldstone at 203.487.0980 or

W Sundays, 10 – 10:45 am
Jan. 21 – Mar. 18 (No class Feb. 18 )
Members $160 / Community $200 (8 sessions)


R&R (Recreate & Relate)
Grades 6 – 8, and High School/Young Adult
R&R is an active social program that meets at the JCC during the academic year. Activities include cooking, theater performances, varied sports events, pool parties,
volunteering, and much more. Not only are these activities fun, they also enhance team-building skills in a structured and safe environment. The goal of R&R is learning to work together!

To register, please contact Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or

Grades 6 – 8
Wednesdays, 4 – 5:30 p.m.* and Sundays, 12 – 2 p.m.*
Jan. 10, Jan. 21, Feb. 7, Feb. 18, Mar. 7, Mar. 18
Member $120 / Community $150 (6 sessions)

High School and Young Adult
W Sundays, 1 – 3 p.m.*
Jan. 14, Jan. 28, Feb. 11, Feb. 25, Mar. 11, Mar. 25
Member $120 / Community $150 (6 sessions)

*Register early if you need the JCC van to pick your child up from the Stamford Public Schools on school days!
Admission fees to all Sunday trips must be paid separately.


Classic Cooking
High School and Young Adult
Teens and Young Adults will collaborate on fun recipes while learning basic cooking skills and kitchen safety. After preparing food together they will sit down to enjoy the food while conversing with one another with the support of the inclusion coordinator.

To register, please contact Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or

Thursdays, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 18 – Mar. 29 (No class Feb. 15)
Members $150 / Community $200 (10 sessions)

Each week participants will be assigned an ingredient to bring to the class.


ArtWorks: Arts for Healing
High School and Young Adult
In a small group setting, artists of various ages and abilities express themselves through art. The class also helps to improve communication skills (expressive and receptive) and 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.

To register, please contact Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or

W Sundays, 9:30 – 10:10 a.m.*
Jan. 14 – Mar. 25 (No class Feb. 18)
Member $200 / Community $250 (10 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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Next Upcoming Event...


JCC Sara Walker Nursery School Scholastic Book Fair

The JCC Sara Walker Nursery School Book Fair will be held at The J from Feb. 25 - Mar. 2. Hours will be: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Feb. 25 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Feb. 26 - Mar. 1 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Mar. 2