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 inclusion coordinator at the Stamford JCC. I graduated from Syracuse University where I majored in child and family studies and minored in psychology. I have been the director of Hand In Hand for the past two years, and work in JumpStart during the year.






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
For more information or to register, contact Liza Fahey at 203.487.0946 or


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


NEW! Music Mania
Ages 3 – 5
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 developing typically. This gives children the opportunity to explore their creativity, using music as the motive to improve cognitive, social, physical, psychological, and communicative functioning.

Thursdays, 4:15 – 4:45 p.m.
Jan. 24 – Mar. 14
Member $160 / Community $200 (8 sessions)


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.
Jan. 27 – Mar. 24 (No class Feb. 17)
Member $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 during the academic year. We meet at the JCC 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 enhance team-building skills. 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!

High School and Young Adult
Sundays, 1 – 3 p.m.*
Jan. 13, Jan. 27, Feb. 10, Feb. 24, Mar. 3, Mar. 17
Member $120 / Community $150 (6 sessions)

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


ArtWorks: Arts for Healing
High School and Young Adult
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) and social interaction, and to 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.

 Sundays, 10 – 10:40 a.m.
Jan. 13 – Mar. 24 (No class Feb. 17)
Member $200 / Community $250 (10 sessions)


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 they have prepared while conversing with one another with the support of the inclusion coordinator. Each week they will be assigned an ingredient to bring to the class.


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Next Upcoming Event...


Vacation Days @ The J

Dive into a world of underwater exploration at The Maritime Aquarium. Learn about all your favorite sea creatures, from jellyfish to sharks! We also will be seeing an IMAX movie on humpback whales. JCC Members $75 / Community $85 Register online