The JCC offers programming in the mainstream of the Jewish community for individuals with special needs. We encourage every interested person with a disability to participate in our programs.
The Teen and Young Adult Center at the JCC in Squirrel Hill provides afternoon programming for teens and young adults who face physical, intellectual or mild emotional and behavioral challenges. Participants must have independent toileting skills and be able to come to the Teen Center room on their own or be dropped off by their parent or caregiver—the JCC does not provide an escort. Young people of all backgrounds are welcome to be a part of the group. Jewish holidays are observed, the group learns about Jewish traditions and special Jewish holiday meals are shared, in fact, we just enjoyed delicious Hamentaschen in observance of Purim. The staff is able to provide focused attention to each participant with an emphasis on growth and the development of life skills. By participating in our program, our friends learn the importance of teamwork, independence and relationship-building while enjoying the JCC’s fully equipped meeting rooms, dance studios, gymnasiums and swimming pools. Some of our favorite activities include swimming, buddy time ( when we work on puzzles and small games together), walking around Squirrel Hill and taking advantage of our close location to the library for reading stories. Our daily schedule is jam packed with activities and participants love being able to take advantage of all the JCC and Squirrel Hill has to offer. The Teen and Young Adult Center activities are intended to expand participant’s horizons while increasing cognitive, communication, social and physical skills. The activity-filled afternoons offer a nice mix of new and familiar experiences for all participants.
During the summer, The Gesher Program at Emma Kaufmann Camp serves high functioning teens with special needs. Gesher participants engage in their favorite camp activities such as ropes course, water-tubing and horseback riding. Campers learn teamwork, independence ,Jewish identity, and gain an appreciation and love for overnight camp. Interaction with other campers and integration into activities with groups of all ages is a focal point of our program.
Please call 412-521-8010 for more information.