For a Special Set of Students, Jewish Learning Comes to Life

For most Jewish children, learning about the High Holidays is a natural component of their education; preparing for this special time of year has long been a traditional part of day schools and Sunday-school programs throughout the world. But for children with special needs and their families, like most aspects of their lives, the holiday season is not so simple. Many of these children attend public schools in order to receive necessary special-education services, and most Sunday or after-school programs are geared towards children with mainstream learning styles and abilities. The Efshar Circle, a program of Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, fills the gap by providing a Jewish and Judaic program developed especially for students with a variety of special needs. Curricula are designed to meet each student’s current level and learning style, from beginners to those who have had previous Jewish education. Quite fittingly, the Hebrew word efshar means “possible.”

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