Simchat Shabbat brings joy to families - www.jewishaz.com: Community

Simchat Shabbat brings joy to families

ERIC SCHAEFER Special to Jewish News | Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 12:00 am

Four years ago, the Council for Jews With Special Needs (CJSN) created Simchat Shabbat, a specialized Shabbat service for individuals with autism and other significant disabilities. According to Becca Hornstein, CJSN executive director, the service is designed for those who may not be able to sit through a 2 1/2 hour Shabbat morning service. "Creating this service was very special because it doesn't just serve our clients who have disabilities. It engages their parents, their siblings, their grandparents and their friends," she says. "We have people from the community who show up because Simchat Shabbat means joyous Shabbat. It's just a joyous service."

Here is one father's experience with Simchat Shabbat.

For the first time in my life, I cried at synagogue. And the tears weren't because I didn't want to be there.

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