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Special Education

Special Needs | Efshar Program

Our goal is to bring Judaism and Jewish education to all children in our community, help them create a positive Jewish identity and bring these children into the folds of our community.

It is our desire at The Community Synagogue to make Jewish education accessible to all children in our community.  Our tradition teaches and advocates for the importance of learning and study, and we seek to uphold this Jewish value. Realizing that children have different levels of learning capability, we strive to work in partnership with any family whose child requires a specialized Jewish education program.  

Accomodations in our Traditional Program

When evaluating a student with special needs, we determine whether we can integrate the student into our traditional school track or whether the student would be better served by our specialized program, Efshar.  Currently, we integrate students with a variety of special needs into our traditional program, including students diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, speech & language impairments, and other health impairments. These students are placed in a mainstream class and receive pull out tutoring from our Special Education Teacher. 

All of our teachers attend workshops and receive training to help them work with special needs students and provide these students a full education within the framework of the classroom.  In addition, the Director of Education tracks the progress of these students and is in contact with the families during the course of the year to follow up on each child’s growth.  Sometimes, additional accommodations are made to help these students, such as a shortened day and/or extra opportunities for pull out help.

Efshar* Program


Our  self-contained classroom for special needs students is perfect for those who desire pursuing a Jewish education in a format that recognizes and accommodates the student’s individual needs and abilities.  This class is specifically suited for students that cannot be mainstreamed into our traditional program, predominantly targeting children on the Autism spectrum.

The Efshar (Possibilities) Program:

  • Meets weekly on Thursdays for a one hour session 
  • Geared toward students ages 7-12 
  • The specific curricular focus for this class is “Discovering the Realm of Jewish Living,”   which includes an investigation of Jewish holidays, rituals and practices 
  • We engage and stimulate the students through the use of  stories, music, art and hands on projects  

Our objectives with this group are not only to instill a basic sense of understanding and familiarity with various aspects of Judaism and Jewish practice, but to also help develop a sense of community belonging. 

For more information about this program or to determine if it is the right fit for your child, please contact Shari Isserles, Director of Education.   

Fri, July 3 2020 11 Tammuz 5780