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the jack and shirley silver center for special needs


a spectrum of abilities


special needs

The mission of the Special Needs Department at the JCC in Manhattan is to build and nurture an inclusive and accepting community wherein individuals with varying special needs can participate and succeed in innovative social, recreational and educational activities. We seek to support and empower individuals with special needs, their families and caregivers and provide them with access to cutting-edge speakers, programs, and technologies. We understand and respect the diversity of our community as we work to meet the changing needs of individuals with disabilities in the 21st century.

Our staff is here for you. Please feel free to contact Melissa Lader, Director of School age Special Needs Programs (mlader@jccmanhattan.org, 646-505-5729), Hannah Cohen, Director, Special Needs Parenting, Professional and Support Programs (hcohen@jccmanhattan.org, 646-505-4460), or Allison Kleinman, Director of Adaptations (akleinman@jccmanhattan.org, 646-505-4367).

for special needs




resource library

The JCC is happy to offer a variety of books related to special needs for review as part of the library on the 7th floor. In addition to the parenting section in the library there is a special needs section located on the shelves on the right side of the library as you enter.

Click here to view a complete listing of Special Needs Resource Library offerings.

special needs babysitting

Are you looking for an occasional babysitter' The JCC offers a six-week special needs babysitter training course where teens learn about child development, strategies for working with children with special needs, and the settings in which children are best served. The group, led by a social worker, is trained through intense workshops, videos and meetings with parents and professionals. In addition, many of the teens complete their CPR and First Aid Certification. These wonderful teens are looking for opportunities as babysitters and mentors. For more information or a list of teens who have completed the course, contact Melissa Lader at 646.505.5729 or email mlader@jccmanhattan.org.



The Parent 2 Parent Resource Center provides guidance for families dealing with the challenges of special needs children. The network is staffed by parent volunteers who will be available to answer questions, share their personal experiences, and provide referrals and resources from our network of families. Please call 646.505.4391 to leave a message and one of our volunteers will call you back.

If you are interested in becoming a parent volunteer for the resource center, please call Hannah Cohen at 646.505.4460.

the JCC in Manhattan