Special Needs Children and Sarah
Special needs children and Sarah’s lessons are revealed in the most beautiful of ways – with heart. That faith is strong with belief. It builds up through many trials and triumphs. Sarah, the wife to Abraham became the first Matriarch in Judaism. A major figure in the Torah. All children are to be counted!
Special Needs Children
A student with special needs can become Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah. There are many children who have difficulty learning even the simplest of the blessings. This doesn’t mean they don’t understand or can’t feel in their hearts what it means to connect to G-d. Many children who can’t learn the Hebrew language and often struggle with English have special talents. These talents can be their way of expressing their love and devotion to G-d and their Jewish heritage.
During the initial conversation, parents simply need to share their child’s limitations. The Rabbi will get to know your child and establish a wonderful connection between teacher and student. That connection will assist in designing the Bar Bat Mitzvah Alternative B Mitzvah ceremony into a warm and moving one.
A Fond Memory with a Student
One young girl, who at fifteen, was severely dyslexic, would never have become a Bat Mitzvah. After extensive discussions, she had her Bat Mitzvah ceremony! She could not learn to read Hebrew. A family member read a prayer in Hebrew and she danced. She did it so gracefully it was like watching the words of the prayer in motion. Her ceremony, her dancing showed her devotion to G-d and understanding and welcomed in the community. She expressed it in dance. It was a heartfelt Bat Mitzvah for her and for those that gathered together.
During Classes with another student
He shared, “I feel G-d’s spirit is with me.” He was not shy, concerned, or nervous. In fact, he was very confident in what he felt. He needed to understand what he was feeling. I was honored to be his Rabbi throughout his journey and discovery.
Teaching and preparing students with learning needs; high functioning Autism; and students with limitations have had classes, and all read from the Torah. A ceremony that highlights the student’s strengths. It may also become a Family Mitzvah with participation, creating a beautiful moment for all.
Included in the Program
As the Global Pandemic continues to be in our daily lives, the program will accommodate students for online computer classes and preparations. In person classes are not available.
- In the initial conversation, we will include all the Mitzvah ceremonies details such as:
- A ceremony takes place in Shabbat Morning (Saturday) or Monday and Thursday when the Torah is read per custom.
- Havdalah Shabbat evening Mitzvah is available upon request and the Rabbi’s calendar during the wedding season.
- The ceremony is as important as the lessons, please plan well in advance.
- Weekday lessons are Monday – Thursday after school concludes and up to 6 pm. Class in the summer for students not attending camp are available.
- I customize each student classes based on their strengths.
- Learn Shabbat Prayer Book Hebrew and prayers.
- Hebrew phonetics are available for students that read. Based on their reading skill level.
- Each student will study a Torah portion (also known as a weekly reading).
- Per custom, the Torah is read on Monday, Thursday, and Shabbat. Please use this information as a guide when planning a Mitzvah ceremony day.
- Ceremony day; a 1 hour and 15 minutes Shabbat worship service for one student. This is only a guide as each student may need a shorter ceremony Shabbat Service.
- Local area students and families – in-person Ceremony Rehearsal.
- Destination and out-of-State Mitzvah Ceremonies: coordinated 1-2 days before the Mitzvah Ceremony Day. See below about Travel Arrangements.
- Aliyah Honors
- Younger siblings do participate (age-appropriate).
- Wine, Challah, and the Shehecheyanu.
- Start the conversation when a student is 11-1/2 years old to begin the process leading to their 13th birthday.
- Read More about Rabbi Andrea Frank! Featured in the online magazine Judaica in the Spotlight
Rabbi Andrea Frank’s continues to teach with the remote class format or also known as the online virtual classroom. Google Workspace that includes Google Meet, Docs, Sheets and Drive. Not zoom. Each class lesson is live, not recorded. They can see, hear, interact with the Rabbi, the lessons, and have a wonderful experience all around. This remote class virtual classroom has offered the Rabbi to teach beyond her local city, county, and state boundaries.
The Rabbi teaches students in the Tri-State Area; Northern New Jersey, Fairfield area of Connecticut. Around the 1-hour driving range. Over an hour in travel, the Mitzvah Ceremony is a Destination Ceremony.
Please Note: For Destination Ceremonies: Now that the pandemic COVID-19 vaccines are in place, traveling will only take place within the United States. The cost of the program does not include travel expenses. This is a separate cost.
Depending on the destination, it can be travel, i.e. Airline, luggage, hotel, a rental car, gas and parking at the destination (if required). This is an additional cost for all Mitzvah parents. This is the same arrangement for Destination Wedding Ceremonies.
Pre-Pandemic – There have been students in Florida, California, Australia, Dominica Island, France, Germany, and Monaco. We call this our Destination Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah!