Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC


The Special Needs programs of the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC are designed to provide social, educational and recreational choices for children and adults with Special Needs, Autism and Developmental Disabilities. The JCC offers an inclusive environment that is open to all regardless of race, gender or religious affiliation. Program opportunities improve quality of life, enhance physical well-being, social and emotional development, cultivate friendships and provide opportunities to integrate into the community. The JCC believes all communities should open their hearts and doors to everyone. For additional information on all programs and services, please contact Ellie Willoughby, JCC Special Services Director, at 908-443-9029; J CARES is the JCC’s Adult Intern Program that provides social and recreational opportunities to adults with Special Needs, Autism and Developmental Disabilities. The program is offered Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am-3:00 pm. J Cares is an approved agency for the Supports Program Services. Our objective is to provide meaningful structured programming that promotes a feeling of independence and value. The interns are supported/mentored by trained staff and participate in an array of social and recreational activities, including but not limited to cooking, swimming, exercising, yoga, arts and crafts, activities of daily living (ADL’s), music therapy, current events, computer skills, games, puzzles and much more. Why J CARES? Because having a family member with Special Needs can be challenging, finding a Day Program should not be. J CARES Day Services is designed to provide a creative, fun and exciting day for adults with Special Needs. Our model is designed as an intern program with Mentors, where the intern’s day is created from their individual interest and abilities, as opposed to a traditional Day Program with large groups and staff oversight. J-ZONE: The J ZONE’s mission is the gift of time. During this time we support children, their families and caregivers to keep them healthy, happy and strong. Supporting a child with special needs can be tremendously challenging on parents and caregivers. Often parents and caregivers of children with special needs go for long periods of time before they get any free time. At the J-ZONE, we give parents and caregivers the time to take a needed break to have some fun, go out to eat, run errands, have some alone time or just get some needed rest. Our respite program provides two hours of recreational fun to children with special needs, and offers a well-deserved break to parents and caregivers from the daily challenges of childcare. Offered Sunday afternoons: 12:30-2:30 pm (ages 5-11) 3:30-5:30pm (ages 12-16). J-CONNECT provides social programs and opportunities for Adults with Special Needs, including the Prom, Spring Fling, Pasta Dinner, Bingo and more. JCC CAMP RUACH – Summer Camp for Ages 3 and Up: Camp Chaverim is a program designed for campers with special needs who wish to experience a typical summer camp and integrate with peers. Programs will be tailored to your camper’s needs. We offer individualized programs and camp hours are adjusted when needed. We will work around ESY programs. One-on-one program available (shadow or aide). For additional information on Summer Camp, contact Stacey Herman, Camp Ruach Director, at 908-443-9026; SPECIAL NEEDS ADAPTIVE SWIM LESSONS: Ages 3-12 All classes taught by certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors who have experience and certification in the special needs area. These lessons are taught on a one-on-one basis, and include instruction on how to float independently and with a device, how to control breathing, kicking, basic paddling, front crawl, back stroke and jumping/diving into the pool. Participants will also receive special attention and instruction that may help develop competency in the water as well as improve overall coordination, strength, endurance, range of movement, as well as social and attending behaviors. JCC RISING TIDE SPECIAL OLYMPICS SWIM TEAM: Sundays, 10:30am-12:30pm Session I: Adults 18 and Over (10:30 – 11:30am) Session II: Ages 6 – 12 Years (11:30am – 12:30pm) The JCC Bridgewater Rising Tide Special Olympics Swim Team introduces individuals with special needs to the wonders of swimming. As part of Special Olympics New Jersey Somerset County Area 10, the Team competes in three swim meets throughout the season: county, area, and state. We provide an enriching and welcoming environment for swimmers with special needs ages 10 and up. Athletes participating in this program should have a basic knowledge of swimming and be able to comfortably swim 25 yards of freestyle and backstroke. For additional information on Special Needs Aquatics Programs, contact Stephanie Johnson, Head Coach/Local Training Program Coordinator at 908-443-9020 or


775 Talamini Road
Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807
United States

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