An organization founded in 2009 to provide financial support and specialized programming for Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries raising children with special needs inaugurated its West Coast chapter with an event at the Cheder Menachem day school in Los Angeles.
The event earlier this month, planned by S. Monica Chabad House directors Rabbi Shlomo and Aliza Menkes and Chabad of Sherman Oaks assistant director Rabbi Mendel Lipskier, brought together 15 couples for an address by Dr. Daniel Shabani of the Shabani Instritute Center for Behavior Analysis and Language Development. Following the talk, Shabani and another therapist spoke individually with the emissaries about the concerns of each unique family.
The Yaldei Shluchei HaRebbe event also served as a forum for participants to share their feelings, questions, and suggestions with their colleagues in similar situations. Yaldei, which covers medical costs, provides counseling and service coordination to nearly 150 families, has sponsored numerous weekend parent retreats in Florida, New England, and California.
“As helpful as those events are, nothing compares to having local support close to home,” commented Rabbi Sholly Weiser, Yaldei’s executive coordinator, explaining that the new West Coast chapter will host monthly meetings and possibly serve as a model for similar expansion in other states. “As for now, California emissaries have a new and important local address to turn to for assistance.”