web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Yachad Takes Quadriplegic Youth on a Trip of a Lifetime

Zack Pollack (center) in his special wheelchair, joins his new friends to build rafts on the beach at the Sea of Galilee, as part of Yad B’Yad.

Zack Pollack (center) in his special wheelchair, joins his new friends to build rafts on the beach at the Sea of Galilee, as part of Yad B’Yad.

When no one would take Zack Pollak on a trip to Israel, Yachad was there. He, along with 75 other Yachad members and high school students, left last Sunday afternoon for five weeks in Israel on the Yachad summer program Yad B’Yad (YBY – “Hand in hand”).

Special arrangements were made for Zack, who has quadriplegia caused by cerebral palsy. Zack is restricted to mostly a wheelchair or a similar device. As a member of Senior Yachad, the 17-year-old from Passaic, NJ, often participates in Yachad Shabbatonim.

Yachad/The National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), an agency of the Orthodox Union, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the opportunities of individuals with disabilities, ensuring their participation in the full spectrum of Jewish life. Yachad/NJCD promotes Inclusion for these individuals through various integrated activities.

The Yad B’Yad Israel Experience brings high school students together with Yachad members (adults and teens with special needs) to experience the Jewish homeland, Israel, in a new and unparalleled way. Yachad members experience Israel just as their peers do – touring Jerusalem; visiting an Israeli army base, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea; riding camels; hiking up Masada; volunteering in a soup kitchen and visiting underprivileged children; and participating in special Shabbat programs.

Yachad has already spent close to $10,000 on top of the normal cost to make the trip accessible specifically for Zack, noted Eli Hagler, Assistant Director of Yachad.

Hagler stated, “Because Zack needed a wheelchair accessible program, other trips and programs have not been willing to take the necessary steps. It’s a big undertaking. Zack is a very social teenager, but has often been placed in settings and camps where he socialized with the staff – Yad B’Yad will be so much more than that for him. On YBY, Yachad has arranged for Zack a way to socialize and fully participate with 75 of his peers. Yachad sees the added benefit to both the participant and the rest of the group in making this trip accessible to anyone who wants to attend. Yachad’s tagline, Because Everyone Belongs, could not be more true than in this case. We did what we had to do in order to make Yad B’Yad a trip that anyone and everyone could enjoy.”

To accommodate Zack’s full participation, Yachad ordered a van to hold his wheelchair and other supplies while he traveled on one of two group buses; coordinated only tour routes that were wheelchair accessible; arranged to stay only at hotels and visiting sites that were wheelchair accessible; brought along adaptive equipment such as a special wheelchair designed to help Zack travel on rockier, narrower, and more challenging terrain.

Yachad raised funds for the special chair with Yad Sarah, an Israeli nonprofit that provides a range of services for free or nominal charge to assist the sick, disabled, and elderly. Similarly, this type of wheelchair is what Team Yachad uses in both the Miami and Jerusalem marathons to allow those with a disability to compete in the race.

Last week, Yad B’Yad staff and high school participants received orientations for the program. A special Shabbaton was held in West Orange, NJ, for YBY participants prior to the Sunday afternoon flight.

Rebecca Schrag, Director of Senior Yachad and of Yad B’Yad, said, “Zack has an awesome ‘can do’ attitude, and we are thrilled that he is able to join us this summer. Yachad has really made every attempt to be as accommodating as possible and to make this trip a life changing experience for Zack, as well as all of the other participants.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Yachad Takes Quadriplegic Youth on a Trip of a Lifetime”

  1. Tex Guest says:

    How Wonderful……Bless all involve that made this happen…!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Children are asleep at last as adults in the Chabad House continue to deal with the crisis in Nepal.
Chabad Co-Emissary in Nepal Hopes for ‘Only Good News’ in Video
Latest News Stories
Air Force chief Ido Nehushtan checking an unmanned aircraft. Jihadists say they won't cease fire until Israel stops targeted killings which often utilize drones.

The 4 terrorists were trying to plant a bomb in Israel on the Golan Heights.

Israeli soldiers from the Home Front Command seen during preparations before boarding a plane to aid in Nepal after a massive earthquake yesterday killed thousands.

The first group of rescued Israelis from Nepal are to arrive home on an IAF airlift in the wee hours of Monday with 3 premature babies.

Children are asleep at last as adults in the Chabad House continue to deal with the crisis in Nepal.

Chabad co-emissary Chani Lifshiftz says “hundreds of Israelis” arrive safely at the Chabad House after deadly quake in Nepal.

British MP Ed Miliband is not excluded from being targeted on Twitter by local anti-Semites, regardless of his liberal views.

British MP Ed Miliband has again been targeted, this time in a political campaign for being “the Jew.”

An Arab tried to steal the weapon from a civilian guard in the town of Eli.

GOP Senator Ted Cruz met with Republican Jewish leaders in Las Vegas Saturday on the campaign trail.

The idea behind Peres & Associates came to life two years or so before the end of President Shimon Peres’ term in office, when his team began planning the next phase in his career.

United Hatzalah, Zaka and First are among the first emergency responders from Israel to arrive in Nepal on Sunday as part of an international effort.

The PA and leftists lost twice in US courts, which threw out suits for libel and a claim against settlers’ “terrorist attacks.”

Lauder: ‘Jews demanded no ‘Right of Return’ to Germany or Austria or Poland or any other European country.’

Several Israelis suffered light injuries but 150 still have made no contact with officials.

The emails are unclassified but include sensitive information of correspondence with ambassadors.

An Arkia plane made an emergency landing at Ben Gurion Airport Sunday morning after a bird was caught in one of the planes’ engines during a flight to Eilat. The plane landed safely. It was the second emergency landing in a week at the airport. An El Al plane that took off for Prague last […]

Arabs call for state of mourning, meaning a state of riots, after knife-wielding terrorist killed when he stabbed solider.

Several Israelis suffered minor injuries in Saturday’s devastating earthquake in Nepal that killed approximately 1,500 people, but approximately 250 Israelis are not accounted for, according to the Foreign Ministry. Communications systems have been disabled by the earthquake, which measured 7.9 on the Richter scale and is the latest in a series of disasters that have […]

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Vote Torah Logo

Vying for dominance in the WZO election, are movements within our nation which seek to undermine and subvert Orthodox Judaism.

A new Chareidi initiative has been launched for Yom HaZikaron, called “Sheket, Zochrim” or “Be Silent, We are Remembering”.

He followed and spread the teachings of his late father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

United Hatzalah program honors our survivors, war veterans with specialized medical care

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yachad-takes-quadriplegic-youth-on-a-trip-of-a-lifetime/2012/07/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: