Social & Recreational Opportunities

It’s about having fun, building friendships…just living your life.

Opportunities for meeting new people, participating in community and cultural events, including religious activities and celebrations, can be challenging when these are not inclusive or welcoming to persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities. JCFS Chicago is committed to opening our communities up, so people of all abilities can enjoy one another and live rich, fulfilling lives.

Community Connections is a program for adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities who live and work in their community (independently or with minimal support), and who are looking for ways to increase their social connections. By working with our Community Builder, participants can build skills that will help them expand their interests, meet new people and develop friendships. For more information on eligibility and participation in Community Connections, contact Allison Rodenhouse, Director, Family and Community Supports, 773.765.3160.

YadB'Yad offers quarterly social, cultural and religious activities and events that bring together Jewish adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities or learning disabilities. Activities and events are held throughout the community, such as at the Fiedler Hillel on the Northwestern Campus, and encourages participants to engage in their community, socialize with other participants or volunteers, and enjoy an evening out.

Glick Family Camp offers fun for the whole family in one beautiful location within driving distance of Chicago. The weekend is filled with a variety of social, creative, recreational and supportive activities. A family camp worker is assigned to each family. Glick Family Camp is offered once each spring at Jewish Community Youth Services Camp Henry Horner/Camp Red Leaf in Ingleside, Illinois. Email Tammy Besser or call 773.765.3159 for a registration packet.

Camp Firefly create a supportive, welcoming community for children, teens and young adults who oftentimes have difficulty connecting with peers and navigating social situations. Everything in our program, including the best of summer fun and exceptional therapeutic group activities, is designed to support campers on the autism spectrum  and with other social challenges. By celebrating individual strengths and recognizing potential, campers develop self-confidence, improve self-esteem and enhance social skills. Participants explore who they are and come home with greater independence and meaningful life lessons and friendships. To begin the registration process or call toll-free, 855.ASK.JCFS (855.275.5237). Parents needing to reach camp during session should call the Camp Chi office at 847.763.3551.

Sibshops offer brothers and sisters of children with a variety of special needs a place to meet other siblings in a relaxed, supportive and recreational setting. For kids ages 6-12 years old. Teens are also welcome.

Respite takes a supportive, nurturing and therapeutic approach, combined with fun, social and recreational activities, while providing a well deserved break for parents.

For more information on eligibility and participation contact Allison Rodenhouse, Director, Family and Community Supports, 773.765.3160.

For information on how you can volunteer, contact Josh Rosen.