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 unique program for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder and significant learning disabilities who are looking for ways to increase their social connections. With one-to-one support from our Community Builders, participants can build skills that will help expand their interests, meet new people and develop friendships. Participants should be able to navigate the community independently or with minimal support and participate in activities in unsupervised settings. (This program is currently on hiatus.)

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.

For more information on eligibility and participation in Community Connections and YadB'Yad, contact Allison Rodenhouse, Director, Family and Community Supports, 773.765.3160.

Summer Camp
As we shared previously, JCFS Chicago transferred all operations of Camp Firefly to JCC Chicago in 2021. JCC Chicago, in partnership with Keshet, welcomed previous and new campers into the Camp Chi inclusion program, which offers one-on-one support so that campers with intellectual, social and physical disabilities can participate fully.

If you are interested in learning more about summer programs at Apachi Day Camp or Camp Chi please contact Keshet at

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 information on how you can volunteer, contact Kathy Morris