Special Needs Family Retreat

Families of individuals with special needs often feel a sense of helplessness and isolation from the community, as well as confusion about how to best help their loved ones. In an effort to give families the tools to cope with these issues, Etta Israel Center (EIC) will hold its second annual retreat May 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Shaarey Zedek Congregation in North Hollywood

Launched last year by EIC board chairman Aaron Bloom and his wife Ricky, the first retreat drew more than 20 families, according to organizers. This year’s event includes a keynote address by Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman on "Balancing the Needs of All Family Members" followed by workshops on "Religion as a Tool," "Community and Synagogue Inclusion" and "Religious Obligations" as well as discussions addressing more secular concerns such as social skills and working with Regional Center.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Jewish families who have a family member with a special need to come together, meet one another, exchange ideas, learn from one another and forge new friendships," said Dr. Michael Held, EIC executive director.

Cost for the retreat is $10 per person, with a maximum of $50 per family. For more information call (310) 285-0909.