Zumba, Zinburger, and more! That’s what the participants of the JFCS SAIL (Supports to Achieve Independent Living) Special Needs Program are up to this summer, and it is thanks in part to the newest addition to the JFCS family, SAIL Coordinator Kimberly Liebovitz, MSS, LSW.
Kimberly joined the JFCS team in June, and she brought along her enthusiasm and passion to share with the many SAIL members, who enjoy social and recreational offerings through the program.
“When I saw there was an opportunity for me to work at JFCS with the special needs population to support young adults in their social and community functioning, I was beyond thrilled. I knew that JFCS was one of the few local programs that helped support families in transition to adulthood and becoming independent. I then saw the opening for SAIL, and I thought it would be such a a blessing for me to be able to continue my work of supporting families and students after their graduation,” says Kimberly.
“We are excited to have Kimberly, who will be responsible for developing and planning the monthly activities for SAIL,” says Barbara Abrams, Director of the JFCS Special Needs Program. “Kimberly has hit the ground running, coming up with many new and innovative program ideas to keep the SAIL participants engaged and interested. SAIL currently has 45 active members who are always eager to try new things, so this is a great match!”
Kim worked as a school social worker, school counselor and as a child study team coordinator, which has provided her with experience to understand the needs of SAIL clients.
“It is not only my goal to help create fun activities for the SAIL participants, but to help participants build new friendships. One of the major benefits of having friends is that they improve our lives. They help us develop a sense of sharing, be it tangible things or just inspirational or motivational words of wisdom,” says Kimberly.
In addition to Kimberly, the JFCS Special Needs Program also welcomed Robin Cohen as the Soups and Sweets Special Needs Culinary Training Program Coordinator. “I was drawn to the position because I was looking to incorporate my teaching skills with my passion for cooking and baking … and this is that job,” says Robin. “As a former special education teacher, Soups and Sweets allows me to see what happens to young adults with learning needs after their high school education is completed. It is rewarding to watch them obtain culinary skills and know that there is employment in their future. The positive environment, the dedicated staff, and the volunteers inspire me to provide the best possible opportunities to our students.”
Robin was a member of the JFCS special needs job coaching team for the past year, prior to assuming her new role. “Robin came to JFCS after spending her 39-year career as a special education teacher, mostly for the Mt. Laurel School District. Upon her retirement, she knew that she wanted to stay working with individuals with special needs,” said Barbara. “Robin brings a great deal of spirit, wisdom, and experience baking to her new position and we look forward to having her in our Soups and Sweets kitchen.”
JFCS is excited to see the strides the programs will make with Kimberly and Robin as part of the team. Stay tuned!
**We invite you to learn more about information about SAIL Program, by visiting here!
For the brand new, delicious High Holiday catering menu brought to you by the Soups and Sweets Special Needs Culinary Training Program, visit here, and place your order!