The Jewish Children’s Regional Service (JCRS) is the oldest existing Jewish children’s social services organization in America - providing a financial safety net to vulnerable Jewish youth throughout the south for over 150 years. Through generous supporters like you, JCRS is able to reach out to over 1,000 youth annually with unique programs that are unavailable elsewhere.
Some of these are: - paid college scholarships, including grants and no-interest loans - caring services for kids with developmental problems and special needs - once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the joy of summer camp
Our Services at a Glance
We are primarily focused helping Jewish children and families with the below programs & services:
The JFS Alexander Institute is a resource created to enrich and empower families and caregivers through professional services, education, advocacy, opportunities, referrals and information of the highest quality within a Jewish framework. The Institute is working to develop programs and services that will not only provide answers, but will also endeavor to strengthen and improve the quality of life for individuals with special needs and those who love them.
If you have a loved one, of any age, with developmental or functional disabilities: cognitive, mental, physical, psychological, sensory or other challenges, the professional staff and dedicated volunteers of the JFS Alexander Institute have the knowledge, experience and sensitivity to work with you throughout the complicated process of addressing special needs issues. You are not alone.
In addition to its own services and programs, the Institute is working in collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and the Bureau of Jewish Education, Chabad Outreach, the Jewish Community Center, schools, congregations and other agencies and organizations to develop complementary quality special needs services.
Jewish Family Service Alexander Institute services and programs include:
Information, resources and referrals
Life planning: understanding the issues and opportunities
Jewish special connections
For Parents and Caregivers
Meaningful programs and events
For Your Special Family Member
Counseling: individual and group
COMING SOON! www.chaitime4us.org: a safe, secure, monitored online website exclusively for young adults with special needs
Employment services: job counseling, assessment, placement and support
We are committed to providing supportive services for members of the Jewish community who have special needs. Your input is important. Please help us in the planning process by completing the Confidential Special Needs Questionnaire. For more information, please call (713) 667-9336 or Email.
Our skilled professionals work individually with clients to assess their skills and strengths and develop action plans designed to lead them into successful participation in the workplace. Confidentiality is assured.
The JCC offers a varied selection of activities and services designed to meet the social and recreational needs of people with special needs. These groups offer them opportunities to enhance their self-esteem and improve social skills while developing meaningful relationships. Whenever possible we work to integrate participants into ongoing classes and events.
If you are physically impaired and need handicap access to the gym and recreational area, please notify the Membership Office in advance at 713-729-3200 ext. 3220 or email this address.
Gymnastics Super Stars
Club Haver (suspended due to lack of attendance) Club Haver offers services and programs for K-5th grade children with special needs.
Club Haver provides monthly social and Jewish learning events.
In addition, we work to mainstream participants into our children’s program with the assistance of trained staff.
We provide developmentally appropriate social programs and support to children with special needs.
We focus on the whole child and his or her social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.
We believe that parents are our partners. They are included as active members of the program.
All events begin at 4:00 p.m. Fee: $10
For more information contact Eric Bishop at 713-729-3200 ext. 3230.
Adapted Aquatic - Youth/Teens/Adults
These classes are designed for individuals with special needs who require individualized swim instruction and/or adaptive equipment to be successful in the water. Lessons are customized for each student to teach water safety, functional and recreational swimming skills with the ultimate goal of progressing through the American Red Cross Learn To Swim Levels. Instructor is specifically trained and experienced in working with individual with special needs.
For more information, please contact Tonya Hall at 713-729-3290 ext. 3290.
Gymnastics Super Stars -Special Needs Class 3 - 13 yrs.
Parent and child explore a fun world together in the gym and enjoy an introduction to physical play promoting coordination, balance and strength. Full state-of-the-art gymnastics facility and equipment is utilized. Fantastic way to improve motor skills and even cognitive awareness! Excellent way for children with special needs to join the fun and learn to develop and interact with challenging activities and friends. Non-stop action from one activity to another. Open to the public! Shadow could be required for class participation. Max 10. Inst: Professional Staff
For more information, please contact Leslie Holmes at 713-729-3200 ext. 3250.
TOPSoccer - Sundays • 5:30 - 6:15 p.m.
TOPSoccer is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. The overall program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl, ages 4-19, who has a mental or physical disability. The program is coordinated by Eric Bishop along with soccer Coach Jonathan and VOLUNTEERS.
The program is open to children with special needs who require specific modifications on the game. Participation helps develop general motor skills, soccer-specific skills, social & cognitive skills, as well as teamwork, in a fun and relaxed environment. Each child receive a soccer ball to motivate participation at practices and at home. Trophies will be handed-out at the end of each session. There is a minimum of 4 and maximum of 10 children per class, with at least 2 coaches per group.
The Nite Owls is an amazing group started over twenty years ago as a social group for Jewish teens with special needs. The group stayed together over the years and has grown into a special needs group for all adults in the community. There are currently 30 members, some of whom were part of the original teen group. The Owls participate in many activities throughout the year including arts and crafts, athletics, cooking, yoga, Jewish and secular holiday celebrations and, of course, field trips. Field trips include going to an Astros game, hay rides, mini golf, bowling, IMAX movies and much more. The program also allows for families of the group members to interact with each other and form a support network. Through community involvement, the group hopes to decrease the stigma surrounding people with special needs
You do not have to be Jewish to join the group, but you do have to be a member of the JCC. Single adult memberships are available as well as scholarships for those who qualify.
For more information on the Nite Owls contact Eric Bishop at 713-729-3200 ext. 3230.
STARS Preschool Intervention Program was designed to enable preschool children, with language, social pragmatic and sensory motor challenges, to attain skills required for transition into traditional school settings. Our program provides multi-disciplinary intervention in a highly structured, language based, creative and nurturing environment within a Jewish setting. Families are collaborative partners in the ongoing observation, treatment and education of our students. Children have the unique opportunity to develop communication, play and social skills with typical peer groups at a traditional preschool campus.
(Currently suspended) Yad B' Yad - Inclusive Jewish Day School pilot program for 1 hour and 30 minutes once a week
Are you interested in your child taking part in an "Inclusive Jewish School Program"?
Yad B'Yad - (hand in hand)
Last school year such a program was introduced at Beren Academy every Wednesday from 3 pm till 4:30 pm.
Children over the age of 8 were able to take part in classes and/or group activities with their typical peers.
Being surrounded by fellow Jewish students in a Jewish environment was a great success.
The program is open to all Jewish children irrespective of their degree of observance.
The program also benefited the Beren students who learned to be more accommodating and understanding.
BUT for the program to continue, it needs more participants so PLEASE consider joining - if not weekly then bi-weekly.
Contact: participating parent Mark K, to express your interest in joining this group.