Special Needs

Congregation Beth Jacob strives to enable all children to access Jewish Community and a Jewish Education through a variety of programs designed to support individual differences which include physical, psychological, emotional, environmental, and spiritual needs.




Read this NY Times article entitled Hanukkah, Autism and One Temple’s Run at a Miracle highlighting the important role that synagogues can play in the lives of those with autism.


The Special Needs Committee was established to suggest appropriate steps to providing religious and educational support for special needs children and their families by researching different types of support programs, communicate with the Beth Jacob community about special needs support and programs, determine select programs to be implemented to provide parent education and support activities, and community education and awareness.

To date, the Special Needs Committee has been responsible for an on-line survey to the Beth Jacob community regarding special needs,  the Inclusion Corner in the monthly bulletin, a Special Needs Simulation evening in partnership with the Children’s Health Council of Palo Alto, a Special Needs Awareness Shabbat, a community-wide Day of Learning, and special needs support in the Preschool and Religious School.

If you are interested in joining our Special Needs Committee, we would love to have you.  Please contact Ann Cauterucci by email or at 650-366-8481.


For Adults

Chicken Soup for the Soul; Children with Special Needs by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Heather McNamara, and Karen Simmons

The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowits, M.A.

Too Loud Too Bright Too Fast Too Tight by Sharon Heller, Ph.D.

The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.

Why Do I Have To?  A Book for Children Who Find Themselves Frustrated by Everyday Rules by Laurie Leventhal-Belfer

For Children

Views from Our Shoes; Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs Edited by Donald Meyer

Hi, I’m Ben!  …And I’ve Got a Secret! by Julie A. Bouwkamp

Don’t Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability by Pat Thomas

Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book by Celeste Shally and David Harrington

My Friend Isabelle by Eliza Woloson

Be Quiet, Marina! by Kirsten DeBear

Ian’s Walk; A Story About Autism by Laurie Lears

Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis

Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson

We Go in a Circle by Peggy Perry Anderson



abilitiesunited.org - Abilities United champions people with developmental and physical challenges and provides the training, education, and support they need to lead the lives they choose.

cdc.gov - The Center for Disease Control’s interactive tools to track your child’s development.

cdc.gov - The Center for Disease Control’s top resources on the life stages of infants and toddlers.

autismspeaks.org - Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed an unprecedented $128 million in new research funding through 2014 to uncover the cause(s), prevention, treatments and cure for autism, making it the nation's top private funder of autism research. Through historic mergers with the Autism Coalition for Research and Education, the National Alliance for Autism Research, and, most recently, Cure Autism Now, Autism Speaks is one of the largest foundations dedicated to autism in the world, with more than 130 employees, and walk chapters across the US, Canada, and UK.

oneiladvocacygroup.com - The O’Neil Advocacy Group helps parents as coaches, guides, and mediators through issues and challenges.  They assist clients in a three stage process involving Assessment, Action Plans and Follow Up Sessions

allsinc.com - Associated Learning and Language Specialists, Inc. (ALLS) is a private clinical practice as well as a contractor providing many therapists to school districts in our area. We serve the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula and provide high quality speech, language, occupational and developmental therapy; and counseling and education services for a variety of needs from infant through adult populations.

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