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The typical age range of Teen and Young Adult Kehillah participants is ages 14 – 26. Always remaining flexible to our community’s needs, we will do our best to work with you to choose the appropriate classes based on developmental level to ensure a good experience for all participants! Many of our social and community events appeal to young adult participants of a wider age range.

Current Teen and Young Adult Kehillah Offerings

Adaptive Aquatics (Waiting List Only)

Participants will receive 1:1 instruction in acquiring water safety skills, swimming skills, and self-confidence. Instruction is customized to fit the individual’s physical and developmental abilities. This is an 8-week long course.

Cost: $180 members, $200 general public

Best Buddies
Online (Zoom)

Club Kehillah Social Group
Thursdays, 4:30 PM (ages 15+)
Online (Zoom)

This program provides quality recreational and enrichment programs for adults with different abilities. We are committed to providing a welcoming and supportive environment where participants develop skills, independence, and self-esteem while also fostering social and life skills and cultivating meaningful relationships. Our goal is to create a feeling of community at the J for individuals of all abilities.

$48/month members, $60/month general public

Move to the Beat
Tuesdays, 5:00 – 5:45 PM (Ages 8+)

We get up and move to the beat while accommodating all abilities and finish with a cool-down at the end with mindfulness and yoga. This is an 8-week long course.

Cost: $75 members, $90 general public

Acting with Purpose (Not Currently Available)
A social-emotional program that puts mindfulness, empathy, and social awareness at the forefront. This group will practice social and pragmatic skills, social awareness, and self-regulation. Our friends will learn how to act in different situations while playing games, socializing, and having fun! This is an 8-week long course.

Cost: $216 members, $240 general public

Basketball (Not Currently Available)
Join us to practice, improve, and learn new basketball skills! This is an 8-week long course.

Cost: $60 members, $75 general public

Co-Ed Fun Fit Club (Not Currently Available)
Wednesdays, 4:00 – 4:45 PM (Ages 10+)

Individualized workout sessions for all abilities, with an emphasis on safety and proper form and an incorporation of both cardio and strengthening activities. This is an 8-week long course.

Cost: $80 members, $100 general public

Cooking (Not Currently Available)
Wednesdays, 5:00 PM (Ages 10+)
Online (Zoom)

Our cooking class teaches kitchen safety skills and basic recipes. Participants can get ingredients prior to class and create a delicious dish with the instructor. This is an 8-week long course.

Cost: $60 members, $75 general public

Creative Friends Art Class (Not Currently Available)
Mondays, 4:00 PM
Online (Zoom)

We love to express ourselves through art and look forward to seeing what masterpieces our friends will create! This is an 8-week long program.

$96 members, $120 general public

Drum Lessons (Not Currently Available)
Individual 1:1 thirty-minute long drum lessons from Dirk Litzner, a world-traveled percussionist who is patient and understanding of different learning styles. This is a 10-week long course.

Cost: $300 members, $350 general public

Guitar Lessons (Not Currently Available)
Beginner, intermediate, or advanced guitar lessons for the special needs learner with Dirk Litzner. This is a 10-week long course.

Cost: $300 members, $350 general public.

Music with Rusty (Not Currently Available)
(Ages 8+)

Michael “Rusty” Russell, MTBC, is a board-certified music therapist who specializes in teaching music to children and adults with disabilities. He uses music to increase social skills including speech, non-verbal communication, interaction, and confidence-building. Parents are welcome to join the group and can be wonderful models and support for our friends by participating in vocal and instrumental music-making. There are no pre-requisites for our groups and children of all ages and abilities are welcome!

Cost: $120 members, $135 general public

SensiPlay (Not Currently Available)
A new sensory motor program in collaboration with Bay Path University. Children will enhance their fine and gross motor skills through occupational therapy strategies. Our newly renovated sensory gym includes multi-therapeutic swings, a ball pit, a plethora of fine motor tools, and additional gross motor equipment. This program is facilitated by a Registered Occupational Therapist or a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant with the help of four Master-level occupational therapist students

Best Buddies

We are excited to have our own Best Buddies Chapter at the J as part of our Kehillah programs for teens. Best Buddies is a non-profit global organization that creates opportunities for one to one friendships for people with social, intellectual, or developmental disabilities. By joining with Best Buddies to expand our program, we are able to accept teens and pre-teens from all Western Masschusetts school districts. This program helps break the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities from those without. 

We still have openings for middle and high school age participants. If you have a family member or friend who would benefit from making friendships, attending fun monthly events, and more, please fill out an intake form and contact form and send them back by email, fax it to (739) 4747, or mail it to the J (1160 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA 01108; Attention: Tina Edwards).


Tina Edwards
Inclusion Leader

Fitness Buddies

Fitness Buddies matches teens and young adults that have social challenges with teens and adults in the community to workout together at the Springfield JCC. This program includes a training period that works with the fitness buddies on what they need to bring to the gym, making plans with your fitness buddy, arranging transportation, how to sign in, appropriate locker room use and behavior, equipment use and safety, and the social pragmatics of a fitness center.

Teams can work out in several areas of the J, including the pool, aerobic classes, cycling, and the fitness center. Our goal is for them to have fun while getting healthy and trying a variety of exercises to keep them engaged and interested.

Our goal for this program is simple: foster healthy habits and friendships between fitness buddies and their community workout buddies and teach safety awareness and proper fitness skills that can be apply to any fitness center.

Interested in becoming a Fitness Buddy? Fill out the forms below and send them back by email, fax it to (413) 739-4747, or mail it to the J (1160 Dickinson Street,Springfield, MA 01108; Attention: Tina Edwards).

Thank you to Doug Flutie Foundation for their initial donation to support this wonderful and necessary offering. Their generosity allowed us the tools to start the program.

Thank you to the Ronald McDonald House Charities for their generous donation which allowed us to purchase two youth expresso bikes. These bikes make the workout more fun, and more competitive!

Thank you to Autism Speaks for their supportive neighborhood grant which enables more health and wellness, and friendship opportunities to our participants!