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Club Kehillah Social Group

Club Kehillah is designed for individuals who are 15 years and older with cognitive, developmental disabilities, and social challenges.

The mission of Club Kehillah Social Group is to provide quality recreational and enrichment programs for young to older 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.

The Club Kehillah Social Group, like all programs at the J, is open to people of all faiths, ethnicities, and beliefs.

More Information

When and where are classes held?

During 2021, we have shifted our classes to an a virtual Zoom format and, if weather permits, we met outside at the J or at a community site.

How can I get involved?

Contact Tina Edwards, Kehillah Director, via email or by calling (413) 739-4715, x315.

Teen & Young Adult

The typical age range of Teen and Young Adult Kehillah class 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 – ensuring a good experience for all participants! Many of our social and community events appeal to young adult participants of a wider age range.

Class Descriptions & Fees

Adaptive Aquatics

You will receive 1:1 instruction in acquiring the next step in your swimming skills. This can range from a beginner swimmer working on water safety skills to an experienced swimmer who wants to get improve their skills. Instruction is customized to fit your physical and developmental abilities. This is an 8 week lesson block offered on Friday, Saturday or Sunday afternoons, additional afternoons might be available.

Fee: $180 Members, $200 General Public


Creative Friends Art Class
January 11 – March 1, 2021 | Mondays at 4:00 – 4:45 PM
Zoom Class – ages 8+
We love to express ourselves through art and look forward to seeing what masterpieces our friends will create!
$96 JCC members, $120 general public for 8 sessions


Acting with Purpose
January 12 – March 2 | Tuesdays at 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Zoom Class – ages 10+
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!
$216 JCC members, $240 general public for 8 sessions

Move to the Beat with Patty
January 5 – March 2, 2021 | Tuesdays at 5:00 – 5:45 pm
In-Person Class at the J – ages 8+
We get up and move to the beat, accommodating all abilities then cool-down at the end with mindfulness and yoga.
$75 JCC members, $90 general public for 8 sessions

Co-Ed Fun Fit Club
January 13 – March 10, 2021 | Wednesdays at 4:00 – 4:45 pm
In-Person Class at the J – ages 10+
J.R. individualizes work out sessions for all abilities in his class, emphasizing safety and proper form, incorporating cardio and strengthening activities.
$80 JCC members, $100 general public for 8 sessions

January 13 – March 10 | Wednesdays, 4:00 – 4:45 pm
In-Person at the J – all ages
Join us to practice, improve and learn new basketball skills!
$60 JCC members, $75 general public for 8 sessions

Afternoon Adventures with Kati
January 13 – March 10 | Wednesdays at 4:30 – 5:15 pm
Zoom class – ages 3-8
Join Kati Otero, a board-certified Occupational Therapist from Bay Path University, as we practice fine and gross motor skills, experience sensory play, and socialize with our peers in a safe, structured remote environment. Activities are geared towards ages 3+.
$60 JCC members, $75 general public for 8 sessions

January 13 – March 10, 2021 | Wednesdays at 5:00 pm
Zoom class – ages 10+
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.
$60 JCC members, $75 general public for 8 sessions


Music with Rusty
January 14 – March 11
Ages 8 and up: 3:30 – 4:15 pm
Ages up to 8: 4:15 – 5:00 pm
Zoom Class
$120 JCC members, $150 general public for 8 sessions

Michael “Rusty” Russell, MTBC, is a board-certified music therapist specializing in music with children and adults with disabilities. He uses music to increase social skills: speech, non-verbal communication, interaction and confidence building. Musical instruments are used to increase sharing skills, following directions, and emotional expression. Parents are welcome to join the group and can be wonderful models and support for our children by participating in vocal and instrumental music making. There are no prerequisites for our groups, children of all abilities are welcome!

Club Kehillah Social Group
Ongoing | Thursdays | 4:30 – 5:15 pm
Zoom Class – ages 15+
Our friends like to get together, whether in-person or on-line, to play games and socialize!
$48 JCC members, $60 general public per month

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 MA 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 (see below) and send it back by email, or fax to 739-4747, or drop it off at the J at 1160 Dickinson Street, Springfield attention Tina Edwards. 

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.

More Information

What does this include?

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 you sign in, appropriate locker room use and behavior, equipment use and safety, social pragmatics of a fitness center and more. 

Where do we work out?

Teams can work out in several areas of the JCC including the pool, aerobic classes, cycling as well as the fitness center – our goal is for them to have fun getting healthy and to try a variety of exercises to keep them interested. 

What is our goal?

Our goal for this program is simple; that not only does it bring both health and friendship to the fitness buddy and their community workout buddy, but it provides safety awareness and proper fitness skills that can be used at any fitness center they might want to be a part of. 

Interested in becoming a Fitness Buddy? Just fill out the forms below and return them to the Kehillah office at the J or fax them to (413) 739-4747.

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!