‘Game on for Autism’ raises more than $50,000 for Sid Jacobson JCC’s Camp Kehilla for kids with special needs

‘Game on for Autism’ raises more than $50,000 for Sid Jacobson JCC’s Camp Kehilla for kids with special needs
Jared and Jocelyn Wasserman, organizers, along with Sid Jacobson JCC Executive Director David Black (photo credit: Jocelyn Wasserman)

On Sunday, June 3, members, staff, and supporters of Sid Jacobson JCC – the only full-service JCC on Long Island’s North Shore – raised more than $50,000 for Camp Kehilla, SJJCC’s camp for children with special needs, during a fun afternoon of community flag football.

Now in its second year, “Game on for Autism,” was brought together by Jocelyn Wasserman (an SJJCC board member) and her husband, Jared, in response to the needs of their own family in an effort to help others.

More than 300 people showed up to the Park At East Hills on a sunny Sunday afternoon to play tag football and show support for the Wassermans and other SJJCC families who want their children to have the camp experience of a lifetime by helping Camp Kehilla fund a brand new playground set. 

“After the first year was a success, we wanted to continue to bring the community together for a fun day to help families with special needs,” said Wasserman. “We are so overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of love and support from this years event. We are so happy that GAME ON For Autism could raise over $50,000 to build a sensory playground that will enhance children’s summer experience at Camp Kehilla.

Our children with special needs also deserve a traditional summer camp experience and Camp Kehilla provides this in a warm, nurturing environment. We feel so good about the outcome of the second annual Game On and look forward to bringing it back next year.” 

“We are so grateful to Jocelyn and her entire family for all of their efforts in not only pulling together this wonderful event but for directing all of the donations to Camp Kehilla – a place where kids of all abilities can enjoy a fun and relaxing summer experience,” said Amanda Foglietta, Sid Jacobson JCC’s director of the Sandler Family Kehilla Center. “The afternoon at the park was joyous, filled with love and laughter, and everyone there knew all of the work was going towards such a fulfilling mission, which made it even more special!” 

Camp Kehilla is designed to make the typical camp experience accessible to those with various special needs. The camp, which operates on the grounds of the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds in Wheatley Heights, allows for a customized summer for children ages 5-21 years with developmental disabilities, Autism spectrum disorder, and/or other neurodevelopmental conditions. 


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