Nysha Recent News

Happenings around Hamaspik

Membership Has Its (Card-carrying) Benefits

Seasonal Employee Satisfaction a Perennial Passion at Hamaspik


From standard employee benefits including healthcare and vacation to holiday bonuses and appreciation event, Hamaspik has always striven to thank its hardworking employees.


Most recently, Hamaspik of Orange County yet again went the extra mile for its entire team, teaming up with local retailers to provide employees with a year-round discount card.


The initiative, which will amount to substantial savings across 12 months of staples shopping, joins similar initiatives already long in place for Hamaspik employees in Kings and Rockland Counties.


When Hamaspik says it supports people, it means everyone—including the people who support people.

Parental appreciation served up at Hamaspik’s Respite Weekend

Kids with Hamaspik of Rockland, Kings Respite Programs Acclimated Throughout


“My daughter… just spent Shabbos at the hotel with the rest of the children and the wonderful staff, and she had such a wonderful time!”


So reported an elated mother in a March 20 voice mail left with NYSHA Executive Director and Hamaspik founder Meyer Wertheimer.


It referred to the 6th annual Shabbaton children’s weekend getaway event for young folk with disabilities who regularly benefit from Hamaspik’s Respite programs.  The most recent event was hosted by Hamaspik at the Crowne Plaza Hotel this past March 16-18.


“She came home all smiles,” Mom continued.  “She danced and she ate, she played, she participated beautifully!  It was the first time that she really fully participated.  And the staff?  Everybody gave her such a wonderful time.”


The grateful parent singled out Hamaspik Special Events Coordinator Mrs. Brenda Katina for special praise, underscoring the “excellent” program that she ran across a weekend.  She also blessed Mr. Wertheimer with strength to “keep up your avodas hakodesh” (holy work).


It’s one thing to extend Respite’s weekday program into a weekend of skills-building training—during which participants practiced table manners, making beds and such.


It’s another when that same event grants parents a much-needed break from special parenting (especially before Passover as it did)—and all the more so when their children come home “new and improved,” too.

Hamaspik of Kings County After-School Respite (ASR) Program Flourishing


It’s only been a few months since it’s opened its doors. But in the interim, like so many of its fellow Hamaspik programs supporting the community, it’s become a veritable pillar of the community.


The parents who benefit from it certainly think so.


Hamaspik of Kings County’s After-School Respite (ASR) Program, like the successful identical programs run for years now by Hamaspik in upstate Monsey and Kiryas Joel, sees schoolchildren with intellectual disabilities visit each school-day afternoon for several hours of therapeutic stimulation and education—all cleverly disguised as fun and games.


It’s all designed to maximize much-needed break time for their fathers and mothers, whom will be the first to tell you of the joyful rigors of special-needs parenting (and the need for breathing space it often generates).


Thanks to the OPWDD’s ASR program, though, parents of special-needs school children are afforded that daily break—through participating non-profits like Hamaspik.


Under the outstanding leadership of Director Ms. Weiss, a professional special-needs educator, the children visit each day for rounds of reading, writing, and exercise physical and mental—all dressed up as exciting and colorful camp-like activities.


Beginning with a handful of children at the get-go, the program’s colorful classrooms are now filled with excited kids each day.

An Environment of Sustainability

Hamaspik Does Small Part to Keep Orange County Green


Hydroelectric.  Solar.  Wind. 


Those are just some of the alternative sources of cheap, clean and green energy that is fueling the ongoing rise of environmentally-friendly common hardware items, like commercial lighting fixtures.


Against that background, with the fall of traditional light bulbs has come the rise of compact fluorescent and high-tech LEDs for light sources both indoor and out.  And in keeping with the times, Hamaspik of Orange County contributed its part to reducing New York State reliance on fossil fuels—by recently switching the exterior lighting on all its residential and administrative facilities in upstate Kiryas Joel to LEDs.


The cutting-edge items use far less electricity, generate significantly more light, and give off far less pollution than their old-school counterparts.


When it comes to integration, Hamaspik’s always provided a healthy environment.  Now, it’s doing its part toward providing a healthy environment for the environment, too.

For Kids with Multiple Diagnoses, Hamaspik Still Driving Ahead

Transportation, Coordination Services Heaven-sent for Parents


If its individual success stories are any indication, Hamaspik of Rockland County is quite the successful non-profit—at least if you ask the parents of children with multiple medical conditions who’ve directly benefited.


For children with at least two qualifying chronic medical conditions (or one mental-health condition), life is hardly a walk in the park. 


That’s why Medicaid provides Health Home Servicing Children (HHSC) services through non-profit Care Management Agencies (CMAs) like Hamaspik of Rockland County.


Led by at-Home Services Director Moshe Laufer, Hamaspik’s HHSC services quite literally drive home the caring—and the cared-for home.  It does so by invoking Medicaid’s transportation benefit, coordinating third-party transportation services to whisk young patients to and from all caregiver appointments—thus eliminating one critical logistical hurdle for parents.


But the specialized Care Managers cover far more.


For example, Care Manager Hamaspik Jody Brauner has real-time access to each patient’s data—giving her the electronic health records (EHRs) she needs in the course of a day’s work to coordinate total care for each individual.  That includes networking with parents and providers, filling out often-extensive paperwork, and otherwise securing the best medical care.


For a CMA provider, that’s the job description.  At Hamaspik, it’s the drive.

With Party, Day Hab Celebrates Beloved Staff Member’s Personal Miracle

One fine morning this past March, the young men who benefit daily from Hamaspik of Rockland County’s Day Habilitation (Day Hab) Program hailed another milestone.

Festive events are commonplace occurrences at Day Hab.  For starters, devoted Manager Pinchos Knopfler regularly sees to it that each gentlemen’s birthday is embraced and treated with the mainstream respect that it deserves. 

A weekly pre-Shabbos party is likewise held each Friday, getting the gentlemen in tune with the wider community to which they belong and putting them in sync with their faith tradition.

But on this past Friday, March 9, it wasn’t another birthday party or other lifecycle event—a close relative’s wedding or Bar Mitzvah, for example—that Mr. Knopfler and crew had “his boys” celebrating.

Rather, it was a personal and far-from-minor miracle experienced by one of the Day Hab’s long-time Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Mr. Yechezkel (Chezky) Levy.

Mr. Levy, en route to a wedding one night not too long before that (he’s a professional singer), lost control of his car while exiting the highway.  While it took a tree to bring his automobile to a halt, the vehicle’s damage was minimal enough to allow him to shortly proceed, shaken but grateful to be alive.

And, of course, in due time, Mr. Levy found himself sharing that gratitude with a group of young men who were only too happy to reciprocate.