CAHAL (Communities Acting to Heighten Awareness and Learning) is a program of smaller classes for children with various learning differences from Kindergarten through 8th grade.
CAHAL is a partnership, serving students in 11 yeshivas in the 5-Towns, Far Rockaway, West Hempstead, Queens and greater Nassau County. Each school has children that require a program like CAHAL, yet most do not have enough students on the same grade level to open a class, nor the funding to provide related support services or professional guidance. Only through the yeshivas’ joint efforts and CAHAL’s outstanding system of classes and services do the children with learning differences have a school to call their own. As a consortium, decision-making is a joint process, with the involvement of principals and lay leaders from each school. In a beautiful display of unity, meetings and continuous discussions are held each year to assess the needs of CAHAL and the children in the community.
CAHAL classes are located in the community yeshivas and Bais Yaakov schools. Our classrooms are not identified differently, and there is no sign on the door that says “CAHAL.” Our students and mainstream students jointly participate in all non-academic activities such as recess, lunch, gym, art, music, science, and grade level special programs and events. The students are included as students of the host school, rather than students of CAHAL.
The goal of the program is to enable the students to return to their mainstream school. As the children develop their learning and social skills, CAHAL will mainstream them into the regular classes. The fact that CAHAL classes are located in the local yeshivas rather than in a separate school helps to facilitate and streamline the mainstreaming process. There are no travel or transportation issues to delay or impede this process. Many children are mainstreamed for one or more academic periods a day.
At CAHAL, the small classes, highly individualized attention (4 to 1 student to teacher ratio with a maximum of 12 students) and uniquely designed programs encourage and foster the children’s success, preparing them for advanced studies and adulthood.
Founded in 1992
11 participating yeshivas
Kindergarten through 8th grade
70 staff members (teachers, support staff, therapists, administration)
Related services – SL,OT, PT
Tuition Assistance available for those in need
THIRTEEN CAHAL Classes
“Even I can’t believe it!” says Dr. Norman N. Blumenthal, founder and Chairman of the Board of Education of CAHAL. “When we began our first class in 1992, it was a miracle. Today, with 13 self contained classes, we are among the largest programs for children with learning differences in the nation.”
“We have always been a most unique organization,” explains Dr. Blumenthal. “CAHAL unites 11 schools from across the spectrum. Don’t kid yourself – this is an unprecedented feat. In today’s age of divisiveness and splintered factions, we can all be proud of the schools in our community that work together closely and faithfully for the benefit of our children.”
CAHAL schools include Bais Yaakov Ateres Miriam, Bnos Bais Yaakov, Shulamith School for Girls, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns & Rockaway, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, Mesivta Ateres Yaakov, Torah Academy for Girls, Yeshiva Darchei Torah, Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island and Yeshiva of South Shore.
CAHAL would not endure were it not for the harmony and unity that exists among these schools. There is nothing more beautiful or inspiring than seeing the principals and board members from all the schools meet to discuss ways to help our neighborhood children. Differences in hashkafa are pushed aside for the common good of the community. CAHAL is the Jewish people at their best.
CAHAL has serviced the Jewish community since 1992 and has become a nationally acclaimed program, winning the admiration of educators throughout the United States. Yet CAHAL remains a local, community-based organization, serving the needs of its neighborhood children. The progress that has been made with learning-challenged children who live in our community can make us all proud.
CAHAL. A shining star in our community. A bright future for our children.