The Amanda Sham Resource Center for Children with Special Needs is designed to provide educational services to children with learning differences. Through this regionally acclaimed program, children receive the support necessary to allow them to participate fully in our Mensch Lab. We are very proud at Beth Am to be able to provide a Jewish education for EVERY child and that we are able to support our families through this process as well. Our center utilizes experiential programs and cutting-edge technology to aid in the learning process. All of our Special Needs teachers have extensive experience in Resource Room education.
The Resource Center honors one of our own congregants, Amanda Sham, who, with the support of excellent teachers and the synagogue community, was able to receive a full and meaningful Jewish education here at Beth Am. We operate on the ideal that “each child is taught according to his/her ability.” (Proverbs 22:6).
We begin the process with a student profile which enables each parent to give us the necessary information. The primary Mensch Lab teachers work with the Resource Center teachers, the parents, and Rabbi-Educator, using information from the child’s IEP (individual educational plan) from their day school. An individual plan is created for each child which may include: “pull-out, plug-in or both.” Working together, the team helps the child learn to the best of their ability and in the way that best suits them.
Once the child reaches the age for b. mitzvah preparation, a team meeting is planned with the Rabbis, Cantor, parents, and Resource Center teacher(s). An individualized plan is put in place for the child’s b. mitzvah training.
For more information about the Amanda Sham Resource Center for Children with Special Needs, contact the Mensch Lab Office at
The Roberta z”l and Dr. Herb Kronstadt Scholarship Fund. We are excited to share with you two scholarship opportunities for students in our community each year. First, a scholarship is available for a student with special needs whose family requires assistance in paying for their Mensch Lab education and b. mitzvah training. The second is for a student with special needs who would like to become b. mitzvah, but whose more severe needs prevent them from participating in our Mensch Lab program. Please let Rabbi Tornberg know if you know of a family (whether or not they are Beth Am members) who are interested in learning more.