CAHAL (Communities Acting to Heighten Awareness and Learning) is a program of self-contained classes for children with various learning challenges from Kindergarten through High School.

CAHAL is a partnership, serving students in twelve 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 challenges 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 discuss the needs of CAHAL and the children in the community.

CAHAL classes are in the local yeshivas. This way, the children are not isolated in a separate school, but are in the same school as their friends, neighbors and siblings. Their classroom is adjacent to all the other rooms, and outwardly looks the same. There is no sign on the door that says "CAHAL." CAHAL students and mainstream students jointly participate in all non-academic activities such as class trips, gym, recess, lunch, plays, art, music, and science fairs. The children, therefore, feel like students of the host school rather than students of CAHAL.

The goal of the program is to mainstream the children back into regular classes at their home 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 periods a day.

At CAHAL, the small classes, highly individualized attention (4 to 1 student to teacher ratio) and uniquely designed programs encourage and foster the children’s success, preparing them for advanced studies and adulthood.


  •  Founded in 1992.
  •  11 participating yeshivas
  •  12 classes
  •  Kindergarten through 12th grade
  •  110 students
  •  70 staff members (teachers, support staff, therapists, administration)
  •  Counseling support
  •  Integration of speech, occupational and physical therapy within the classroom
  •  Tuition Assistance available for those in need


"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 12 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 twelve 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, 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.

Beginning its 29th year of service to the Jewish community, CAHAL 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.


Grade 1 boys
Hebrew Academy of Nassau County
609 Hempstead Avenue, West Hempstead, N.Y. 11552
Rabbi Yaakov Sadigh, Principal
Mrs. Barbara Deutsch, Assistant Principal
Kindergarten girls Shulamith School for Girls
140 Irving Place
Woodmere, N.Y. 11598
Mrs. Esther Kirschbaum, Early Childhood Director

Grade1-2 girls

Shulamith School for Girls
305 Cedarhurst Avenue
Cedarhurst, N.Y. 11516
Mrs. Joyce Yarmak, Elementary School Principal
Grade 1-2 boys

Yeshiva of South Shore
1170 William Street, Hewlett, N.Y. 11557 
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, Rosh HaYeshiva 
Mrs. Leah Girnun, General Studies Principall
Rabbi Avraham Robinson, Associate Menahel

Grade 3-4 boys

Yeshiva Darchei Torah
257 Beach 17th Street, Far Rockaway, N.Y. 11691
Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rosh HaYeshiva
Rabbi Shmuel Strickman, Elementary School Menahel
Rabbi Dovid Morgenstern, Elementary School Menahel
Mrs. Ariella Kellman, Elementary General Studies Principal

Grade 3-4 girls Torah Academy for Girls
Yeshiva Darchei Torah
444 Beach 6th Street, Far Rockaway, N.Y. 11691
Rabbi Meyer Weitman, Dean
Mrs. Menucha Levin, Principal, Limudei Kodesh
Mrs. Temima Feldman, Principal, General Studies
Grade 4-5 boys

Yeshiva of South Shore
1170 William Street, Hewlett, N.Y. 11557 
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, Rosh HaYeshiva 
Mrs. Leah Girnun, General Studies Principal
Rabbi Avraham Robinson, Associate Menahel

Grade 4-5 boys Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island
321 Doughty Blvd, Inwood, N.Y. 11096
Rabbi Tzvi Krigsman, Menahel
Mrs. Larissa Steele, General Studies Principal
Grade 6-7 girls

Bais Yaakov Ateres Miriam
1214 Heyson Road, Far Rockaway, N.Y. 11691
Rabbi Nosson Neuman, Menahel
Mrs. Leah Zytman, Principal

Grade 6-7 boys

Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway
33 Washington Avenue, Lawrence, N.Y. 11559
Ms. Joy Hammer, Lower School Principal
Ms. Tova Zucker, Lower School Assistant Principal
Mr. Joshua Gold, Middle School Principal

Grade 8 girls

Torah Academy for Girls
444 Beach 6th Street, Far Rockaway, N.Y. 11691
Rabbi Meyer Weitman, Dean
Mrs. Batya Krasnow, Principal, Limudei Kodesh
Mrs. Cecile Wieder, Principal, General Studies

Grade 9-12 boys MAYER Program Mesivta Ateres Yaakov- Inclusion Program
131 Washington Avenue, Lawrence, N.Y. 11559
Rabbi, Dr. Mordechai Yaffe, Menahel
Rabbi Sam Rudansky, General Studies Principal

* This kindergarten class incorporates a comprehensive sensory integration program.
    It is the only such Jewish program for this age group in the entire New York area.


• Hebrew Academy of Long Beach
Bnos Bais Yaakov