Hebrew Academy for Special Children

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Hebrew Academy for Special Children

Hebrew Academy For Special Children (HASC) is a Jewish non-profit agency in New York City, United States, providing a wide range of supportive services to children with special needs. The organization is best known for its summer camps and its annual A Time for Music benefit concert.


The HASC (Hebrew Academy For Special Children) Programs were established in 1963 by Rabbi Max and Blanche Kahn[1] to provide educational and clinical services to individuals from infancy through adulthood who exhibit developmental delays.[2] HASC is currently directed by Samuel Kahn.


HASC's services are geared toward infants[3] and children with speech, learning, or motor limitations and also children who have behavioral difficulties. There are currently 6 locations in the New York region serving over 1,000 children. In addition HASC provides activities for young adults. These programs include summer camps and assisted living apartments throughout the New York city area.[4]

A school is located in Woodmere, New York with a student body of approximately 890 students.[5]

The annual summer camp serves over 300 mentally and physically handicapped students.

Programs are divided by approximate age ranges:

  • Early Intervention (0-3)
  • Preschool (3-5)
  • School Age (5-21)
  • Summer Camp (all ages)

A Time for Music[edit]

HASC is well known for its annual A Time for Music benefit concert.[6] These concerts have been held for the last 2 decades in venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. The concert is viewed as a major event within the New York Jewish community. In the past it has attracted contemporary Jewish stars like Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried, Yaakov Shwekey and Matisyahu.[7][8]

Team HASC[edit]

We are a growing group of CAMP HASC counselors, campers, medical staff, and specialty staff, along with camper’s parents and friends who believe that Camp HASC can accomplish it all - and we intend to make sure there are no obstacles in its' way. Team HASC raises funds by coordinating fundraisers to makes Camp HASC dreams a reality. We are running on behalf of the special campers of Camp HASC, for the place we all speak of as “Heaven On Earth”. Unless you’ve seen it with your own eyes, it’s hard to imagine a camp with 350 children and adults with severe special needs where the atmosphere is filled with happiness, laughter, and love. Camp HASC is a place of magic & miracles. Our Goal Camp HASC is known to change the lives of its campers as well as its staff. It is a place where miracles happen around the clock. Our team is participating in the marathon in order to raise funds for this miraculous place. Our goal is to raise $500,000 from the proceeds of the Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon alone. With the money raised, we have some fabulous projects in mind to help improve camp and to make it an even better place for the campers to learn, grow, and conquer goals. Each and every camper will benefit greatly from our new additions to the camp![9]

Nurses at HASC[edit]

HASC also provides experience for new nurses just out of nursing school. For 7 weeks in the summer newly qualified nurses are part of a team looking after 300 campers with special needs. A challenging part of their job experience for the new nurses is devising clever ways to encourage the campers to take their medications.[10]

In the news[edit]

The school found itself in the news in 1998 when it named a building after Senator Alfonse D'Amato and the senator used derogatory terms about some of his political opponents in his acceptance speech.[11]

The agency received a $430,000 federal grant in 2001 to establish a national service center for the disabled.[12]

Bernard Kahn, (who stole from the campers) former CEO of HASC, was forced to resign in 2004 after an internal audit found he had used agency funds for personal expenses.[13]

In mid-2011, Bernard Kahn was reinstated by the board of HASC as the newly created "director of strategic planning", according to an agreement under the auspices of the Rabbinical Council of America. This decision caused an uproar amongst staff members and donors alike.[14]

External links[edit]