A Community of Support for Families Raising Children with Special Needs

The Federation’s HaMercaz program offers ongoing assistance, advocacy, and support for Jewish families and children with special needs and developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, Asperger syndrome, and cerebral palsy, from birth to age 22. HaMercaz means "the center" in Hebrew.

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Contact HaMercaz

866-287-8030 or hamercaz@jfsla.org

HaMercaz Services

  • A network of community agencies and organizations that work together to address your family’s needs
  • Social programs including play days and outings, sibling programs, multi-generational events, and Jewish holiday celebrations
  • Support groups and counseling
  • Parent and professional workshops
  • Connections to Jewish community programs including those at synagogues, Jewish schools, and camps
  • About HaMercaz Services – Flyer

Online Resources


Upcoming Events

  • Are you thinking about camp this summer? HaMercaz has information about day and overnight camps for children with special needs and their families. Contact us at hamercaz@jfsla.org or 866-287-8030 for more information!
  • HaMercaz, Jewish Federation and Wilshire Blvd Temple present Camp Kulam, a family camp for families with children with special needs from May 5-7, 2017 at Camp Hess Kramer. Experience three days filled with arts and crafts, singing, sports, and more. For more information, visit www.wbtcamps.org/campkulam or call 866-287-8030.
  • HaMercaz and Temple Beth Hillel are partnering to provide support groups for families of children with special needs. Click here for more information.

Mission to Israel

The Special Needs Study Mission was truly an extraordinary week with a high level of emotional intensity and bonding. As a group of 36 participants, we visited almost every corner of Israel looking at innovative programs and services and we were caught up in the passion and commitment for people with developmental disabilities shown by the staff and parents who we met along the way.

Read the Mission Travel Blog here

See the photo slideshow and read the follow up blog here

Jewish Family Service is the lead clinical partner for HaMercaz. The collaborative includes: Bet Tzedek, BJE: Builders of Jewish Education, Camp Ramah in California, ETTA, Far West USY Hevrah, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, Jewish Free Loan Association, Jewish Vocational Service, The Friendship Circle - Los Angeles, The Friendship Circle - Conejo Valley, The Miracle Project, OurSpace, Shalom Institute, Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services, Yachad LA, and Zimmer Children’s Museum.