Shwekey to Yated: My Hatzlacha is Because of My Work With Special Children


shwekeyIn an interview in this week’s American Yated Ne’eman, Yaakov Shwekey, the well-known singer, discusses the work of The Special Children’s Center in Lakewood, NJ, which was founded by his wife, Jenine, and two friends, Mrs. Bender and Mrs. Bloch, when they were in high school. The Center, as it is known, helps families with special children. Today, the Special Children’s Center has over 100 children under its care.

“These children require 24-hour care, which is difficult for a child to receive under normal family settings,” says Yaakov in the interview “…The Center is there to alleviate their burden. Children go straight from school to the Center and enjoy exciting activities, including art, gym, music and therapy. They are served a delicious supper and come home ready for bed. [The Center is] also available to take the child overnight or for extended stays when needed.”

Every Yom Tov, Yaakov says, 20 children are placed in staff homes and 40 children are paired with staff members for each Yom Tov afternoon. The Center also arranges a weekend retreat for families of special children.

Yaalov also told Yated Ne’eman that his success in the music industry is due to his involvement in helping these special children.

“I want to tell you,” said Yaakov, “that I’m convinced that the success I’ve experienced in my music career is all because of our work with these special children. I was involved a bit before I got married, and my wife and I are proud that this is a central part of our lives.”

{Elisha Newscenter}


  1. Wait, let me pinch myself! Matzav is profiling a singer other than LIPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!? Something is terribly wrong! Please correct your error ASAP!

  2. these “high profile”singers have it backward I work with a lot of them,because of their status they must go to hospitals and do all sorts of chessed,which I don’t want to undermine in any sort,shape,size,or form.Its not because they do chessed that they are singers it is because they are singers they (must)do chessed

  3. I knew Yaakov when he was a teenager and he did work with special needs children. Before he became the famous celebrity he is today, he worked in summer camps (where I attended and had a working relationship with him) with a bunk of extreme special needs children. For those of you who think his voice is golden, his heart is truly made of gold, too.