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Jenine Shwekey Jewish Hero

6125 Votes for Jenine Shwekey

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Jenine Shwekey

Long Branch, New Jersey

How is your Hero working to make the world a better place?

A hero, an advocate, a friend and tireless worker, Jenine has devoted her life to serving special needs children and their families, to create a better world of acceptance and integration, to improve the quality of life and ease the burden on families. She began this mission in 1996, when she was a high school student and became aware of the overwhelming challenges facing families struggling to cope with their special needs children while trying to maintain a functioning home and work schedule. Most families could not afford outside help. Jenine believed that she could help ease the crushing burden with loving, helping hands. She and Chaya stepped forward and opened up their "Dream" for special children. Opening The Center after school, taking them to a special haven to sing, play, have dinner, be bathed and returned home in pajamas, ready for bed and glowing. This charity program has grown from those heartfelt beginnings to a monumental non-profit organization, The Special Children’s Center, providing services for over 150 special needs children, most from Jewish homes, with diagnoses such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism and developmental delays. Programs such as daycare, after-school program, Sunday program, Shabbat weekend program, group home, weekend retreats for families, summer camp, evening programs and sleepover programs, were created by Jenine and her friend Chaya Bender in order to provide quality, comprehensive, round-the-clock, year-round care from birth through adulthood and to optimize growth and development of special needs children as well as to provide respite for parents.


How has your Hero impacted your life and inspired you?

Jenine personifies the traits of a hero. Her caring, giving heart seeks to serve others no matter the cost. She sees a need and steps forward to serve, believing in her vision of a better world. The choice to act and contribute on a daily, year-round basis solely for the good of others, is truly inspiring to us. Serving others with humility and kindness, she reminds us that every person matters, every day matters and love conquers the harshest of challenges. Enriching lives and making the lives of those with special needs less difficult is accomplished by Jenine without fanfare, applause or flagging energy. Her achievements at The Special Children’s Center, a blessing to all those who are served by its programs, creates a ripple effect of caring and giving, an outpouring of love and benevolence from all those who learn about this great charity.


What type of work does your Hero do?

Health, nutrition, and basic needs , Youth