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Kulanu Academy for Those With Special Needs Unveils Commercial Kitchen


A $100,000 grant from First Nonprofit Foundation helped the Kulana Academy (Cedarhurst, NY) unveil a brand new, state-of-the-art commercial-grade kitchen. Senator Todd Kaminsky and former Assembly member Phil Goldfeder secured a grant in state funding to construct the kitchen for the school’s vocational students, which will be used to train students in preparation for culinary arts careers.

“Kulanu is a pillar of our community and provides a top-notch vocational education for our children with developmental disabilities, preparing them to succeed in tomorrow’s economy,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky. “I was pleased to provide the funding to create a commercial kitchen at the Kulanu Academy, and look forward to seeing it be put to good use to propel Kulanu’s students to exciting and fulfilling careers in the culinary arts industry.”

“It is our mission to enable each individual to reach his or her full potential, empowering each one to become a participating and accepted member of society, with a good quality of life and a hopeful future. With grants from Senator Todd Kaminsky, former Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and Joe Geiger of the First Non-Profit Foundation, Kulanu’s extraordinary commercial kitchen moves us to the forefront of vocational education by providing opportunities for those with special needs. The goal is for our students to acquire skills and practice in the culinary arts which are the first steps towards employment,” said Dr. Beth Raskin, Executive Director of Kulanu.

“During my time in the Assembly, it was my greatest pleasure to collaborate with neighborhood organizations that were having major impact across our community and state,” said former Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “Kulanu empowers children with special needs and their families to adapt and thrive in the real world. It was my pleasure to work with Senator Todd Kaminsky and allocate much needed funding to build a culinary kitchen that will ensure every child has the opportunity to be successful for years to come.”

Joe Geiger, CEO of First Non-Profit Foundation added, “The new commercial kitchen at Kulanu Academy is a testament to enlightened vision and persistence. The opportunity to train people with special needs will truly improve the quality of life in this community. Congratulations to Dr. Raskin, the board of directors, staff, donors and builders for a job well done. It is an honor to be a part of what happened here.”

Kaminsky and Goldfeder initially visited Kulanu’s Cedarhurst facility in March 2015 and developed the idea to build a commercial-grade kitchen along with Dr. Raskin. In addition to career training, the kitchen will also be used by students to cater local events and in the process, raise funds for Kulanu.