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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Human Services, Judaism, Religion, Senior Centers, Seniors, Transportation Assistance

Mission: The Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA) helps older adults in the Greater Washington, D.C. region maintain independence, dignity, vitality and self-respect. It also helps people of different generations understand, learn from and care for one another. JCA accomplishes this through a myriad of community-based programs built upon vibrant programmatic partnerships with funders, fellow charities and local communities; and by providing opportunities for volunteers to make the National Capital Area a great place to age. Although our Jewish heritage and values guide our vision and work, JCA is a recognized leader in meeting the needs of seniors and caregivers regardless of their religious beliefs.

Results: JCA represents something different to each and every man and woman we proudly serve. To the isolated senior with no means of getting around, we are a smiling ElderBus driver who cheerfully helps with canes, walkers and wheelchairs and even carries packages with a smile. To the concerned family member suddenly faced with overwhelming health or home care issues, we are the confident voice of an information specialist who understands precisely the services needed to care for a beloved parent or spouse and can access our unique, comprehensive database to find needed resources close to home. For the senior who is frail or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other challenges, we are a safe and caring place that provides dignified assistance at adult day centers that are second to none. To the older jobseeker, we are a friend, advocate, teacher and guide. JCA is all of this and so much more! We are vibrant intergenerational programs that build bridges and shatter stereotypes. We are volunteer-run computer training programs that have graduated 11,000 adults since 1992. We are different faces in various places, but united in our mission of helping local seniors experience the positive side of aging while making the National Capital Area a great place to age. Last year, because of generous friends like you, JCA served 31,000 older people of all faiths, ethnicities and walks of life. We helped them avoid isolation and live independently. We helped them thrive.

Target demographics: local seniors age well while building bridges between the generations

Direct beneficiaries per year: 31,000 people in the area , while helping make our region a great to grow up and grow old

Geographic areas served: the National Capital Region -- Washington, DC; Suburban Maryland; and Northern Virginia

Programs: ...door-to-door ElderBuses, the Connect-A-Ride Transportation Resource Center, Ride Smart Workshops, the Escorted Transportation Program and other mobility management programs that help older adults TRAVEL IN THE COMMUNITY THEY LOVE ...the Misler Adult Day Center, the Kensington Club @ Parklawn, and caregiver support groups that provide CARE AND CAMARADERIE ...the Career Gateway, Senior Community Service Employment Program, and 50+ Employment Expos that enable older jobseekers to LAND A JOB ...the Heyman Interages Center that builds BRIDGES BETWEEN THE GENERATIONS while helping students succeed in school and life ...JCA University courses and events that help older adults LEARN AND GROW ...SeniorTech computer training courses, all taught by older volunteers, that enable older adults to EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY ...the Senior HelpLine, HomeCare Resource Center, and Community Speakers Bureau that help older adults and family caregivers GET THE ANSWERS they need

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with the SeniorTech program for over 10 years helping seniors keep up with the technology of the modern world so they can keep informed and better communicate with family and friends. SeniorTech is just won of the many programs JCA offers to help seniors in the area lead richer and more productive lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a retired MCPS English teacher, having retired in 2009. Since then I have searched for just the right volunteer opportunity, one where I could use my skills and experiences in the most productive way possible. I have at last found that in the Intergenerational Bridges program at JCA. '
An outstanding part of JCA Interages is the care with which they matched me with a placement. I met with a leader of the program, then with a school program coordinator. The result was a placement for me in a high school ESOL classroom where I can truly say that I am able to help the students along their path to learning English and functioning in their newly adopted country.
I feel part of things there. I feel appreciated by JCA and by the school. But mostly I know I am appreciated by the students. Now it is summer vacation, but I have very clear pictures in my mind of interactions I have had with students, of moments when I have been able to explain something to a student and realize that they understand and will make use of it. How could there be a better volunteer opportunity than this?

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with JCA's Interages program two years ago. It has been an amazing experience for someone newly retired (from decades working at the United States Congress).

I have worked with 2nd graders (reading with them), Middle Schoolers (activities and assisting teachers), high school kids (on expanding their leadership qualities) and with one autistic high school senior, just being his friend.

It's all been great for me and, I believe, for the young people I work with. The success of the program is an outgrowth of three factors. (1), It's premise. That kids relate to older people perhaps better than those the age of their parents. They do. (2) The enthusiasm of the volunteers. They love these kids and the kids feel it and respond. And (3), The excellent JCA Interages staff that is boh extremely competent and very hands-on. We are never left adrift; when we need help, we get it. And they are always in touch.

JCA Interages is a non-profit that is as aggressive in achieving its goals (helping kids who can use help and helping seniors who are eager to help) as the most successful for-profit. This model should be replicated everywhere!

Michael Rosenberg (age 68)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a senior retiree and resident of Montgomery County, Maryland. Several years ago I became acquainted with the Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA) and the Heyman Interages Center and the many wonderful services, programs and opportunities they provide to our community. I immediately decided to become involved and participate in some if these activities.

I have been a volunteer with the Heyman Interages Center's Grandreaders Program for several years now and work with young elementary school students to help them with reading and language arts skills. I thoroughly enjoy volunteering and am grateful to JCA and Heyman Interages for the opportunity they provide me to "give back" in some way.

I have also attended several excellent seminar programs JCA offers and thoroughly enjoyed them. Needing assistance with Apple technology, I took a few iPhone classes offered by the Senior Tech Computer Training program which were very helpful.

Perhaps, most importantly, my involvement and volunteerism with JCA and the Heyman Interages Center has enabled me to get to know many wonderful, dedicated and talented people ranging from JCA senior staff, to course instructors and support personnel to my colleagues, the other volunteers. I have found everyone I met to be totally dedicated and supportive; delightful to know and work with. I consider them all friends now and always look forward to seeing them when we meet.

In short, JCA and the Heyman Interages Center get top billing from me and I am so grateful for the opportunities they provide and the friendships offered. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful resource as JCA here in Montgomery County.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Several years ago I heard about a program administered by Jewish Council for the Aging that would help persons over age 55 who were unemployed reenter the workforce, the name of the program is Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). In this program I was able to obtain the work experience and the computer knowledge gravely needed to go back in the workforce. I am a happy camper once again, thanks to JCA!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Senior Community Service Employment Program of the Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA) helped me to regain the self-confidence and develop the skills I needed to return to the workforce. The Program was, in short, a godsend. I can't thank JCA enough for their support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a wonderful experience with JCA they are the best that can happen to senior citizens like me. They really care about senior citizens and bring great support to all those in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with JCA for several years. JCA has a wonderful intergenerational program, Interages. I volunteered on a weekly basis reading to pre-kindergarten aged children in a Montgomery County public school. I loved interacting with the kids each week. I sat on a small chair with them all gathered around me. The teacher told me how important it was for the kids to interact with me as a male role model. I also participated as a mentor in the Career Gateway. This series of classes is specifically designed to provide the training and insight for adult jobseekers. I enjoyed the mentoring and over several month, offered my participant encouragement and offered him constructive advice on how to re-enter the job market. Both experiences were very rewarding. I think it's great that JCA offers these and other services to our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Seniors are overwhelmed by the newest technologies yet they cannot ignore them since communication with friends and family is an important component in healthy aging. The Senior Tech program at JCA provides computer classes and individual tutoring sessions to help seniors master applications on their computers, phones and tablets. JCA structures its classes to meet the needs of a senior population and provides the content that is most useful for those over 60. As a volunteer I have seen what a difference you can make in the life of an individual when you work closely with them and help them to understand something that was previously confusing and complicated.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for 15 years helping those calling the Senior HelpLine seeking answers as to what area resources are available for themselves or aging family and friends. JCA maintains a database of service providers in most areas of interest to both younger and older seniors, such as recreation, transportation, all facets of housing, senior friendly home changes and home health care. The calls are answered by friendly and knowledgeable people giving them as up-to-date information as possible and several options to pursue. I also found myself as a user of this information when I needed to find a reputable company to install a stair lift in my own home and was extremely pleased with the references given to me. All of the staff at JCA is devoted to helping all people age 50 and over in a variety of ways. SeniorTech provides classes and one-on-one sessions on computers, smart phones, Ipads, and the programs used on these devices, including Word and Excel. The Career Gateway program has helped hundreds of professionals obtain new jobs by teaching them how to retool and update their resumes, how to use social media to their advantage and other necessary skills. JCA has amassed an amazing cadre of staff and volunteers which makes all of their programs such a success.