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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Job Training, 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 programs that are second to none. To the older job seeker, 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 diverse volunteer programs that demonstrate that ability is ageless. 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 JCA Kensington Clubs -- our day program for people in the early stages of a diagnosed memory loss -- that provide CARE AND CAMARADERIE ...the JCA Career Gateway, Senior Community Service Employment Program and 50+ Employment Expos that enable older job seekers to LAND A JOB ...the Heyman Interages Center that builds BRIDGES BETWEEN THE GENERATIONS while helping students succeed in school and life ...the Senior HelpLine, HomeCare Resource Center, State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Community Speakers Bureau that help older adults and family caregivers GET THE ANSWERS they need

Community Stories

108 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in a workshop for 50+ job seekers, and it made all the difference in how I approached job seeking. JCA staff instill a sense of confidence that is easy to lose while seeking a job at a certain age. Margo Smith has been with the program for years but seems not to have lost her passion for helping others.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Extremely valuable resource! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

And IMPORTANT to remember--the JCA makes its services available to people of ALL faiths (I am Catholic).

I was fortunate to take part in the JCA's "Career Gateway--Job Search Workshop for Mid-Life/Older Workers".

Tired of being turned down for positions as an "over 50", frustrated, wondering "what is wrong with me?"...there seemed to be no place to turn to for advice and support.

From the moment you contact the JCA you feel like you're protected and supported.
The staff is extremely knowledgeable and up to date on problems the 50+ crowd face, as well as what resources are available to aid them.

The program is well structured and provides a wealth of information. From personalized binders and handouts full of critical information and resources to speakers pulled from the private and public sectors to HR professionals to review your resume--you are given all the tools needed for a successful career search. Extremely valuable--you are taught the differences between applying for private and public sector positions.

The JCA also offers classes on various software tools, in particular the Microsoft Office components, which are key for any job search, as well as expected knowledge in any career position.

Even after graduating JCA's intensive program you are not "alone". Their staff remains available to you for any support you might need, they provide you with a mentor, you receive regular e-mails with updates on jobs in the area or other career-related information, and there are the occasional "career-networking" events.

This was an extremely valuable experience for me and I would like to thank the JCA, in particular Jodie Rasch and Margo Smith.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to the JCA with hopes that it would increase my chances at a new position.
IT DID!!!!!!!
The atmosphere was positive & informative.
What I got out of the Course was to Network & my Confidence to Market myself with a Scientific technique! The Facilitator Ms.Margot Smith, is an Expert she helped me believe in me again. The encouragement is Awesome and I recommend this Program.
I now have a position in a company that is the Best in its Field of Expertise & It will allow me to manage my time & schedule as a Sales Representative with also the availability for Advancement and grow into a Business. Thank you Jodie, I am in your Debt!
God Bless all the Future Student to come

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of my fondest memories as a young father was reading a large pile of books to my daughter each night before she went to bed. Before long she was reading them to me, and now she is reading many of the same books to our granddaughter.

Reading has played an outsized role in my life and career. As a boy I taught my two youngest brothers how to read - they became voracious readers. And during my 52 years in broadcast journalism as a correspondent, manager and university professor, I wrote and read millions of words - I cannot imagine being unable to read, write or speak my language fluently.

When I retired at the end of 2011, I sought out opportunities to share my love of reading and writing and, if possible, to recapture the joy I had experienced those many years ago with my brothers and daughter. I discovered the JCA Heyman Interages Center. With its mission of placing senior volunteers in Montgomery County Public Schools to help young learners with reading, writing and math it was a perfect fit.

Over the last decade I have found my involvement with Interages so rewarding it has steadily increased each year. I have volunteered in virtually all of its programs at more than a dozen different schools and libraries:
“Read Aloud” for pre-K and kindergarten students;
“Grandreaders” for both first and second graders;
“Intergenerational Bridges” with both middle and high schoolers in ESOL classes;
“Dialogues Across the Ages” with high school juniors and seniors;
“Career Days” at elementary and middle schools;
“Job Readiness Mentoring” with high school students;
“Summer Grandreaders” at Montgomery County Public Libraries;
“Rockin’ Readers Book Clubs” with middle school students; and
“Beauty in Aging” with AP Photography high school classes.

In every one of these Interages programs, my fellow volunteers and I - there are some 250 of us - help young people strengthen their academic and cultural literacy. At the same time Interages provides the growing number of us retiring baby boomers with a most fulfilling outlet for the knowledge and skills we’ve accumulated over our lifetimes. Many of us volunteers were educators, and Interages allows us to remain active in education. My fellow volunteers are highly-educated, multi-talented, and well-traveled with diverse heritages and backgrounds. In addition, we Interages volunteers have collected a gigantic library of life stories to share with the future citizens of Montgomery County. And Interages has provided all of us volunteers with a second family - we all enjoy seeing each other and comparing notes and family photos throughout the school year. Indeed, we often gather outside of Interages and have developed great and lasting friendships.

Speaking of gatherings, JCA also holds an annual 50+ Jobs Fair, at which I have served for many years as a resume reviewer. The fair is just another wonderful way the Jewish Council for the Aging helps us seniors thrive. I encourage you to come join us.

Bill Torrey, Gaithersburg, MD

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wish to applaud JCA’s Interages program, for which I have volunteered since my retirement. It brings young people and seniors together in a wide variety of programs to the great educational and cultural benefit of both young and old. In Montgomery County, MD, Interages has played an important role in helping youngsters from our growing immigrant population improve their language and social skills. I also volunteer for JCA’s annual 50+ Employment Expo, which provides helpful guidance to seniors wishing to enter (or re-enter) the job market. JCA is an A+ organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is one of the rare non-profit organizations that encourages career growth and employment opportunities for the aging population. We are an untapped resource of brilliance in this global economy and are often over-looked for obvious reasons. JCA recognizes the professional, social, economical, cultural, and educational value that seniors offer the workplace and do a stellar job organizing resources and networks to support those of us who aren't ready to retire yet!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a 73-year-old retiree, I found The Career Gateway Job Search Workshop in September, 2019 to be a great way to get invaluable training and individualized attention. Jodi Rasch , the coordinator, and Margo Smith, the facilitator, could not have been more encouraging, helpful, and informative, They created a safe, non-judgmental, and empowering environment in which I and others in the class responded with creative energy to revise resumes, understand ourselves better, and explore the changing job market. The organization and flexibility were great. I had the opportunity to do a demo interview which really helped me realize the strategy that best fits my goals. The computer classes and mentoring services helped to follow through with lessons learned. Although I applied to the George Mason University positions with renewed confidence and skill set to expect successful outcomes, I have had other challenges in the interim. I hope to resume my search as circumstances permit. I give this program and organization the highest commendation.
Sincerely,
Ava Flores

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington (Career Gateway).
In March of this year I participated in the Career Gateway Workshop in Rockville Maryland.
It was a rewarding experience. I felt encouraged to move forward in seeking employment. The workforce is not the same and for someone my age without a degree at 65 with an enormous background in various fields, I realized that searching for employment, I would need to gain knowledge on how to market my skills in the workforce of today. . Attending the workshop encouraged and provided me with the confidence at 65, that I still have a lot to offer employers. Margo and Jodie are a welcoming support system. I recommend any one over 50+ to attend. Danielle Daniels

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to participate in the Career Gateway Job Workshop sponsored by the Jewish Council for the Aging in April 2019. I will always remember this experience as one of the most valuable and meaningful experiences of my life. The manger, Jodie Rasch and workshop leader, Margo Smith were passionate, well-informed and focused, contributing to the excellence of this program. Also the guest presenters, volunteers and staff involved in the program were outstanding. I would heartily recommend this program to everyone and I am truly impressed with all the work this organization does for the community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

JCA's Career Gateway workshop and follow up assistance was invaluable to discovering my "Second Act" and developing a focused plan after "retiring" from a rewarding career. The facilitators and mentors during and after the two-week session were very kind, understanding, and also great motivators. Although this time of COVID-19 is extra challenging, the skills and support I obtained will sustain me as I work on my goals.

This was my first in-depth exposure to JCA and I can see that they really internalize their motto, "Helping All Seniors Thrive." The Washington metro area is a better place because of JCA. Thanks!

Brian M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Villages of Kensington is a small non-profit operating in Montgomery County. It’s mission is to support older persons who choose to stay in their homes as they retire but remain active in their communities. The Jewish Council on Aging has helped us at every point in our development as we strive to provide essential support services and social outlets for a growing older population. Their staff is responsive, knowledgeable and unwaveringly dedicated to serving the needs of older persons in our community. We, as a Village, owe JCA much in terms of their ongoing help with the transportation element of our mission as well as with their continued assistance with printing materials for distribution. We couldn’t do it without JCA!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Montgomery County Government and the Area Agency on Aging is proud to support and partner with Jewish Council for the Aging and Kensington Clubs with all of the great work they do for older adults with a diagnosis of early-stage memory loss in the community. Their passion, energy, and expertise exudes with the programs and services they provide to the community each day. Their dedication to serving a population in need is truly amazing. Their newest innovation is Kensington Club On-Screen. This remote program connects Club participants to familiar faces and person-centered activities in a time of crisis.

Client Served

Rating: 5

JCA was a great support system for me during a year of transition. I appreciated the warmth, care and guidance from numerous mentors. The positive personalized touch is where JCA stands out and makes a difference in the lives of people. The people I have met at JCA are contacts and friends for life.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Helping Hands University Park was among the first 2 Villages serving seniors in Prince George's County to be accepted into JCA's VillageRides program. That helped us launch our Village, in formation for a long time but unable to serve seniors until then. Thanks to JCA's forward-looking VillageRides program, we have a database tracking all of our seniors and volunteers, we are able to put out our members' requests for rides as well as other services. e.g. help with errands, computers and minor repairs, friendly calls, and yardwork. We have access to help with marketing materials and the expertise of JCA staff. Our quarterly meetings bring different Villages together to share our experiences and knowledge with others. The JCA staff is extremely responsive and easy to work with. I am so grateful for this small part of what the Jewish Council for the Aging does for the entire DC., MD and VA community. Loretta Vitale Saks, Chairperson, HHUP

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Two great programs they have that have helped me: Interages and Career Gateway. Through Interages, I've been a Head Start volunteer one day per week for about three hours, for the past five years. I started when I retired. It has given me some structure and I really enjoy these four-year-olds! I just completed Career Gateway, so haven't yet had time to use what I learned in any job search (especially with Covid keeping folks at home). It was very stimulating and informative, as well as supportive and I hope to use some of what I learned in seeking future employment or entrepreneurial or volunteer activities.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Recently, I participated in the Career Gateway Workshop and it met my expectations of renewing my job search. The staff that led the workshop are positive and helpful. The outside speakers and volunteers all provided good valuable insights and suggestions. Glad I took advantage of the workshop.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I want to commend the Jewish Council for the Aging and its Career Gateway program. I hadn't looked for a job for a couple of decades and the Career Gateway program brought me up to speed on internet job searches, using social media platforms for job interviews, LinkedIn and all the rest. I updated my sadly out-of-date resume. And the encouragement and positive attitude - definitely a huge plus. And it has been effective for me. I have had job offers for jobs I tracked down online. It works and I highly recommend it. Thank you to the Jewish Council for the Aging.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For a very modest cost, the Jewish Council for the Aging sponsored the Career Gateway course I took, helping to re-focus my job search. Both the lead facilitator, and many of the presenters through the course and after the course's' conclusion all assisted my job search. Also, the opportunity to link to a mentor following the program was especially helpful

Mitzi J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Mitzi Jackson and this is my story.

One of my most challenging events was the day in 2011 when I became homeless with my family. It happened after the dry cleaners where I worked was sold and my unemployment benefits ran out, which led to eviction from my apartment. My only alternative was a homeless shelter for myself self and my family lived for 8 months.

But the "silver lining" is that as a result of being homeless and registering with Montgomery Works, I was able to connect with the SECEP program with training and programs that helped to fix my SOUL now my family and myself share a townhouse in Germantown, MD.

I would like to say THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE HELPED ME ACCOMPLISH.

From the training I received at SECEP I start a position with a Security company in June of 2013. I now have a better position with DOE thanks the Maria, Bonnie, Sandy, Quintin, and Kim.

Please continue the work that you do.

THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY LIFE.

MITZI






Client Served

Rating: 5

Kensington Club JCA has been a God send for my family. My mother recently moved here from out of state because she was having difficulty with her memory. Losing some her independence and moving to unfamiliar environment caused her withdraw and isolate. Our family started to look for a program for her and we found JCA. It was perfect, just the the right fit. We did a few trial visits and she enjoyed it. JCA helped restore her confidence and self esteem. She refers to the program as 'school', because she's learning and meeting her friends. It has given her a purpose and something to look forward to everyday. KC is truly a warm and caring environment. She doesn't feel judged or different, just appreciated and loved. During this COVID19 pandemic, Kensington club has gone above and beyond all expectations. They have kept in touch with weekly phone pal calls, mailed packets home, sent information on resources to use at home and the one my mother really appreciated was the interactive sing along video they posted online. That video really lifted her spirits. We are so thankful for everyone at KC and especially Colleen and Karen who have been so helpful guiding us throughout this journey. I highly recommend JCA Kensington Club to anyone who has a loved one dealing with early memory loss dementia.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife Carol has been dealing with moderate dementia for several years. In addition, she has also dealt with depression for more than 25 years. They unfortunately play off each other. During a therapy session, her therapist suggested that a group environment with other people whom are likewise disabled would be very helpful. She highly recommended the JCA Kensington Club in Rockville, Maryland and we followed up several months ago with a trial visit. My wife who tends to be shy, really liked that initial visit and she started to attend on a weekly basis. She really has grown by attending these group sessions and feels totally welcome attending each week. She always comments on what a great job the staff does in making everyone feel comfortable. With the present coronavirus issue they are temporarily on break and she really misses those sessions and looks forward to the reopening of the Kensington Club.

Caroline L.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Jewish Council for the Aging's Kensington Club (KC) has provided my husband, Leon, with an enriching, caring, and sharing experience twice a week for almost a year since we found out about this wonderful activity.
Leon, who has early Alzheimer's Dementia, has found a welcoming and nonjudgemental group environment where he can flourish. He especially loves looking through his music and short film collection at home for pieces that he can take to share with his KC cohorts.
I also have found the KC staff, led by Karen Miller, to be especially warm and thoughtful. We pass text messages back and forth to warn about transportation delays or perhaps Leon not feeling 100 percent that day. I don't have second thoughts about Leon's welfare when he is at KC, since I know the staff is watching carefully over all of the cohorts and ready to alert the home caregivers of any issues observed.
Leon looks forward to many of the special activities, such as a Spanish dance team demonstration, musicians and singers, and senior exercise (some led by exercise specialists, some just walking with KC staff around a large gym). He also especially likes visiting a local elementary school where the KC cohorts are teamed with individual students on short educational projects.
During the current coronavirus shutdown, the KC staff has sent activity sheets digitally to the KC cohorts to keep them active mentally. In addition, a KC staff member has called to chat with Leon during the week to let him know everyone is thinking of him and to keep him socially engaged.
The Kensington Club experience has been most rewarding and fulfilliing for Leon. He can feel independent while protected and appreciated. In addition, it has helped give me a respite period when I can recharge my psychological batteries and attend to other home projects. In summary, we both are thankful for KC and look forward to its resumption after the pandemic disruption is over.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To Whom It May Concern,
I started volunteering, once a week, at the JCA Kensington Club in Germantown in January 2019. I had no idea what to expect. I cannot praise this wonderful organization enough! I have told people about it who live in other states. I wish they would have Kensington Clubs all over America! There is not one moment that our Friends are not engaged in activities. They all happily participate! The people who work there, and the volunteers, are all there to Be Of Service. We spend four hours together laughing, learning, celebrating, and being Present in every moment.

I have learned much from listening to and observing the gentleness of how Karen and Dana are with our Friends. I've come to think of everyone in our group as extended family. It's not just about the activities. There is Love in the room. I was just telling someone yesterday that it's as if they have a sign outside that says, "Leave your judgment at the door!"

There are people who come in to play music, to teach chair yoga, to talk about places they've visited, to teach about safety, and more. They also go on field trips. They also visit classes in an elementary school. This is wonderful for our Friends and for the children!

One of my favorite lessons to watch is when Dana teaches poetry to our Friends. She picks a topic and then writes on the chalkboard whatever they come up with. I have been moved by the process and the outcome. In fact, I wrote music to one of the poems they created because it was so lovely.

I play piano and we do sing along songs every 6 weeks or so. They leave smiling and with twinkles in their eyes! But they are happy and filled with gratitude every time we all get together. They tell me how happy they are to have this place and to be with others.

Karen leads the group. Her positive energy is contagious! As I said earlier, it's like being with your favorite relatives on a happy occasion. Every week I go there, there is something to be celebrated: someone's birthday, a holiday, a season, or some obscure fun thing like National Chocolate Day!

Even though I volunteered to help others, I have to say that my life has been enriched by knowing so many beautiful, kind, loving people! I am thankful every day that I found this volunteer opportunity online. Every week I go there, I am inspired!

Even during this difficult time with the virus and everyone having to stay home, this organization is sending arts and crafts , videos, and other things for our Friends to keep busy. Colleen also started a Phone Pal Program, so we can call our Friends and keep in touch! The JCA Kensington Club could easily be renamed: Heart 2 Heart, because all of us are connected with Love!

With Gratitude,
Sharon

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My mother had left the workforce after taking several years off to raise my siblings and care for aging family members and like many women was experiencing challenges reentering the workforce.
JCA gave her an opportunity that she otherwise would not have been provided. They gave her the support and training she needed to develop more relevant job skills and Instilled the sense of confidence In her that has led to the success she’s experiencing today! She is a phenomenal role model not only for other women who are experiencing challenges re-entering the workforce but her granddaughters as well! JCA gave my mother the boost she needed to put her on a great path! Thank you JCA!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband initially denied his dementia diagnosis. Based on clinical observation and previous testing, his neurologist strongly believed he would benefit from attending an early memory loss program such as Kensington Club.

At first he balked at the idea. It didn't take long before "Show and Tell" started when he returned home from the Program. He talked about his "classmates," the instructors, the memory games they played, and the guest instructors who visited bringing songs, musical instruments, dance, art, poetry, and so much more to fill his day. His classmates (both men and women) shared their backgrounds; some were technical and similar to his own. Others were different from his but he marveled at their accomplishments (one speaks five languages) and he was eager to hear more. They talk about sports and personal experiences leaving the door wide open for socializing and continued conversations. He looks forward to going to Kensington Club.

When friends, family, and medical practitioners ask how he's doing, I say he literally hit the jackpot. Kensington Club has been a blessing. He looks forward to being with people who are friendly and caring. It's his "tribe" outside our family and he looks forward to attending. I want to share a pearl with those who read this. The ONLY time my husband sets an alarm is the days he attends Kensington Club.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Kensington Club is a great program for older adults.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The "Kensington Club" early memory loss program with JCA helped to turn things around so that a loved one in our family whose life had been too isolated actually regained some memory and communication abilities that had looked like they might have been lost forever. Our loved one was resistant at first but soon came to see how helpful the socializing, memory practice, and physical exercises were and now values the program highly. The field trips are always a great hit, and we hear all about them at dinner time. We are so thankful for this unique program.

Client Served

Rating: 4

After retirement, I was more focused on re-decorating my home, re-working my wardrobe and re-visiting people and places in my hometown. After completing the co-hort sessions sponsored and managed by the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington ( JCA)
I learned more about the areas in my transferable skills set in need of shoring up. A marvelously helpful handbook, a talented and job savvy cadre of speakers rounded out a well thought out program for the seasoned worker interested in working again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with JCA for three years and found the experience very rewarding.
I tutor second grade students at Glen Haven Elementary School. The JCA staff does an excellent job of communicating and organizing the program. I always receive information in a timely manner.
I will have more time to volunteer next year and I plan to work with JCA to find more opportunities.
I am sure that I can be of use working with JCA.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My retirement three years ago challenged me to consider what to do with my time and energy. I thought of becoming involved in a meaningful activity, something that would keep me grounded and that would expand my worldview. And afraid of isolation, I also wanted an activity that would connect me to a larger and a diverse community.

The JCA’s Reading and Educating to Advance Lives (REAL) program met my requirements. In it I found a well-organized, welcoming staff, and a diverse and exciting network of fellow volunteers. Moreover, I could connect with REAL program recipients: working with children and their parents waiting in Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services offices has kept me attuned to the greater needs of my community. These youngsters and their families often come from different parts of the world; for many this is their first time abroad, for others it is a process of learning how to navigate county health-system services. All are hardworking people seeking a better life. What unites me to my ‘clients’, to JCA, and to County staff is our desire to continue learning, to find meaning in our daily lives, to signal a path to education, and to bolster creativity in young minds. I would hope that as we all age we will together create a better and kinder world. I am grateful to JCA for all that I have learned thus far.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with JCA Interages, I have had the opportunity to mentor elementary school students, join a book club for middle school students, and participate in "Dialogues," weekly issue-oriented conversations with high school students. These and other Interages programs are well-run and supported by the Interages staff, who are committed to providing meaningful opportunities for older adults to interact with children and teens, while also fostering enrichment for the students, many of whom are at risk of falling behind in school. Volunteers are well-supported through training programs and appropriate recognition.
I have also volunteered in the Interages office and can attest to the staff's wise use of resources, including collaboration with partner organizations such as the Montgomery County Public School and Library systems, private retirement and nursing home facilities, and the County's Department of Health and Human Services.
JCA Interages is a 5-star organization that makes a difference!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I needed to start a second career--for income and a sense of purpose. Every time I submitted my resume to a job website, I would receive emails saying that I would be perfect for the same type of high stress and long hours kind of position from which I retired. It didn't matter how I tried to de-emphasize that experience. I am proud of what I did, but it was no longer a good fit for me. The week I spent learning at Career Gateway was wonderful. The written materials were very informative. The teacher of the course and the director of Career Gateway were extraordinary. I learned so much about networking, the elevator speech and a way to explore what I really might like to do. I even improved my basic office skills in several classes after I graduated from Career Gateway. Most of all, the warmth and positive energy of the teacher and the people in my class as well as the Director of Career Gateway allowed me to overcome my anxiety about embarking in a new direction. I have new goals and have nurtured my contacts to establish the beginning of my own business. I am very grateful for all that I learned and all the support I received.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After nearly 25 years as a government lawyer, I retired. Two years later, I decided to rejoin the workforce. I enrolled in the JCA Career Gateway led by the Director & her lead instructor. The 5-day class over 2 weeks opened my eyes to the world of resume writing, job interviews, work searches, & social media. The volunteer speakers were knowledgeable, inspiring, nururing, supportive & engaging. The class itself was comprised of highly intelligent, talented, caring, personable & skilled professionals. The printed material was also invaluable. I can’t recommend the program highly enough. In fact, I will be volunteering at an upcoming JCA Job Fair for those 50 and up.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Career Gateway was an awesome blessing in my life. It created a new pathway for me. It helped bring life to my new career. I found new relationships , that gave me insight for the future. I met all types of individuals full of hope and joy. It showed a different type of life -faith. I am working due to this awesome program with stars in my eyes for the future. Lastly, all the people connected with the program were full of knowledge and kindness. The program cared about each individual and want everyone to be successful. What an awesome program!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a recent graduate of The Career Gateway (March 2019) and likewise the beneficiary of an extensive thorough and professional program focused on successful career goals for those of us desiring a return to the workplace.
The entire program content including material, course work and caliber of instructors provided an organized and methodical support level of encouragement, confidence, new skills and networking designed to advance each participant in their respective career choices. The success of this program is due in large part to the organization, diligence and tireless efforts of the coordinator Jodie Rasch who remains engaged with each student through continuous interactions, information sharing and follow up.
Similarly, our Facilitator/instructor Margo Smith is totally committed to the program and likewise participants: coaching each student one on one as needed and according to their goals, actively promoting our self- confidence and the benefits of networking through new relationships. We also enjoyed an impressive group of presenters, all experts in their respective field who spent hours lecturing and patiently conversing in question and answer format.
The consensus among our group is that each person feels more empowered and with a greater sense of confidence in pursuit of their respective career path.
Thanks again to the JCA for another great milestone through their continued development of the larger Montgomery community.

Signed: JoanG-March2019

Deborah D.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found JCA really helpful through the Career Gateway 50+ how to get a job or marketable to get a job a great way to redefine who I am and how to present myself for today’s interview process. The one to one teaming up with others in the same situation helps getting the work of a job search streamlined and gives more self perspective.

It’s definitely worth the 5 days mostly every other day schedule. Jodie and Margo and all of the facilitators are a great help.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Several months ago, I participated in the Career Gateway program offered by the JCA. I found the computer courses to be particularly valuable. I truly appreciate the help and support that the program provides.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took the JCA Career Gateway course in January 2019. The 5-day course helps people 50 and over who are looking for a job in this changing economy. It covered so many things I was unfamiliar with (e.g., Linkedin profiles, Skype interviews). The course was excellent. In addition, JCA follows up with a Job Club where previous attendees get together to encourage one another. JCA is a nurturing and supportive organization that provided valuable services the the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area. I am a big fan.

Client Served

Rating: 5

JCA offers programs, training, resources, and more that equip individuals of all backgrounds with new skills, renewed outlooks, and clear paths to new connections, new opportunities, new careers, new self-care skills, and more. I recently took their 5-day Career Gateway program and can't say enough good things about it, which says a lot as someone with four decades of high-level professional experience who thought he'd seen it all. Not so. JCA truly makes a positive difference in the lives of the people in a wonderful "pay-it-forward" way.

Board Member

Rating: 5

JCA provides much needed services, including adult day, senior employment, and transportation for the aging community in the Greater Washington, DC area. It's staff and leadership are second to none. JCA's adult day services have such a positive effect on residents. I am proud to be associated with JCA!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The JCA Career Gateway program is an invaluable resource to those of us who are mid-career or changing careers and seeking expert training in making our job search more effective. Every single day was well-organized and engaging; the resource book is one of the best I've ever used; the speakers were well-prepared and up-to-date on job-search technology. I feel extremely fortunate to have found this program which has greatly enhanced my job-search.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently participated in The Career Gateway Job Search Workshop offered by The Jewish Council for the Aging in June 2018 including the additional employment-related technology classes in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The workshop and classes were fantastic and so helpful. The coordinator, Jodie Rasch and the workshop leader, Margo Smith did an excellent job in running the program. The guest presenters and the technology class instructors were superb as well. JCA offers such great resources for seniors seeking guidance on how to search for and find employment opportunities. The organization is truly world class!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hats off to JCA for providing an outstanding Career Workshop to those of us entering new chapters of our careers. Teaching, written materials, and exercises were first rate, and JCA uses its incredibly talented volunteer network to assist class participants. The organization and the logistics of the program are second to none, but the added critical ingredient is the warmth, commitment, and encouraging spirit of Jodie, Margo, and all the JCA Staff. Thanks for great class that has benefited me tremendously. I left with a fine tuned resume, a linked-in profile, and a mentor, and it has helped me launch a consulting business, and a continued connection to this fine and special organization.

-- Stefan

Deborah M.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The entire, staff, lecturers, motivators and students were transparent in their enthusiasm, support and expertise. The tech classes were very helpful, gaining personal and business updated computer systems knowledge. Gateway provided a stepping stone to my career goals. Thank you for your continued support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Re-entering the job market after taking care of family has been daunting! My job search had been progressing in fits and starts and I hit a plateau. A friend recommended JCA's Career Gateway. Enrolling was a great decision for me. I hoped for inspiration and got that, plus so much more! Great speakers, great community of like-minded job seekers, great resources, and continued support after the program! The staff's energy and enthusiasm behind the program is remarkable and highly commendable. Thank you Jodie, Margo, and the rest of the JCA staff!

Suzy, from the June cohort

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recently unemployed, I had the good fortune to stumble upon JCA's Career Gateway program at the Over 50 job fair they helped sponsor. It was the best move I could have made! The five-day class gave me the tools I needed to start my job search -- We improved my resume and LInkedIn profile, worked on setting job goals, practiced interviewing, built a support network of fellow job hunters who provide ongoing support and encouragement, and found a job search mentor. These have all been of immeasurable help and comfort as I navigate the hard waters of over 50 job hunting.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the JCA for about 30 years. As a physician caring for elderly people, I can attest to the care and expertise of all the employees. From the transportation, to the training, to the computer workshops, etc etc etc, the staff is First Rate!

Dan A.4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My company Aflac- Champion Agency has been at the Job Fair every year. We find great candidates and we are always treated well by the JCA staff. They have become like an extended family. Great people, great event and an AMAZING service to the community

Client Served

Rating: 4

JCA provides the only workforce development program specifically for 50+ aged job seekers in Montgomery County, Career Gateway. I participated in the program in January 2016 and it got me off the couch and out of the doldrums. In addition to becoming friends with my cohort and the JCA staff, the program propelled me to my current profession as a workforce development trainer teaching other 50+ job seekers to use LinkedIn for their career reinvention. JCA's Career Gateway program gave me the confidence and the tools I needed to get back in the game. I will forever be grateful for their encouragement and for the guidance and resources I needed to not just find a job but to begin a new career as an entrepreneur.

Donor

Rating: 5

JCA is an essential Washington-area agency. As a former JCA board member, I can attest that the staff bends over backward to meet the needs of older people, regardless of their age or ability. The job fair we started when I chaired the JCA Employment Committee several decades ago has grown to a comprehensive program of job search assistance and computer training, as well as week-long senior employment strategy classes and periodic job fairs. JCA's bus service ensures that frail elders can get to the grocery store, the doctor's office, and the various activities that keep them healthy and connected. JCA provides community service employment and work experience to low-income seniors. JCA advises family members on the variety of services available in our community to seniors, and makes personalized recommendations. And so much more! Backing up the dedicated staff are equally dedicated board members who not only help raise money to keep the agency going, but also provide skilled oversight and advice to the various JCA programs. Plus, in keeping with Judaism's emphasis on "Tikkun Olam" (repairing the world), JCA's services are open to all who need them, regardless of religious affiliation.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have worked on their various offerings for seniors to be of help to K-12 students for 3 or 4 years. The programs are well thought out, vetted and supported, including orientations, supervisory visits and post-activity opportunities for feedback. You feel appreciated and thanked, both by JCA and the students and their teachers.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our organization's experience is with VillageRides, which is a program supported by JCA. VR helps Villages provide transportation for seniors who could not otherwise get around. JCA has supported VR for several years, with funds as well as a full-time staff person. We are very grateful; without JCA's support, VR would likely not exist and our Village would be seriously handicapped to provide services for seniors. I am Board president of our Village.

Client Served

Rating: 5

JCA provides driver/rider support to the Village of Takoma Park. Since April, 2015, we have given seniors living in Takoma Park, over 1,100 rides. We couldn't have done this without JCA support. JCA provide the computer program, RideScheduler, which runs the rides request and acceptances. JCA provides the required driver training for all our new drivers. JCA has helped our volunteer group by providing back room support, printed materials, car magnets, advertising. We, the Village of Takoma Park, couldn't do what we do without JCA's support. Wonderful organization and spectacular employees! Sandra Egan

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been working with the JCA through the REAL Program.
JCA partnered with Montgomery County Government & M.Cty.Public-Libraries to create the REAL Program-- "Reading & Educating to Advance Lives".

The volunteers from JCA are amazing. They interact with the children who come into our facility with their parents. They read stories & monitor craft activities as well. We hear lots of great reviews from the Community Members we serve. The children leave our facility happy and full of joy after spending some time with the volunteers.
This has been an amazing experience... I want to take the time to Thank you for all that you are doing for the community & mostly for the children who come through our office.

The Coordinators of the REAL Program are also extremely helpful & are always available to assist with additional resources & several tasks that need to be completed.

The Entire Team gets an A+ :-)

Rita Ngabo ~ { DHHS- Rockville }

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been enrolled as a SCSEP intern in 3 capacities for almost 4 years. I have spent time in the SCSEP office, at One Stop in Wheaton. Kensington Club at JCA and I am back in the SCSEP office. The SCSEP program which provides training and a stipend thru Senior Service America and is administered thru JCA, has been a lifeline to hundreds of older workers who became SCSEP interns, and I am one. SCSEP has provided me with and continues to provide me with support through various health problems. I am currently involved in the Job Club, which will help me find permanent employment.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have lived in Montgomery county for over thirty yrs.I am one of many seniors that JCA
is helping to thrive.I am grateful for the intern program that JCA has for seniors.
I can use my skills and gain employment which is my hope an encouraged by the exceptional staff at JCA

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our Village, Potomac Community Village, has been using the services of JCA for about 2 years now. They provide us with a driver/rider management web application that we use for managing our Village rides program called VillageRides. The manager of the VillageRides program, Sara Fought, is very responsive to our needs. For example, she provides training for our driver volunteers. She also will try to locate a driver from another Village if one from our Village is not available. She has provided hands-on help for my backup ride manager when I am out of town - always happily! In addition she solicits requests from the VillageRides managers for additions and changes to the software and then she works with the software creator to add features that are helpful for the people actually using the application. It has been an excellent association with JCA for this purpose.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been working with JCA for over two years now in my capacity as Vice President of Potomac Community Village. Our village helps people age in place by offering services. JCA has played a major role in the support of our goals. They have helped to support and fund one of our most popular services for seniors which is providing rides when needed to medical and dental appointments and other necessary trips by car. The car ride scheduling website and associated training services have been invaluable!

Advisor

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with Gaithersburg HELP I have worked with JCA for over a year. One of the services provided by Gaithersburg HELP is free transportation for seniors and adults with disabilities to medical and social service appointments. JCA created the VillageRides collaboration to help support volunteer transportation in the greater Washington DC area. VillageRides has helped us and other similar organizations by providing access to cloud-based ride scheduling software, training classes for drivers and schedulers, and marketing and outreach efforts. Their staff is a group of top-notch caring individuals, and I continue to enjoy working with them!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In my 20 year experience in an international Men's organization, I have see a LOT of great work toward a better tomorrow. In my opinion, JCA staff and volunteers are among the best and most dedicated to making the world a better place for our elders TODAY. A call to their Senior Helpline will get someone to resources they could never have found on their own. As I step into my role as an Elder in my own community, I am grateful that JCA is here for me and the men I serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for the transportation program. The staff is supportive and appreciative. I present mobility options at an outreach presentation for seniors at various senior centers and over 50 housing. JCA staff arranges the presentations and packs the necessary handouts.
I also assist at the Ride Smart Training Programs. The 2 day workshop teaches seniors to use Metro Rail and Metro Bus.
The transportation staff is a pleasure to work with and treat me as an equal.

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)

1

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.