Transitions to Work Program to Receive $250,000 Grant

Partnership that Trains Young Adults with Disabilities for Jobs Will Expand with State Funding

BOSTON – December 17, 2013 – Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) has received $250,000 to expand Transitions to Work, a collaboration between JVS, The Ruderman Family Foundation and Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). Transitions provides job training for young adults with disabilities. The grant, Employment Programs for Special Target Populations: Individuals with Disabilities, is issued by the Commonwealth Corporation and funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development. It will be used to support the expansion of the program and further develop the resources that have already made the program an effective and successful model.

With this funding, Transitions to Work, a collaboration between employers and the Boston community that offers those with disabilities an intensive, three month, hands-on internship training program after which participants are placed in jobs with recognizable partners, will allow for additional cycles and reach more individuals in the community.

The Transitions model reverses the traditional client-centered approach to employment of individuals with a disability by starting instead with the employer. JVS staff works with an employer to identify the specific skills required to be successful in certain positions, then designs classroom-based training held on-site at employers to ensure participants develop the required job skills in combination with general job readiness and ‘soft skills’ training and internships.

“We are excited to partner with Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) with the shared goal of providing employment opportunities to people with disabilities in the Greater Boston Area,” said Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein. “Through this grant, and with their collaborative relationship with local employers, JVS will be able to provide this deserving population with meaningful and sustainable employment.”

"The Ruderman Family Foundation is proud that our innovative partnership with CJP and JVS to employ young people with disabilities in the workforce has now attracted the support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We believe the Transitions Program will continue to lead our workforce to become more inclusive."

The state is investing in this program after it has consistently met its benchmarks and goals, namely empowering individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers, and to partner with employers to hire, develop and retain productive workforces since its establishment in 2011.

“JVS, our employer training partners, CVS Pharmacy, Hebrew Senior Life, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Whitsons, the nearly twenty employers that hire the graduates of Transitions to Work, and our partners, the Ruderman Family Foundation and Combined Jewish Philanthropies, are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand this innovative and highly effective model of competitive employment,” said Jerry Rubin, president of Jewish Vocational Service. “At a time when individuals with disabilities face unemployment two to three times the average rate, a model like Transitions to Work, which trains and places young adults with some of the leading employers in Massachusetts, is critically important to the Commonwealth’s goal of including everyone in our growing economy. ”

“We are so honored to partner with organizations like The Ruderman Family Foundation and Jewish Vocational Service on Transitions to Work, which has been instrumental in building awareness of inclusive hiring and opening doors to job opportunities for young adults with disabilities,” said Barry Shrage, president of CJP. “The program and partnerships with organizations from around the area is a testament to the generosity of this community.”

To learn more about Transitions to Work, please visit:

About The Ruderman Family Foundation
The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that inclusion and understanding of each other is essential to a fair and flourishing community. Guided by our Jewish values, we support effective programs, innovative partnerships and a dynamic approach to philanthropy. Our core areas of interest: advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the Jewish community; fostering a more nuanced understanding of the American Jewish community among Israeli leaders; and modeling the practice of strategic philanthropy worldwide. The Foundation provides funding, leadership and expertise in both the U.S. and Israel, with offices in both countries, while it engages a global dialogue on its blog at For more information about our programs, partners and grantees, please visit

About Jewish Vocational Service
Founded in 1938, JVS is a non-sectarian nonprofit that helps individuals get the education, skills, and jobs they need to succeed in our community, and helps businesses hire, train, retain and promote their employees through a broad range of programs. JVS delivers over 35 services to 15,000 individuals and hundreds of employers annually. For more information, visit

About CJP 
CJP, Greater Boston’s Jewish Federation, brings together the people, partners and resources to fulfill the most important needs and aspirations of our community.  Rooted in compassion and justice and driven by innovation, we care for the vulnerable, forge strong connections with Israel and above all, inspire the next generation to embrace Jewish life and learning. For more information please visit


Add Comment