Caring for vulnerable people in our community

By Sarah Abramson, Associate Vice President, Caring and Social Justice

Caring and social justice are fundamental pillars that drive CJP’s work. They reflect our most basic responsibility to alleviate vulnerability in our community. Every day, with your encouragement and support, we’re working hard to improve the lives of people, including seniors, individuals and families in financial distress, and those with disabilities.

I am pleased to share a few recent highlights and achievements: 

  • Since June 2015, more than 1,500 households in economic distress have received assistance through our Anti-Poverty Initiative. As you know, we work to alleviate crises and help people move beyond poverty, towards stability and self-sufficiency through a community-wide, coordinated approach. To that end, we are piloting a financial coaching program at Jewish Vocational Service’s Financial Opportunity Center to help low-income individuals set and meet financial goals. This new program is based on a national model developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which showed that clients who receive financial coaching, in addition to employment services, are 50 percent more likely to land well-paying jobs than those who only get employment help. Moreover, job retention rates almost double.
  • Transitions to Work—a collaboration between CJP, the Ruderman Family Foundation, and Jewish Vocational Service—was just featured in the Boston Herald as a successful employment program for people with disabilities. We recently celebrated the program’s fifth anniversary and honored 75 employer partners at a special event where we shared this inspirational video. Transitions to Work is an innovative public-private partnership, with significant funding from public sources such as Mass Rehab Council and Boston Public Schools. The program is being considered by others for national expansion as a model program that meets the employment needs of young adults with disabilities.
  • CJP offers numerous programs in Greater Boston that care for seniors and provide them with a sense of belonging to the Jewish community. Our newest initiative is a monthly senior activities calendar to help prevent social isolation by connecting seniors to Jewish-themed activities and events in our community. In addition to the online version, a printed calendar is being distributed through the mail. This simple, central resource is already making a difference to seniors who previously were unaware of all that was happening in their neighborhood.

If you have questions or would like more information, feel free to contact me at


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