The Judith Creed Homes for Adult Independence (JCHAI)

To read on Jewish Exponent website:

Grants To Expand Jewish Disability Outreach



Judith Creed Homes for Adult Independence (JCHAI) residents participate in robotics club activities. | Photo provided

Philadelphia’s Jewish community will soon offer even more brotherly love to those with intellectual disabilities.

Judith Creed Homes for Adult Independence (JCHAI) and Jewish Learning Venture (JLV) received $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, from a joint venture between the Genesis Prize Foundation and Jewish Funders Network.

The Genesis Prize Foundation awards $1 million each year to an individual who has excelled in his or her professional field and supported the Jewish community. Musician Itzhak Perlman won the honor in 2016 and opted to donate the money to charities that share Jewish life with those with disabilities. Before selecting recipients, he tripled the total to $3.17 million through a grant-matching campaign with Jewish Funders Network.

JCHAI was among 22 organizations nationwide announced June 11 as grant winners. The Bryn Mawr-based organization operates three area group homes for adults with special needs, along with a cluster of apartments and programs for young adults.

Although adults of all religions participate in JCHAI programs, the organization emphasizes Jewish values, serves kosher foods and holds weekly Shabbat dinners and services in its residences.

The grant money will be used to expand JCHAI Transitions, a program for young adults ages 18 to 28 to build life skills before they live independently, either in a JCHAI home or on their own.

“Any 22-year-old is nervous to move out,” JCHAI Executive Director Stacy Levitan explained. The anxiety is heightened for young adults and their parents when an intellectual or developmental disability is involved.

JCHAI’s transition program provides an intermediary step before leaving parents’ homes. Through evening classes like cooking and resume building, young adults learn key life skills. With frequent club activities and field trips, JCHAI also provides a social network that stays with participants beyond classroom hours.


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