Ruderman Family Foundation Grant of $2.5 million Puts Adults with Disabilities in Jobs

Partnership between Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Jewish Vocational Service and Hebrew SeniorLife to Support Employment for Young Adults with Disabilities in Groundbreaking New Program

“Young Adult Transitions to Work” Provides Young Adults with Disabilities Customized Training, Support and Employment, Representing a New Approach to Providing Work for the Disabled.

BOSTON--()--The Ruderman Family Foundation announced today a major grant of $2.5 million to Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) of Boston to fund a new, groundbreaking program that places young adults with disabilities in jobs. The program, called Young Adult Transitions to Work, will provide job training, placement and ongoing support services for young adults with disabilities at Hebrew SeniorLife and other local employers in Boston. The program will be run by Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) as part of CJP’s “Pathways” program for people with disabilities.

Young Adult Transitions to Work represents an innovative new approach to job placement for people with disabilities by partnering on a pilot project with Hebrew SeniorLife to identify jobs and develop customized training and support that match those positions. It also combines comprehensive training to fully integrate life, work readiness and vocational skills, and ongoing case management once individuals have been placed in jobs.

“There are some 25,000 disabled young adults between in the ages of 18 and 30 in Boston’s Jewish community who are capable of working if jobs can be provided in conjunction with the right training and support,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “Thanks to the forward- thinking leadership at Hebrew SeniorLife, we are able to target the right kind of training and support for available jobs, something that is entirely new. Jewish Vocational Services will provide classes, training specific to the jobs, and ongoing support. CJP will administer the program. It’s a testament to what partnerships between the private sector, non-profit world and advocacy community can achieve, and a real breakthrough for the disability community.”

Barry Shrage, president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, said, “We are thrilled to partner with The Ruderman Foundation, which continues to do so much good in special needs and disability advocacy. The Transitions to Work program fits extremely well with CJP’s Pathways program, which is aimed at creating new and significantly expanded opportunities for adults across the spectrum of disabilities to engage in career exploration, employment and training, community service and other work-related activities.”

Jerry Rubin, president of Jewish Vocational Service, said, “This program is made possible by a unique combination of expertise and commitment that the disability community has not seen before. We are very excited to be a part of something that can transform the way that young adults with disabilities are given opportunities to lead rich and meaningful lives based on the benefits of work.”

“As one of the 40 largest employers in the Commonwealth, Hebrew SeniorLife has a proud history of leveraging the breadth of our job categories to give young adults with disabilities opportunities in the workplace,” said Len Fishman, CEO, Hebrew SeniorLife. “Through this experience, we’ve learned that young adults with disabilities are a natural fit with frail elders, which is supportive of our mission. We’re honored by The Ruderman Family Foundation’s deep generosity and commitment to the innovative programming represented by The Transitions to Work program and look forward to partnering with the Ruderman Foundation, JVS and CJP to bring it to fruition.”

About The Ruderman Family Foundation

The Ruderman Family Foundation is dedicated to supporting the challenged in our society by focusing on individuals with special needs in the Jewish community in the Greater Boston area and Israel. We believe that supporting scholarship in the Jewish community will help to advance the issue of Jewish continuity in the United States, and that a strong Israel is vital to the future of the Jewish people.

About Combined Jewish Philanthropies

Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) Boston’s Jewish Federation, is committed to meeting the most pressing needs and aspirations of Jews here, in Israel and around the world. Our top priority is to connect the next generation and their families to a vibrant, meaningful Jewish community, to create new connections that strengthen Israel and to deepen networks of caring and social justice.

About Jewish Vocational Service

Founded in 1938, JVS delivers a broad range of educational and vocational services to nearly 14,000 clients annually to help them and their families reach financial independence. Lifelong career supports include job search training, educational testing, career counseling, skills training, English for Speakers of Other Languages, GED classes, Adult Basic Literacy and Adult Diploma Program instruction, support for entry-level workers, microenterprise training, and financial assistance. JVS partners with over 1,400 area employers to help fill vacancies and provide the education their employees need to ascend their career ladders. For more information visit

About Hebrew Senior Life

Founded in 1903, Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization devoted to innovative research, health care, education and housing that improves the lives of seniors. For more information, visit


For The Ruderman Family Foundation
Jonathan Cohen, 203-807-4542

Release Summary

Ruderman Family Foundation Grant of $2.5 million Puts Adults with Disabilities in Jobs. “Young Adult Transitions to Work” provides young adults with disabilities training, support and employment.


For The Ruderman Family Foundation
Jonathan Cohen, 203-807-4542