During the 1930s,
Jewish Vocational Services around the country were established
to help immigrants find employment during the Great Depression.
In 1939, the Jewish Occupational Council (JOC) was formed
to assist these new agencies in guidance, planning, and sharing
their best practices. The JOC today, seventy years later,
under its current name of the International Association of
Jewish Vocational Services (IAJVS), continues to carry out
the original mission set forth by the medieval Jewish philosopher
Moses Maimonides - the greatest charity lies in helping people
to become self-sufficient.
IAJVS is a not-for-profit
association linking 32 health and human service agencies in
the United States, Canada, and Israel that provide a wide
range of vocational and rehabilitation services. Through its
member agencies, individuals seeking to improve their lives
gain access to a vast array of services such as career management,
skills training, rehabilitation, mental health, and health
To realize its shared mission, IAJVS
provides its membership with services that strengthen local
capacity. IAJVS researches private, corporate, and government
funding opportunities for its affiliates, provides executive
and professional development through annual conferences, executive
leadership forums, teleconferences, and train-the-trainer
institutes, and acts as a clearinghouse for shared information
and "best practices". IAJVS serves as the
collective voice, representing the network nationally and
internationally and promoting the important work of its local
agencies here and abroad.
Seventy years since
the inception of IAJVS, we face an unemployment crisis not
experienced in this country since the Great Depression.
The network serves more than 725,000 individuals from across
the social strata including persons with disabilities, dislocated
workers, welfare recipients, refugees and the elderly.
IAJVS agencies work with over 40,000 employers throughout
their service areas with a combined budget of over $700 million.
The capacity of
the IAJVS network to help industry and business grow through
its workforce development resources has been called on once
again. The deepening recession has increased demand
for services and IAJVS continues to play a critical role in
the national recovery effort.
Who We Serve
The IAJVS family
of agencies serves over 720,000 individuals from across the
social strata, including:
- Dislocated & Downsized Workers
- People Changing Careers
- Persons with Disabilities
- Public Assistance Recipients
- College Students & Recent College Graduates
- Immigrants & Refugees
- Older Workers
- People Seeking Employment
Since its founding in 1939, the IAJVS network has assisted
over 17 million individuals from both the Jewish and non-Jewish