IAJVS Turns 70

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 services.

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 communities.