We are delighted to present our 2021 Annual Report.
This 2021 Annual Report details our takeaways from a year that defies definition. It tells the story of the extraordinary and groundbreaking responses and initiatives CJE SeniorLife implemented during a year that can only be described as unique and for some, harrowing. Constantly guided by our Jewish values, we have reflected on the disruptions we faced during this past year. Yet, we were also heartened by what we learned, above all, about our tenacity.
Looking back at the enormous obstacles we faced, we are amazed at how much CJE was able to offer the community by keeping laser-focused on our mission of enhancing the lives of older adults in the Jewish and larger community. To be sure, CJE was immensely affected: family and volunteer visits were suspended, programs were streamed online, staff quickly learned how to work remotely, meetings were held on Zoom, hundreds of uncomfortable COVID tests were administered, and temperatures were checked every time someone entered our buildings.
Our staff truly met every challenge set before them, highlighting their enduring passion, drive, and talent. There are no words to adequately express our deepest appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices provided by our frontline staff—nurses, resident assistants, social workers, care managers, therapists, bus drivers, cooks, and servers—as well as a whole host of hardworking individuals behind the scenes. It is difficult to quantify the vast contributions of our Board members and other volunteers who made hundreds of calls to people who were isolated.
None of this could have been accomplished without the invaluable support we received from the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, including their COVID Relief Fund. Our tremendous efforts were also successful thanks to the many organizations, foundations, corporations, families, and individuals who supported us with their extraordinary generosity. In fact, the range of the many philanthropic donations we received inspired us every day! And for that we remain forever grateful.
There is no doubt that 2021 will remain in our memories as a year unlike any other. But through it, we can state affirmatively that our CJE family has learned a massive amount about its resilience, enabling us to rebuild, reconnect, and truly transform ourselves in many ways. Moving forward, we are ready to embark on a process of courageous strategic transformation that will be implemented through a lens of equity to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to provide justice and parity of experience to many, especially our most vulnerable. We expect this to culminate in a celebration of our 50th year of service that is a testament to our agency’s commitment to positive aging. CJE SeniorLife has overcome such huge challenges this past year that it is difficult to conceive of anything that we can’t surmount.
With our sincere gratitude and hope for a more normal year,
Marc Berman, Board Chair
Dan Fagin, President & CEO