We are honored to present our 2017 Annual Report which clearly documents CJE’s increasing significance and value to our growing senior community.
Founded in 1971, CJE’s original goal, as articulated by Founding Chairman Joseph Gidwitz, of blessed memory, was “to plan, implement and maintain a comprehensive and coordinated program of total service for the Jewish elderly of metropolitan Chicago, through a highly flexible program of care and service.” Forty-five years later, we are proud to report that CJE SeniorLife continues to live that Mission and Vision every day.
As CJE has grown, our Jewish values have compelled us to listen to the needs and desires of our clients, residents and family members—always keeping in mind the strengths and resources that each individual brings to the table. Today, our Mission remains steadfast—to enhance the lives of older adults and facilitate an individual’s independence and dignity. Isn’t that what we all hope for as we age?
Meeting these goals has not been easy. This past year has been especially challenging. CJE has been deeply impacted by having no State budget for two years, as well as by the uncertainty in Washington. These challenges are only heightened by the growing number and diversity of older adults who need our services. Moreover, every year we are seeing more adult children who are seeking CJE’s guidance and expertise to assist with the care of their aging loved ones.
Those who are most familiar with CJE often comment that while CJE is one of the real gems of our community, they feel it is the “best kept secret in town.” That is, however, until a crisis causes a 50-year-old adult child to reach out to
CJE because she has heard from her doctor or neighbor that we could help her 80-year-old father… help provided through one of our 35-plus programs offering life enrichment, supportive resources or healthcare. CJE’s Senior Management and Board of Directors continually assess and respond to both internal and external challenges. We always strive to maximize our resources and be proactive in developing programs to meet the evolving needs of the Jewish and larger community.
Because of this focus and drive, CJE has a strong foundation on which to build for the future. Our efforts and successes are due to the support we receive from so many partners, the most important of which is the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. We are indebted to the many organizations, foundations, families and individuals who support our Mission. Finally, our deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks go out to our entire Board, our volunteers and our staff—from our bus drivers to our cooks … from our social workers to our nurses—and all the hardworking individuals who are on the front lines providing CJE services to 20,000-plus older adults and their family members each year.
As we move closer to our half-century mark, CJE does not have time for a midlife crisis—we must keep moving forward with creativity and intent so we are prepared to meet whatever challenges lie ahead. It is in that spirit that our 2017 Annual Report highlights our achievements and benchmarks during our 45th anniversary year.