We are delighted to present our 2020 Annual Report.
As we write you, we can’t ignore the exceptional circumstances under which the last half of our fiscal year proceeded—that is, under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Surprisingly to us and many others, the problem lingers on, and because of this and our intense concern for the future, the process of looking back seems difficult. However, as it has always reacted in other crises, CJE SeniorLife has gone to great lengths to adapt to the current situation. All of this has been done to protect the health of our clients, employees, and volunteers, while still providing delivery of our vital programs and services.
In previous years, as we “looked back,” we were always amazed at how much CJE offers to the community. Once again, we have risen to the occasion by learning how to work remotely, delivering counseling via telehealth, deploying staff to locations that needed additional support, improving our access to technology, and developing new ways to keep engaged during this challenging time. In the face of COVID-19, CJE continues to provide the depth and breadth of programs and services that enhance the lives of older adults in the Jewish and larger community. It has been a phenomenal test of our corporate culture—we move forward even when the challenges seem daunting.
In this report, we illustrate how CJE’s passion and care for older adults and their families have propelled us to be exceptionally creative during a virulent health crisis. Because of the obvious danger COVID-19 presents to seniors, we are in a unique position to be part of a family’s solution to the myriad of transitions that accompany aging. We are proud to amplify our message that CJE is here to care for older adults because that is the fundamental meaning of our mission. Our intent is to show you, through amazing stories, that “Life Goes On” for our friends within the community.
We’ve said that we are prepared to “meet” people wherever they might be in life. This year, the pandemic has placed many of them in difficult places, and we are utilizing our 35-plus programs to address their individual needs. How, when, and where they receive supportive services differed greatly during the last half of the year. Most dramatically, our CJE Cyber Club “exploded” onto our website as a popular portal for online presentations. Our Counseling Services initiated Medicare-approved telehealth therapy. While CJE Adult Day Services had to be suspended early in the pandemic, we developed a series of special dementia-friendly activities for clients at home. ADS has since reopened.
As our 50-year anniversary approaches, we are proud that CJE has a strong foundation that allowed us to pivot quickly during the pandemic. We have been able to do this in part because of the support we receive from so many partners, the most important of which is the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. This year, many new organizations, foundations, families, and individuals have also honored us with their support.
We are grateful to our entire Board, our volunteers, and our 600-plus staff members—resident care assistants, cooks, nurses, housekeepers, care managers, therapists, and many more hardworking individuals. Because of our employees’ incredible commitment, CJE was primed to go from strength to strength. It is to them that this Annual Report is dedicated, highlighting their perseverance, creativity, and resilience during this mind-boggling year. Indeed, they are the reason that “Life Goes On.”
With our deepest gratitude,
Marc Berman, Board Chair
Dan Fagin, President & CEO
3003 West Touhy Avenue
Chicago, IL 60645.