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November 29, 1974 - Image 62

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-11-29

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Jewish Vocational Service and Community Workshop

The Jewish Vocational Ser-
Workshop has a number of and raised $100 for the Israel
vice and Arnold E. Frank
primary tasks and services Emergency Fund.
One of the group's major Community Workshop is one
that it provides apart from
projects is a newspaper pub- of only three accredited
these new programs.
Ascher and his staff pro- lished once or twice per year. workshops in the state of
vided an example (and no Ms. Goldman said the project Michigan. It provides re-
example is typical, they helps the clients develop com- habilitation, sheltered em-
ployment for those who
warn) to illustrate the types munication skills.
"Some don't write well, not work productively
of services provided by JVS,
essentially at the Detroit but some amazing things regular setting, and work ac-
happened when we brought tivities for others where
end product is unimpor`
A man who was physically out a tape recorder," she
Persons with serious
said. Many of the clients
active with a construction
cal or • emotional impair-
firm all of his life suffered were afraid of the recorder, ments, but who can return to
a heart attack which forces but began to use it after work, are helped to adjust
watching their friends.
him to do sedentary work.
The man would be inter-
viewed by JVS staff and
given an orientation. A com-
plete evaluation of his job
skills and vocational inter-
ests would be followed by a
work adjustment trainin
program to prepare for com-
petitive employment.
He also would receive
group counseling, individual
counseling, participate in a
job readiness clinic to learn
about appropriate attire, job
finding -and interview tips,
and receive remedial train-
ing in reading and arithme-
tic if necessary.
A workshop client can also
Clients meet for social activities, educational and cul-
use JVS' placement services.
Job placement counselors tural sessions and periodically publish their own newspaper.
work with the rehabilitation
The newspaper and the to working again. This in-
counselors to fit the job to
recorder have complete-. cludes working with super-
the individual client's needs.
vision, working with others,
The JVS placement staff ly changed the life of one
productivity and other re-
keeps its own files on avail- client, according to the staff.
-able jobs and necessary skill Completely withdrawn, he lated work problems.
Ascher emphasized that
levels required, and their began to express himself and
records are supplemented by participate in activities after JVS does not treat a person's
problems. "We teach people
daily microfilm reports from using the recorder.
Miss Goldman also super- how to work," and help other
the Michigan Employment
-vises the Jewish and non- agencies treat the individ-
Security Commission.
Hardware parts are assembled before being sealed in
Ascher explained that both Jewish social clubs that meet ual's primary _problems.
plastic, weighed and placed in _cartons.
The extensive evaluation
the rehabilitation client, such weekly, and sponsored some
classes on budgeting and
as it has been for the client. as the example of the man banking that have all&wed procedures are used to mea-
where possible.
Both the Detroit and the We are talking about a per- with the heart attack, and some of the clients to handle sure the client's physical
Southfield office have been son whose disease may affect clients with learning disabili- their own paychecks, -rather dexterity and perception, as
helping place Russian -refu- his life only 2 per cent of the ties are referred to other than depend on friends and well as find out what types
of jobs are most suitable for
medical and social agencies
gees in cooperation with the time."
the individual.
Resettlement Service.
Although the program is in
All the clients are paid
The evaluations include
The Southfield office, with its infancy, JVS has already The average vocational re- under federal guidelines for
a staff of - eight, handles _ a placed two epileptics - for hibilitation client spends 8-12 the work they perform on a clerical and perception tests,
and mailing, filing and other
job placement case load of work. At the end of the work weeks with JVS.
More seriously handicapped complicated formula, based work tasks. Many times JVS
approximately 100 clients at experience, in which JVS
clients may spend years
uncovers problems that are
any one time.
pays the employe's salary
rate and pay an industrial
Ascher said the office has and fringe benefits, the em- working in the community worker would receive for the reported to the referral
agency for treatment.
been expanded twice in the ployer may permanently hire workshop. Mary Russell, same work.
last three years, and another the epileptic, or end the ex- supervisor of rehabilitative
The JVS is a member
counseling services des-
perience with a complete cribed one client who was chairs, bicycle safety flags, agency of the - Jewish Wel-
evaluation for JVS to use in legally retarded as well as an automobile clothes rack, fare Federation and United
further training and job emotionally disabled.
and other goods, and the Community Services, and a
counseling and placement.
package hard- beneficiary of the Allied Jew-
The client had minimal
Initially funded for 44 per- clerical skills, but expressed ware, cloth stampings, cof- ish Campaign and the United
sons, JVS has already re- an interest in telephone fee filters, note pads, muf- Foundation. ,
ceived more than 80 applica- switchboard work.
Approximately 15 per cent
fler clamps and other items
tions from Detroit area
of its $1,000,000 budge _
Her JVS records indicated for local industry.
agencies for the program, that it was unlikely that she
and one of its first two place- could do this type of job,
ments has been hired by the but with increased training,
and practical experience on
But, the Jewish Vocational the JVS switchboard, she is
Service and Community now employed by a large De-
troit firm.
The woman received fol-
lowup counseling once a
week initially, but is now on
her own, and has held the
Senior citizens board the JVS van for the trip home
job for 18 months.
after a day in the community workshop.
Denise Goldman has been
establishing special programs
Many of the Jewish clients
for the vocationally handi- •
using the JVS services are The office handles summer
capped at JVS. For the Jew-
the elderly who- come daily and year-round job place-
ish clients, she has set up
to the workshop, and others ment, high . school career
field trips to 'synagogues,
who use the Southfield office counseling and college schol-
special programs on holidays
for school and job counsel- arships, and a new program
and festivals, a Passover
Working together in "bench _assembly" of small parts
for women who want to re-
seder meal and other events. is one of the jobs performed in the workshop.
Albert I. Ascher, JVS exe- turn to work.
The entire group a 1 s o
Two of the newest JVS
cutive director, said the pro-
The clients do the work, provided by Federation,
makes holiday presents for
gram is extremely important programs are Project Join,
package the materials and while the remainder is OF
to the elderly. "They became and a cooperative program
ducted their own campaign box them, under the super- funds and grants from gov-
ernmental agencies.
during the Yom Kippur War vision of workshop staff.
64 Friday, Nov. 29, 1974

The Jewish Vocational Ser-
vice and Community Work-
shop has been helping the
Jewish elderly, the poor, the
handicapped and the jobless
for more than 30 years.
What began with a tiny
staff and office in the base-
ment of the Butzel Building
at 163 Madison more than
30 years ago has grown to a
staff of 50 serving up to 150
clients at burgeoning facili-
ties in Detroit and Southfield.
From a small facility es-
tablished to help people fight
the Depression, JVS grew
over the years to help return-
ing servicemen find jobs
after World War II, and in
the 1950s set up a "sheltered
workshop" to employ persons
otherwise unable to work.
The operation now has a
40-member board of trustees
composed of volunteer com-
munity leaders, a $1,000,000
budget, contracts with coun-
ty, state and federal agen-
cies to assist the community,
and an enviable record of
JVS offers its services to:
• The elderly, who arrive
daily on a JVS bus from the
Federation Apartments in
Oak Park to earn money
as employes of the workshop
and participate in the agen-
cy's social and cultural pro-
• The unemployed, who
use JVS counseling and re-
ferral services at the main
building on Woodward at
Canfield and the Southfield
office on Greenfield near 10
• People with learning
disabilities, who can not be
employed in unsupervised
situations are given training
and job skills to work and
earn money manufacturing
products at JVS ranging
from chairs to hardware;
• Persons who need reha-
bilitation for physical or emo-
tional problems are offered
a complete program of evalu-
ation, training, counseling,
work experience and job

upset on holidays and snow
days when the bus doesn't
run, because they fall be-
hind in their production
He said the oldest partici-
pant is 92. "These people
have worked all their lives.
They understand work, and
need work," Ascher said.
"The work ethic has been a
way of life to them."
He said their earnings are
minimal, but important to
their sense of independence,
"and God help us if we make
a mistake on a paycheck.
They also have many sug-
gestions to enhance the man-
agement here," As c h e r
laughed, "and some of their
suggestions are very good."
The JVS encourages the
seniors to attend community
events, helps coordinate their
schedules for medical ser-
vices and other activities,
and arranges transportation

with the state and federal
governments and the Michi-
gan Epilepsy Center.
Project Join was begun
this summer with 10 selected
Jewish college students ser-
ving as interns. Primarily
social work students, they
were given a thorough intro-
duction to Detroit Jewish
agencies and on-the-job train-
The students published a
booklet, "A Guide to Jewish
Detroit," and four are con-
tinuing to serve on commit-
tees of the Jewish Vocational
Service, the Jewish Com-
munity Center and the Jew-
ish Home for the Aged.
The epilepsy program is an
experimental program funded
by the federal government
to train epileptics to work in
the community.
Ascher said, "This has
been as much an educational
experience for the employer



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