JSS traces its roots back to the “Jewish Central Committee of Madison,” established in the 1930s, and to the “Madison Welfare Fund,” created in 1940 to help resettle refugees in Madison who were fleeing the Holocaust. In the early 1970s the MJCC Senior Adult Committee designed a project which hired two part-time geriatric social workers to provide limited casework services and group activities for seniors in the Madison Jewish community.
In 1978, the geriatric social service staff became part of Jewish Social Services of Madison, Inc., which was incorporated as a wholly autonomous agency with an independent Board of Directors, its own mission statement and by-laws, and a completely separate budget and operations. That same year JSS became a participating agency in the United Way of Dane County and began serving the entire community. JSS is now also a member of the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies. The agency in located in the Max Weinstein Jewish Community Building of the west side of Madison.
In 1978, we helped 152 clients; today we serve more than 1000 annually. We pride ourselves on guaranteeing access to all, regardless of financial means.
Those we serve warmly express gratitude in letters, on surveys and in person. While historically, JSS has been fortunate to receive grants and support from a number of agencies including the Jewish Federation of Madison, the United Way of Dane County and the Goodman Foundation, in recent years nearly half of our budget has been generated by individual and family contributions.