The Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS) was founded in 1960 as the North American Association of Jewish Homes and Housing for the Aging (NAJHHA). It was created and continues to function as the central coordinator for homes and residential facilities for Jewish elderly in North America. Dr. Herbert Shore was the driving force behind the establishment of AJAS and was the organization's first president and its founding executive vice president.
AJAS represents the best interests of the Jewish aged in communities where membership organizations are located. The members of AJAS administer to the needs of the aging through residential health care; assisted living and group homes; independent and congregate housing; and living-at-home service programs.
AJAS functions to promote the unique role and mission of Jewish-sponsored not-for-profit organizations serving the aging by arranging educational meetings for the mutual exchange of information and ideas for members and all organizations for the aging; by working jointly with and supporting other organizations which serve the aging; by working with members to improve the operation and status of each members organization; and by concerning itself with the welfare of and advocacy for all elderly.
Non-profit status and leadership
A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, AJAS is a unique forum that promotes and supports elder services in the context of Jewish values through education, professional development, advocacy and community relationships. AJAS is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors, representing Jewish aging services throughout North America. Board members serve three-year terms and officers are elected bi-annually at the Annual Business Meeting.
Professional staff manage day-to-day operations at the Washington, D.C. office.
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The AJAS membership consists of over 125 organizations: Jewish-sponsored nursing homes, housing communities, and outreach programs throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.
The Association of Jewish Aging Services and its member organizations are committed to ensuring the well-being of aging Jewish adults through North America. AJAS and its members strive, wherever possible, to help Jewish elderly stay in their homes and communities of choice and live with dignity and adequate support.
Donations help AJAS create a Jewish center for applied research, advocacy and resource development in the United States and Canada. Through the Association's programs and publications, local and national agencies are able to significantly enhance the services and programs for aging Jewish adults and their families. Currently, there are no other organizations in the United States or Canada that act as a comprehensive resource devoted to the Jewish aging population.
Each year, AJAS member organizations serve nearly 1.5 million elderly Jews. Your donation will help AJAS members provide top-notch care for the aging Jewish population in the most respectful and dignified manner possible. Your donation will help establish AJAS as the foremost resource center for Jewish aging in North America.
Education and programs
In its continued effort to provide turn-key information to its membership, AJAS hosts a number of education events each year. These programs include, but are not limited to:
- AJAS Annual Conference - Every year, the AJAS Annual Conference provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas concerning every facet in the field of Jewish aging. AJAS spends months in planning this blockbuster event and spares no effort in gathering the very best presenters to discuss the hottest issues affecting member organizations. Many members say the AJAS Annual Conference is the single most important meeting they attend each year.
- Regional Forums - AJAS Regional Forums are one-day gatherings hosted by member organizations that provide an opportunity for other members to come together with local colleagues to focus on hot industry topics. The Forums contain both structured presentations, plenty of time for networking and a site tour of the host facility.
- Webinars - AJAS hosts several 1-hour web-conferences each year to give members from across the United States and Canada an interactive forum to share programs, best practices and innovations from their own organizations with a large audience.
- Journal on Jewish Aging - The goal of the Journal on Jewish Aging is to present AJAS and interested community members with practical and operational information unique to Jewish aging services. The subject matter includes, but is not limited to, the social, clinical or spiritual needs specific to the aging Jewish population and the management and governance of various types of Jewish senior service agencies. The Journal on Jewish Aging is a peer-reviewed publication.
- The Scribe - The Scribe is a quarterly magazine, published by AJAS, which features articles on turn-key activities at AJAS member organizations; intriguing staff and fascinating residents; AJAS events and publications; and other information pertinent to the field of Jewish aging services. Each Winter, AJAS published a supplement about building projects planned or underway at AJAS member organizations.
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