“All students should be able to get the support they need to reach their goals.”Julie Gordon
“If you go into the public schools, there’s usually a fairly robust system for evaluating students’ needs. There’s the whole IEP process; they’re using the multi-tiered systems of support framework. If you look at Jewish day schools, that’s not necessarily the case.”
“REACH was founded to provide these schools with the centralized support services they need to be able to identify kids who are struggling and offer them academic and behavioral health services.”
“In the beginning, it was just me and a part-time assistant, getting the lay of the land, building trust, taking any opportunity we were offered to serve these schools. Now, we have 30 staff serving 17 schools.”
“In terms of need, there’s no question we can do more. In terms of what we can do, though, we’re at capacity. I felt it was time to take stock, to make sure that our mission and vision is still on track and to think hard about the nature of our relationships and our operations going forward. We have to shift our mindset from ‘anything we can do to get our foot in the door’ to thoughtful, strategic growth and strong management.”
“None of us have ever built an organization like this before, not at this level. If we’re going to continue to succeed, we need to develop new skill sets. The more effective we are as an organization, the better the work we’ll be doing on the ground.”
Every day, more than a dozen Jewish organizations work to meet the complex health and human services needs of Jews and non-Jews alike.
From more than 20 years, Michael Reese has supported the health and well-being of the Jewish community. Michael Reese funding has ensured the survival and growth of dozens of single-focus agencies, such as SHALVA and CJE Senior Life, along with such mainstays of comprehensive health care as Sinai Health System. We’ve also been instrumental in developing new health resources for the community, helping to launch what is now the Norton and Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics, a national leader in education and outreach related to genetic disorders and hereditary cancers.
People served by our partners in 2018
In 2018, as part of our new grantmaking strategy, we began accepting grant applications directly from Jewish organizations that provide services in one or more of our priority focus areas.
The change recognizes the growing needs of metropolitan Chicago’s Jewish community, a community expanding at more than twice the rate of the overall population. In 2010, the year of the last Jewish community survey, immigrants accounted for 15 percent of Jews. People over 65—whose healthcare needs are typically far greater than other age groups’—comprised 21 percent, up from 17 percent in 2000. For those over age 50, a group that accounts for more than 50 percent of all healthcare spending, the increase was even greater: from 36 to 45 percent.
The change also recognizes the growing needs—and growing strengths—of the many Jewish agencies that are vital to the health and well-being of metropolitan Chicago. We are proud of their commitment and achievements, and we welcome the opportunity to more closely collaborate with them.
Improving special education programs by strengthening strategic management skills
Grantee: ATT and REACH
Project: Executive coaching for REACH senior leadership
Maintaining integrated oral health services for low-income adults
Grantee: The ARK
Project: Dental Clinic
Keeping high-quality primary and specialty health care available in communities on Chicago’s Southwest Side
Grantee: Sinai Health System
Project: Detailed assessment of Sinai Medical Group’s operational sustainability