You Never Think Financial Hardship Will Affect You. Until it Does.

When I became medically disabled in 2006, I had to leave a rewarding career in conference management. My savings were depleted and I had to declare bankruptcy. I didn't know where to turn. In Jewish Family & Children's Service, I found compassionate people who wanted and knew how to help. They made calls and referred me to other helpful organizations as well, like Yad Chessed and Jewish Family Services. Their resourcefulness helped me find long-term solutions by helping me get through short-term problems, like a car that needed repairs. That's the kind of thing that can derail you. When I received an ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2011, they found even more ways to help. I had the emotional support of a community.


Sadly, prior to the launch of this initiative, Lisa Kirschner passed away. While in hospice, Lisa expressed a sincere desire for her story to be included because she believed deeply in the importance of providing help to those in need.


For most of my adult life, I've been a volunteer with Jewish organizations. But in 2010, the same places I was used to helping were helping me. When I needed to move unexpectedly, they were there, getting me into safe housing in a good community. Even though I didn't want to have to ask for help finding an apartment or some extra groceries, I knew from my experience that I could rely on Jewish Family Services in my time of need. With their help, I learned to budget and got back on my feet. Now, I'm back to giving back the way I used to. But if I'm ever in need, I know where I can turn.


As a single parent, it was important to find a positive male role model for my son. But Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters (JBBBS) helped us in many more ways than that. They connected us with resources like Jewish Family Services of Metrowest (JFSMW), which helped us get a fuel-efficient car we otherwise couldn't afford so I can get my son the support he needs, at school and beyond. He's doing well, he keeps me going. I've always had jobs and even was co-owner of a business, so I'm used to being independent; It's hard for me to ask for help. But between JBBBS, Yad Chessed and JFSMW, we've been respected and lifted up in many ways, and we're so grateful for that.


My husband and I are educated and employed, which means a lot of people didn't realize we could have been struggling. As he was finishing college and we had our first child, we were right on the cusp of poverty. When you're living paycheck to paycheck, it's so hard to get out of that situation. With the compassion of our community and various kinds of help from Jewish Family & Children's Service, we were able to move forward. We received cash assistance that was so crucial. And the support from our friends, Chabad and Family Table, meant we could keep our strong faith and kosher lifestyle intact, which was so important to us.


Addressing Poverty in the Jewish Community

Judaism teaches us to care for one another during times of need. We all benefit from a community that cares—a place where we can get help when we need it and give help when we can.

CJP and our partner agencies have a history of providing assistance to those who have struggled financially within our Jewish community. When the recession hit in 2008, CJP mobilized a coordinated local response, helping more than 10,000 people toward the path of financial stability. This effort is more important than ever as we work with our partner agencies to address the financial distress currently affecting one in eight Jewish households in Greater Boston.

With a bold new initiative in place and support from generous donors and partnerships with local agencies, we are able to provide direct support for individuals and families. CJP's new comprehensive response to families in or at risk of severe financial hardship aims to:

  • Develop an integrated, client-centric approach including a single phone line (the 'warmline') that streamlines access to services and support.
  • Raise awareness about poverty in the Jewish community so that those struggling know where to go to ask for help and those in a position to help realize the importance of supporting them through difficult times.
  • Increase emergency supports for immediate financial assistance, food and crisis management services.
  • Facilitate new, long-term, coordinated client services to help people move beyond crisis to achieve greater stability, through, job training, financial education and additional services.

Get Help Donate Now

When you're barely scraping by, something's got to give. Or someone.

How to Get Help

We're here to help in your time of need.

CJP is pleased to work with local Jewish organizations to offer short- and long-term assistance to members of our community who are facing financial hardship and related challenges. Together, we can collectively address immediate needs, like getting dinner on the table and keeping the heat on this winter, as well as provide services that lead to greater stability, such as mentorship and job search support.

If you've ever wondered how you'll pay your rent or had to make the difficult decision of choosing between daycare and medical care, you are not alone. CJP and our partner organizations are here to provide resources and help you turn things around. In the past three years, our partner organizations helped more than 3,800 members of our Jewish community navigate their options to get support, find jobs and gain access to food, cash and utilities. Call the CJP warmline at 1-800-CJP-9500 to be connected with compassionate resources and the support you need to move forward.

“Support from Jewish organizations checking in and being there has meant everything to us. They have made the difference.”

Bonnie Bryson
Our Partners:
  • Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters: ( — helps to connect children in need to adult mentors and introduces adults with disabilities to new friends. Programs for children serve those from a wide range of life circumstances, with more information available from the agency's website. No financial eligibility requirement.
  • Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly: ( — provides affordable senior housing, fostering an independent lifestyle in complete apartments. JCHE is run with an emphasis on dignified and healthy aging.
  • Jewish Family and Children's Service: ( — provides case management and coordination, financial assistance, assistance with funerals, scholarships and interest-free loans for eligible families and individuals. Offers emergency and monthly food through Family Table and extends legal assistance to secure public benefits and other legal resources through the Bet Tzedek program.
  • Jewish Family Services of Metrowest: ( — provides case management, financial assistance for utilities, heating, medical needs, transportation, and food from Lucy & Joe's food pantry, as well as referrals and resources for vocational training, elder care, and public benefits.
  • Jewish Vocational Service: ( — provides assistance with job searches, career counseling, workshops and training.
  • Yad Chessed: ( — provides immediate financial assistance and food and clothing cards.

CALL NOW 1-800-CJP-9500

Frequently Asked Questions
You have a hand in ending poverty. So raise it.

How You Can Help

Your donation helps CJP and partner agencies provide relief to the most vulnerable members of the Jewish community.

CJP and our partner agencies are working together to develop innovative approaches to address the needs of those struggling in the Jewish community and to provide the professional staff and resources to help those in need. In our efforts to move people toward stability, we are moving beyond a crisis oriented approach to financial need by pairing financial assistance with comprehensive services including case management, job training, and legal services to help navigate and obtain public benefits.

When you raise your hand to make a tax-deductible contribution, you are enabling us to help Jewish families eat healthy meals, pay for essential utilities and, in some cases, avoid losing their homes. You are helping us take concrete steps to get members of our community back on the path to long-term stability.

Give Help

Frequently Asked Questions

“Public perception is that there is no poverty in the Jewish community. The truth is there are many life events that can trigger a financial crisis and these can affect anyone.”

Chuck Myers, CJP donor

Get in Touch

We all play a role in ending poverty. It starts by raising your hand.

As we know, one of the hallmarks of a great Jewish community is that it supports and strengthens all its members, especially those who are in need. Thanks to your kindness, generosity and vision, we are moving forward on all aspects of our initiative to fight Jewish poverty in Greater Boston.

With you as our partner, we can address this complex problem and build a more caring community. So if you're in need of help or can give it, raise your hand and pledge to ensure a brighter Jewish future for all.

Give or Get HELP by calling the CJP warmline at 1-800-CJP-9500.

Give Help FAQ

How does CJP decide where my donation goes?
CJP works with our partner social service agencies and community volunteers to prioritize the most pressing needs for Jewish families and individuals in severe financial distress. We also review demographic information, assess gaps in available programs and services, research new programs and evaluate the effectiveness of CJP programs. This process informs where we invest funds — ensuring that each program meets our goal of helping individuals and families move from financial crisis to stability.
Which organizations does CJP work with?
CJP supports hundreds of organizations, not only by providing grants but also by working with the community to identify where the needs are greatest, and then put the resources, expertise and leadership in place to make the most impact. Our anti-poverty work in the Jewish community includes Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, Jewish Family & Children's Service, Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, Jewish Vocational Service, and Yad Chessed. For a full list, please see "Get Help"
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes, your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Does CJP accept non-cash donations (e.g. clothing, food, etc.)?
CJP does not accept donations of food or clothing. Several of our partner social service agencies, such as JF&CS Family Table and JFS of Metrowest, accept donations of certain food items. Please contact these organizations for more information.
What is CJP's Charity Navigator score?
CJP has received the highest four-star rating from Charity Navigator, reflecting our efficient and fiscally responsible management.
How can I help someone in my community get help or tell if they need help?
Click here to view the CJP Toolkit

Get Help FAQ

I left a message for the warmline. When can I expect to hear back?
The CJP warmline is available during regular business hours, from 9 am to 5 pm. If you left a message, you can expect that your call will be returned within the next business day, depending on call volume. If you have an emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.
What will happen when I call the warmline?
Your call will be answered or returned by a trained professional who will conduct an initial assessment of your or your family's needs, and discuss resources that are available to help. Eligible individuals will be referred to a case manager at one of our partner social services agencies, where you will be asked to complete an application to receive certain services.