Human Services

Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington, Inc.

  • Rockville, MD

Mission Statement

The Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA) provides essential services that help older adults in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area maintain independence, dignity and vitality, and build bridges between generations.

Main Programs

  1. Transportation
  2. Senior Employment
  3. Adult Day Programs and Caregiver Support
  4. Information, Education and Outreach
  5. Intergenerational Programs
  6. Development and Administration
Service Areas



JCA serves the National Capital Area -- Washington, D.C., suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia

ruling year


Principal Officer


David Gamse



aging, seniors, Jewish, transportation, employment, training, education, volunteers, computers, intergenerational, adult day care

Notes from the Nonprofit

JCA provides access, answers and opportunities for older adults and family caregivers throughout the Greater Washington, D.C. region.

Our award-winning programs enable older men and women to maintain their independence, dignity, vitality and self-respect despite physical, financial and emotional challenges. They connect the generations. And they shatter stereotypes about growing up and growing older as they help make the National Capital Area a great place to age.

Our Jewish heritage and values guide and inspire our vision and work, and we are proud to serve men and women of all faiths, ethnicities and income levels. Since our founding in 1973, JCA has helped all seniors thrive.

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Also Known As






Physical Address

The JCA Ann L. Bronfman Center 12320 Parklawn Dr

Rockville, 20852


Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Senior Centers/Services (P81)

Transportation (Free or Subsidized) (P52)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

JCA represents something different to every person we proudly serve. To the isolated senior with no means of getting around, we are a smiling ElderBus driver who cheerfully helps with canes, walkers and wheelchairs and even carries packages with a smile.
To the concerned family member suddenly faced with overwhelming health or home care issues, we are the confident voice of an information specialist who understands precisely the services needed to care for a beloved parent or spouse and can access our unique, comprehensive database to find needed resources close to home. For the senior who is frail or suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other challenges, we are a safe and caring place that provides dignified assistance at adult day centers that are second to none. To the older jobseeker, we are a friend, advocate, teacher and guide.

JCA is all of this and so much more!

We are vibrant intergenerational programs that build bridges and shatter stereotypes as they help young students succeed in school and life. We are volunteer-run computer training programs that have graduated 11,000 adults since 1992. We are different faces in various places — but united in our mission of helping local seniors experience the positive side of aging while making the National Capital Area a great place to age.

Last year, because of generous friends like you, JCA served more than 30,000 older people of all faiths, ethnicities and walks of life.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1


In January 2014, the JCA ElderBuses began helping older passengers travel safely to and from 5 Montgomery County senior centers.

Our Rose and Harold Kramer Center on Transportation ran a daily shuttle for the Montgomery County homeless shelter overflow site in Silver Spring.

The JCA fleet grew to 13 vehicles, which traveled 98,981 miles this year, and made 36,091 passenger trips.

But what happens when our buses cannot serve an older adult or family caregiver with transportation needs? How can transportation providers do a better job of serving older adults? The answers lie in mobility management – planning wisely and making the very best use of resources – an area in which our Connect-A-Ride program excels. Its Information & Mobility Specialists helped 2,608 clients get where they needed or wanted to go. We also offered Ride Smart Workshops -- a combo of classroom instruction and real-world group excursions – that empowered 78 seniors and disabled adults of all ages to use public transit.

Our Escorted Transportation Pilot Project arranged and paid for transportation for 125 low-income, disabled seniors. Each month, its staff arranged an average of 50 specialized rides for those who otherwise would have been homebound, unable to keep their doctors’ appointments, reach the pharmacy or visit friends. Our vulnerable clients, however, received far more than transport; they benefitted from hands-on assistance getting in and out of their homes and in and out of vehicles. The driver/escorts stayed with them when they reached their destinations and then accompanied them home again.

Our Getting All Around the County project worked in partnership with Montgomery County government to increase the awareness of transportation options available to older adults and adults with disabilities. It also recommended ways to improve and expand services.

And the Transportation Providers Roundtable, founded by JCA, provided a forum through which transportation providers identified needs and shared best practices.

In the wings are 2 collaborative programs designed to improve the number and quality of volunteer-provided rides by the sharing of best practices, the use of Web-based scheduling software, and the cooperative work of human service organizations and funders that are committed to helping local seniors age well. Our VillageRides™ program, which we operate collaboratively with The Senior Connection, got underway for Montgomery-based “villages” -- neighborhood organizations created to help their residents live well and “age in place.” The NV Rides program, on the other hand, will start service in Fiscal Year 2015 to assist not only villages, but also other volunteer driver programs in Fairfax County and neighboring locales.


Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified



Program 2

Senior Employment

The jobseekers we served through our Senior Community Service Employment Program came from every part of the globe. All are 55 or older and trying to survive in the expensive DC area at incomes that are at or below 125% of the Federal poverty line. They share a passion to get a paycheck and get off welfare.

We not only comforted 137 jobseekers this year; we armed them with effective job-search techniques…and wages. Thanks to the U.S. Department of Labor and JCA’s generous friends, we were able to compensate each jobseeker at minimum wage for about 20 hours of on-the-job training each week. During Fiscal Year 2014, our trainees provided a total of 65,886 hours of community service at 42 local charities and government agencies, and that work was worth $537,651. We helped place 9 of those determined men and women in regular, paid jobs through which they earned an average of $11 an hour for 24 hours of weekly work.

Of course, we helped other jobseekers, too!

The 50+ Employment Expos that we held in Bethesda and Fairfax served an astounding 4,167 jobseekers, who met with 128 exhibitors and attended 30 workshops. 138 volunteers provided hands-on support, and that included free resume reviews and help with cyber-searching for jobs.

The Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships honored JCA for its collaborative work. At the Bethesda event, however, JCA was the awards-giver. With the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and Workforce Investment Board, we presented Experience Counts Awards to the National Institutes of Health, Sandy Spring Bank and Adventist Healthcare.

Many older workers, however, find they need intensive, specialized support. JCA helped them, too, and we did so with award-winning success.

The Slingshot Guide (a guide for philanthropists by philanthropists) selected our Career Gateway program from among hundreds of finalists for inclusion in its supplement for women and girls. What especially impressed Slingshot was how JCA addressed the unique job-search challenges of midlife and older women. Many lose self-confidence after experiencing both gender and age discrimination time and again, so we developed specialized curricula and material to help them. They do! 30 hours of classroom instruction and the unflinching support of volunteer mentors changed lives.

Every Gateway client was 50-plus, and most of the 55 men and women we served in FY 2014 had been unemployed 1-2 years. Yet within 12 weeks of graduation, more than half of our graduates who were still looking for work found it. Many participated in our newly formed Job Clubs that met twice after graduation. A 9-member Employer Advisory Board helped us to continuously improve the program.


Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General




Program 3

Adult Day Programs and Caregiver Support

Imagine a licensed, State-certified program for seniors who are dealing with cognitive or physical challenges (or both, as they often are). Imagine receiving health monitoring and nursing care in a warm, friendly, supportive setting, not a sterile medical office. Imagine a day that includes morning coffee with friends, a hot kosher lunch, field trips, armchair exercises, stimulating discussions and visiting entertainment. Our Albert & Helen Misler Adult Day Center in Rockville offers all those things and more, thanks to a compassionate, professional staff of nurses, social workers, activity specialists and personal care aides. The staffing ratio there is 1 to 4, and that is far more staff than the State of Maryland requires of a medical center such as ours. In FY14, the Misler Center served 111 vulnerable seniors while providing family members with 6,827 days of respite from caregiving. We would like to serve even more.

A strategic marketing study of the medical adult day centers of JCA, Iona Senior Services and the Downtown D.C. Clusters resulted in an action plan that could raise caregivers’ awareness of adult day programs. We readily proceeded to test the best ideas. Compass, a consulting organization, provided the study pro bono, utilizing the talents of diverse business executives.

The Samuel Gorlitz Kensington Club is our social (non-medical) day program. It offers activities, friendship and coping skills for people in the early stages of memory loss. In a close-knit, intimate Club setting, members enjoy stimulating cognitive and physical programs while family members get a much needed break. This year, 38 “KC” members benefited from the program, enjoying field trips and current-events discussions, memory-enhancing games, music and dance, speakers, art classes, and dining with friends. They even held an Intergenerational Art Show – our very first -- in collaboration with our own Interages Center and Arts for the Aging, a fellow philanthropy that is headquartered on the second floor of the Ann L. Bronfman Center, our headquarters.

The compassionate, professional staff from the Misler Center and Kensington Club, both of which are a part of our Ruth & Hans Cahnmann Center for Supportive Services, also facilitated Caregiver Support Groups, giving family members an opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another with a mix of laughter, tears and understanding. We also continued our 8-week Early-Stage Dementia Support Group for individuals with a dementia diagnosis as well as their care partners. It’s a popular program! Indeed, at the request of Support Group participants, we established an ongoing, biweekly “Ninth Week Group” to nurture newfound friendships, camaraderie and caring.


Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Mentally/Emotionally Disabled

Physically Disabled nec



Program 4

Information, Education and Outreach

We love to “play it forward,” enabling good deeds to multiply. Online, in print and in meetings, JCA helped older adults and family caregivers find essential senior services, including housing, home care, recreation and more.

Unquestionably, the JCA website at was the numbers champ. This year, it attracted 2.1 million hits from an international audience. Among its most popular pages were Land a Job and Job Openings (which together garnered 57,944 hits), Find a Helping Hand (29,432) and About Us (26,958).

Social media played a larger-than-ever role in JCA’s world. By June 30, 2014, 442 people had liked the JCA Facebook page ( Hundreds – sometimes thousands – of people visited the page weekly to see photos, videos, articles and news items.

886 students age 50+ turned to us to learn more about online resources, word processing and other technology topics. They registered for 176 courses at our SeniorTech Computer Training Centers, now in 5 locations throughout the area – Landmark Mall (Alexandria), Asbury Methodist Village (Gaithersburg), the JCA Ann L. Bronfman Center (Rockville) and – new this year -- within the Microsoft Stores of Pentagon City (Arlington) and Tysons Corner (McLean). Dedicated volunteers presented 1,235 classroom hours of instruction and contributed a whopping 6,098 hours of service.

In collaboration with Washington Jewish Week, we published quarterly senior resources guides on topics that ranged from health to finances, distributing printed copies at expos and in the newspaper while making downloadable excerpts and full editions available for free via our website. Our AccessJCA print newsletter, which we distributed quarterly to nearly 7,000 households, and our JCA Today online newsletter, which we emailed to thousands more, enabled us to communicate with supporters, potential supporters and those in need. Yet many people need highly personalized information from trained, caring professionals.

The Rose Benté Lee Senior HelpLine and Steven M. Reich HomeCare Resource Center remained core JCA services, helping callers find housing and chore services, public benefits, employment assistance and more. Volunteers provided 3,247 hours of assistance, researching special requests, compiling specialized information and offering a friendly voice to those who desperately needed to hear one.

Our 21st Annual Sylvia Blajwas Productive Aging Award Dinner proclaimed that ability is ageless while raising essential funds to support JCA programs year round. At the event, we presented the 2014 Productive Aging Award to Sally Quinn (author, blogger and journalist for The Washington Post), and we presented the 2014 Humanitarian Award to the Honorable Sidney Kramer (businessman, philanthropist and retired lawmaker). A capacity crowd attended the gala at Washington Hebrew Congregation.


Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General



Program 5

Intergenerational Programs

Nearly 3 decades ago, Austin Heyman established and led what is today the JCA Heyman Interages® Center. He remains a statesman of national renown in the intergenerational field. Thus, it’s not surprising that national, state and local leaders jumped at the opportunity to help JCA honor him with the Margaret Cutler Intergenerational Leadership Award of 2014.

During this fiscal year, 264 men and women age 50 and older donated 6,607 hours of skilled and compassionate volunteer service through the Heyman Center, mentoring and tutoring 651 at-risk children to improve their literacy, self-confidence and sense of responsibility. Simultaneously, our amazing volunteers expanded the children’s world view and proved that compassion and ability aren’t limited by age.

Youngsters served as intergenerational volunteers, too! This year, 359 of them befriended 264 frail and vulnerable elders.

What wonders our volunteers accomplished! For example: 40 older volunteers brought the Interages Grandreaders program to five Montgomery County Public Libraries, reading each week during the summer to children in kindergarten through second grade. Meanwhile, our Words of Wisdom pilot program enabled high-school seniors and juniors to learn history first-hand from World War II veterans. Those students created video diaries of lessons shared and learned, and then produced DVDs that have become treasured possessions of the vets, their families, their friends and, of course, the students, too.

We thank BBYO (a membership organization for Jewish teens) and Charles E. Smith Life Communities’ Ring House, Revitz House and Landow House for co-sponsoring with us our Second Annual Senior Prom. And we thank The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington for making our prom a part of Good Deeds Day 2014, an international day of community service.

This year, we distributed the inaugural issue of our Intergenerational Resource Center’s e-newsletter to 2,800 people in the Greater D.C. area to help professionals and organizations learn from our success in building age-integrated communities.


Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Children Only (5 - 14 years)




Program 6

Development and Administration

Not available


Population(s) Served



Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    From Fiscal Year 2016 through Fiscal Year 2018, we will:
    * serve as a leading nonprofit provider of services and opportunities for older adults and their family caregivers.
    * expand our intergenerational programs and our services in support of older adults.
    * increase our reach into northern Montgomery County, Northern Virginia and elsewhere in the Greater Washington area.
    * expand fee-based services and make programs self-sustaining whenever possible.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    JCA has established five internal management priorities that will help us meet our goals.

    1.With the contraction of government funding and a more challenging philanthropic environment, it is critical that JCA expand its development efforts. JCA will aggressively search for new foundation and corporate funders, build our endowment, and expand our individual donor base to reflect a more diverse and younger population.

    2.We will maintain sufficient staff to support increased programming, a greater geographical reach, and more aggressive fundraising and marketing. We will continue to support our staff with fair compensation and benefits as well as career opportunities.

    3. To better promote the good work of JCA, we will review all aspects of our branding, and we will enhance our efforts to market our services and expertise through social media, public appearances, our website and other communications channels.

    4. We will enhance our efforts to enlist and train our community volunteers, who are the backbone of JCA. They help deliver services, and they become enthusiastic advocates and sup-porters.

    5. Our lay and professional leaders will benchmark operating decisions against this Plan.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    We celebrate our strengths, which include:

    * A passionate board. Every member makes a generous annual gift to us.

    * A clear and compelling mission and strategic plan.

    * Clear operating principles.

    * A portfolio of essential community service programs, most of which have won multiple awards.

    * A trained, dedicated and motivated staff. (Many staff persons have worked at JCA for 15 years or more!)

    * A respectful, dynamic relationship between Board members and staff.

    * More than 800 dedicated volunteers.

    * Enduring partnerships with diverse public and private organizations, many of which have supported JCA programs for more than three decades.

    * Hundreds of loyal donors.

    * Careful fiscal management. Every JCA audit has been clean and clear.

    * Partner status with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

    * Membership in the United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Key indicators vary by program/activity. They include:
    * The number and location of clients;
    * The nature of client needs;
    * The satisfaction of clients, funders, community partners and volunteers;
    * Audits by committees of the Board;
    * The number of annual, campaign, endowment and legacy donors;
    * The amount of operating funds raised;
    * The accuracy of service and fiscal projections;
    * Our capacity to deliver programs on time and on budget;
    * Overall fiscal performance;
    * The transparency of operations to donors and other key publics;
    * The compensation of staff within benchmarked parameters;
    * The number and nature of volunteers by program/activity; and
    * The number and nature of community partners.

    JCA is proud that Great Nonprofits ( named us a Top-Rated Nonprofit of 2014 and 2015.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The Annual Report details our progress on many fronts. Top needs include
    * The expansion of JCA programs in Northern Virginia and other high-priority locales within the Greater Washington, D.C. region; and
    * The growth of operating revenue, which is necessary not only to cover inflationary costs but also because the populations of older adults and family caregivers are growing so fast.

    Committees ans Task Forces of the Board, which are composed of Board members and other local volunteers, monitor progress on many fronts. Those committees include the following:
    * Budget, Audit & Finance;
    * Development;
    * Leadership;
    * Transportation;
    * Adult day programs; and
    * Advocacy.

    JCA also convenes an Employer Advisory Committee to assess and guide our Career Gateway program and other senior employment services, and a Transportation Providers Roundtable.
Service Areas



JCA serves the National Capital Area -- Washington, D.C., suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia

Social Media

Funding Needs

JCA community service programs require nearly more than $2 million in philanthropic support a year just to stay even.  But given the aging of the population, the diversity and urgency of its needs and the increasing costs of service delivery, staying even isn't a viable option.  We must do more!   Can you help us help others?   To make a gift, arrange a legacy tribute, or request additional information, please call us at (301) 255-4231 or (703) 652-1511.  Or write us at


Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) - Accreditation

Affiliations + Memberships

Alliance for Information and Referral Systems

National Council on Aging

United Way Member Agency

Combined Federal Campaign


External Reviews


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Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington, Inc.



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

David Gamse


David Gamse, JCA's Chief Executive Officer, has a passion for shattering stereotypes about aging. Before joining JCA's staff in 1990, Gamse founded and directed the Worker Equity Initiative at AARP, and before that he coordinated the development and nationwide marketing of AARP's educational and service programs. Gamse holds a double bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology with honors from the University of South Florida. He holds a master's degree in Gerontology from the same school, which presented him its eminent graduate award. He is a member of the Gerontological Society of America, the National Council on Aging, and the American Society of Association Executives. In 2011, he received the Seabury Leadership in Aging Award. He currently serves as a member of the Leadership Group of Montgomery Moving Forward; and a member of the Executives Council of Jewish Agencies and Schools in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer


1973 began a legacy of caring and delivery excellence at JCA®.  Today many older adults still need help to live independently - and our mission remains intact - to help them thrive.  We help seniors and their caregivers access providers and resources across the Beltway, we provide answers to many transportation, home care, housing and employment needs, and we direct various activities to enhance their lives and lifestyles.We strive to be responsive, forward-thinking and compassionate.  Our Jewish heritage and values guide our vision and our work as we serve men and women of all faiths, ethnicities and income levels.  Please contact us if we can be of help.

David Gamse, Chief Executive Officer"



Ms. Natalie Cantor


GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization



Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?