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Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is proud to join with the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater New Haven to announce the reopening of Café J, located in the heart of the JCC building, as a vocational training opportunity for community members with developmental and social disabilities.

In addition to fresh food and hand-crafted beverages, the new Café J will also be serving up inclusivity and opportunity. Café J will employ adults enrolled at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center of New Haven and participating in CareerAbility.

Scott Cohen, Executive Director of the JCC, explains how this idea came to life: “Only 44% of working-age adults with developmental challenges or autism are receiving job skill development and, of that group, only 18% who are job seeking are competitively employed.”

Cohen continues, “Anecdotally, the Chapel Haven parents on the JCC Inclusion Committee listed vocational opportunities second on their list of concerns right after worrying about their child’s care when the parent is no longer living. Hearing these concerns and the JCC’s commitment to inclusion programs, we found a way to bring a new purpose to our café area. Now, it will be a space of growth, community, and inclusion.”

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is an active partner with the JCC of GNH. Through our PAVE internship program run by CareerAbility, our adults gain valuable, on-the-job training in departments including Marketing and the Fitness Center at the JCC. Two adults have been hired by the JCC.

In addition, CHSC also pays for individual memberships to the JCC for all residentially-enrolled students. Our adults enjoy swimming in the pool, playing basketball, enjoying the climbing wall and other amenities at the JCC.

In February, CHSC was proud to be featured in an art exhibit at the center entitled, “Life As We See It, Through a Neurodiverse Lens” in honor of Disabilities Awareness Month.

Other partners in Cafe J include Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven and The Towers at Towers Lane.

Jewish Family Services will be matching mentors to work alongside our Chapel Haven interns, For information about mentoring a Chapel Haven student as part of the Café, contact Rachel Scolnic Dobin at

The grand opening of Café J is set for Monday, May 22, 2023, at 11:00 AM.

Regular business hours begin Tuesday, May 23. Operating hours will be Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM.