Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is excited to join with the JCC of Greater New Haven in the opening of Cafe J!

The new cafe is 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 is volunteer-staffed by adults enrolled at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center of New Haven through the CareerAbility program.

Media coverage of the ribbon cutting included:

Café Opens with a Cause, New Haven Independent

Cafe J Opens at JCC with a Cause – New Haven Register

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.”

CHSC President Michael Storz said Cafe J is just one part of a robust partnership with the JCC of Greater New Haven. “The JCC of Greater New Haven has rolled out the red carpet for our PAVE Program. Each week, six of our adults come to the JCC for meaningful, on-the-job training in departments including marketing, human resources and the fitness center. They are warmly welcomed and have become a part of this vibrant community.”

Storz also noted that adults in CHSC’s residential programs are given memberships to the JCC to swim, play basketball, work out and enjoy the cultural offerings at the JCC.

“In short, the JCC of GNH is providing meaningful opportunities for our adults in so many ways, and we have found that to be critically important for a mission devoted to teaching independent living,” Storz said.

Other partners of Cafe J include Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven and The Towers at Towers Lane. Operating hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM.