About Encompass

About Us

Meeting the needs of adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and ensuring their inclusion in the Jewish community is a civil rights issue that compels our community’s unwavering commitment.

JUF and Encompass are committed to expanding Jewish community-based services for these adults so that they can live safe, productive and meaningful lives and to enhancing inclusion so that they can fully participate in our Jewish community.

At present, agency partners include JCC Chicago, JCFS Chicago (including JVS), Keshet, Libenu, and Yachad.

As part of JUF, Encompass’ work is focused in four areas: endowment fundraising, community planning, advocacy and inclusion, and is overseen by an Advisory Board chaired by Gita Berk.

Endowment Fundraising

Together with JUF, Encompass has launched The Jewish Community Fund for Adults with Disabilities, to provide funding for Jewish adults with disabilities who cannot afford residential services and supports they need and deserve.

To date, $5 million has been raised toward the initial fundraising goal of $10 million. For Fiscal Year 2023, the JUF Board of Directors approved a first ever direct allocation to benefit Jewish adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities. This allocation, together with endowment earnings, will be allocated to agency partners* on behalf of Jewish adults who cannot afford services.

*At present, agency partners include JCC Chicago, JCFS Chicago (including JVS), Keshet, Libenu, and Yachad.

Community Planning

Encompass, with support from JUF Planning and Allocation professionals, is committed to strengthening agency partners toward the buildout of a system of services for Jewish adults, regardless of ability to pay, that is sustainable and that adheres to person-centered planning.

Recognizing that no one agency can meet the breadth and depth of identified need, JUF and Encompass have adopted a collaborative, partnership-based model to leverage resources, maximize efficiencies and minimize duplication of efforts in providing a full array of financially sustainable, community-based services. JUF and Encompass regularly convene agency executives and community leaders toward expanding and enhancing community-based services for adults with disabilities.


Encompass, with support from JUF’s Government Affairs Department, oversees and coordinates system-wide efforts to maximize public funding for adults with disabilities. 

 At the state level, Encompass current advocacy efforts are focused on full funding of the Guidehouse Rate Study recommendations.


Jewish adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities, like all of us, want the opportunity to participate, contribute and belong. 

In partnership with JUF’s Tikkun Olam Volunteer Network (TOV), JUF and Encompass recently launched the Peer Inclusion Ambassador Program to provide inclusion opportunities in a wide array of naturally occurring social settings, including events hosted by JUF’s Young Leadership Division, Base, OneTable, ChiTribe, Moishe House and more. Registration information can be found in the Events section. To participate in the Peer Inclusion Ambassador Program, register on the organization’s website, AND contact TOV to request a Peer Inclusion Ambassador.

The Peer Inclusion Ambassador program builds on prior work to enhance inclusion in synagogues and congregations which culminated with mini-grants being awarded to fourteen congregations across Chicagoland representing each denomination to implement a wide array of inclusion projects including enhancements to building accessibility, the worship experience, congregational education, supplemental and religious school education and professional development.