History

Based on Joel Ollander, “JCSA—A Century of Service,” Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Vol 76, No. 1/2, Fall/Winter 1999.

1899
The National Conference of Jewish Charities (NCJC) is founded. The new organization’s mission is the development of coordinated and planned approaches to raising and distributing charitable funds to the masses of Jewish immigrants then arriving in the U.S.

1900
The Inaugural Annual Conference of the NCJC brings together communal leaders from across North America.

1918
The organization known today as the Association of Jewish Center Professionals is established to serve as a resource for the growing number of social workers working in Jewish centers.

1919
NCJC is reorganized in 1919 to better respond to changing Jewish social service needs by including professional social workers in the Annual Conference. NCJC is renamed the Conference of Jewish Social Service.

1924
The Journal of Jewish Social Service is founded and publishes its first issue.

1930s
The Conference of Jewish Social Service responds to developments within the field of Jewish communal service by splitting into two new organizations: an association for volunteer leaders called the National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds (today, the United Jewish Communities) and an association for professional practitioners called the Conference of Jewish Social Welfare.

1951
The Conference of Jewish Social Welfare is renamed the National Conference of Jewish Communal Service (NCJCS) to reflect its commitment to providing a broader range of services to the Jewish community. NCJCS continues to publish the Journal of Jewish Social Service and to hold an Annual Conference, but now also begins to serve as the coordinating body for all the specialized fields of Jewish communal service, know as Affiliated Professional Associations.

1956
The Journal of Jewish Social Service is renamed Journal of Jewish Communal Service.

1965
NCJCS plays a leading role in the establishment of the World Conference of Jewish Communal Service. The group’s first quadrennial international meeting is held in Jerusalem in 1967.

1970
NCJCS hires its first fulltime Executive Director and begins to offer life and accident insurance, as well as retirement plans to its members.

1979
More than 900 professionals attend the first Annual Conference in Canada. The NCJCS deletes the word “National” from its name and becomes the Conference of Jewish Communal Service.

1992
The Conference of Jewish Communal Service is reorganized to become the Jewish Communal Service Association (JCSA). JCSA harnesses new technologies to develop the JCSA Teleconference, a series of seminars on issues of concern to Jewish professionals offered to communities across North America via the United Jewish Communities Satellite Network.

1999
The JCSA celebrates its 100th anniversary with a seminar/teleconference on Professional Leadership in the 21st Century, a gala reception and dinner, a special issue of Journal of Jewish Communal Service, and a membership survey conducted in cooperation with the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University.

2002
JCSA moves from its New Jersey offices to new headquarters in Manhattan and begins monthly publication of an eNewsletter.

2004
The JCSA web site is launched, with the aim of providing its membership and all practitioners in the field with an online resource for professional knowledge, research, education, and networking.

2008
JCSA hosts its first Local Groups Leadership Retreat, bringing together local group leaders from around the country to the Pearlstone Conference Center outside of Balitmore. The retreat signals the growing interest in local professional associations and JCSA’s attention to developing these groups.

2011
The Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals merges into JCSA, providing a strong community organization presence and transferring its endowments for professional recognition.

2014
JCSA rebrands and changes its name to the JPRO Network, with a refined mission to Inspire, Educate, Connect and Empower Jewish communal professionals. The new web site is launched and is used as a forum to connect local groups, professionals and organizations in the field.