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1. What is JCAS’ mission?

Our mission is “Education, Inclusion, Belonging” - to support students with special needs to attend Melbourne Jewish day schools and to ensure that they can participate in mainstream classrooms and school life.

2. How old is JCAS?

JCAS was founded in 1882 as the “Melbourne Jewish Orphan and Neglected Children’s Aid Society”.

3. Where does my donation go?

We fund the costs of teachers’ assistants (or aides) for children with special needs, so that they can attend and participate fully in school life at Melbourne Jewish day schools. JCAS only provides support where the child has a demonstrated need and the family cannot afford to provide that support. We also provide emergency funding in exceptional circumstances: for example, for the education of a child requiring prolonged hospitalisation or time away from school due to illness.

4. Will my donation go directly towards the cause?

Yes. The Board acts in a voluntary capacity and costs are minimised so that funds raised have maximum benefit for the children we support.

5. Who benefits from JCAS?

The children with special needs and their families directly benefit - the support we give towards a child’s education can be life-changing. In addition, whole school communities are educated to embrace difference and see the value of inclusion. The teachers’ assistants also benefit from a training programme we run (generously supported by Gandel Philanthropy) and ongoing training and support we provide through our experienced Schools’ Coordinator, Sharon Goodhardt.

6. What is the relationship between JCAS and the Posh Opp Shoppes?

We are the organisation that set up and runs these opportunity shops.

7. How does JCAS raise funds?

JCAS raises funds from proceeds of the Posh Opp Shoppes and generous donations from supporters in the community.

8. How much does a full-time teacher’s assistant cost?

Upwards of $45,000.

9. How many children does JCAS assist?

Since our program began in 1990 we have assisted over 1000 children with disabilities. In 2024 we are assisting 241 students across the 11 Jewish day schools in Melbourne.

10. Doesn’t the NDIS pay towards this?

No. The NDIS supports children out of school hours.

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