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History and Values

JVS was founded in 1973 to aid recent Jewish college graduates who were having trouble finding work. In the 1980s and 1990s, we expanded to meet the needs of both the huge influx of refugees from the former Soviet Union, and the workers who had been displaced during turbulent economic times.

Over the years the agency has become a respected leader in the workforce development community.  We have been recognized both locally and nationally for our work in sector-based employment and training services, and our outstanding network of employer partners encompassing all sectors of the local economy.

Today, JVS is here for anyone who needs help finding a job.  Our training programs build the skills our clients need to succeed in the workforce, and our one-on-one job search assistance is specifically tailored to meet the needs of our clients.

The mission of JVS is rooted in our core values.  These values come to us from the Jewish tradition, though their meaning is truly universal.
  • The Power of Work: We believe that work transforms lives, and that helping people to find jobs is a way to help people live better lives; our work with people, whether we are providing training to build skills or job search assistance, is linked to increasing employability.
  • Repair the World - Tikkun Olam: We believe in meeting people where they are, and providing the services that are needed to help them achieve self-sufficiency through employment. We are committed to making the world a better place by providing opportunities to job seekers from all walks of life.
  • Respect for the Individual: Our commitment to helping people help themselves is rooted in the Jewish tradition of Tzedakah, meaning justice; we believe that a just society is one in which all people have the opportunity to have meaningful work and be self-sufficient.
  • Values of Collaboration: We believe in the greater good of the community and the power of collaboration. We bring together the resources of government, philanthropy, business and community based organizations to enable individuals to achieve success.   We believe that the most effective way to find jobs for our clients is through strong partnerships with the business community.
  • Standards of Excellence: We believe that our programs and services must uphold the highest professional standards and incorporate ongoing program improvement. We strive to incorporate best practices and to be a model organization in our field.
  • Foundation of Human Capital: We believe that JVS staff are our greatest asset; we prioritize staff development, as a way of exemplifying the type of work environment we hope to find for our clients.
Copyright ©2010 Jewish Vocational Service. All Rights Reserved. 225 Bush Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Map) Email:
JVS is a non-profit, non-sectarian 501(c)(3) corporation. JVS is a Beneficiary of the Jewish Community Federation,
and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.