JCHi is committed to bringing community health to the Jewish community. Recent years has shown that community health programs that are centered around faith-based communities works. With the outstanding resources of the Jewish community - people, commitment, volunteerism, donation - there are huge benefits our community stands to reap. It merely needs to be guided, developed and harnessed.

The Jewish community has long been known for its support of the ill. We need to do more to preserve health and prevent illness. Chronic disease and obesity is draining our country and our community of our most precious commodities - people and time. The time has come for the Jewish community to focus on prevention, and not just for those who are members of a JCC. How many people don't realize how much they need to join JCC's? How many cannot afford a JCC membership, or live too far away? We need to reach them also. And who is going to do this? Who can orchestrate this effort nationally?

Enter the JCHi. Based out of the prestigious Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, we are not affiliated with any specific Jewish organization or identity. We wish to work with any and all Jewish organizations that can further the mission of the JCHi - to help Jews lead healthier lives.

JCHi is currently working with the Cleveland Jewish Family Services Association, and with Jewish day schools and teen dating violence prevention programs. We have been conducting our own research to provide data to support grant proposals for health promotion in Jewish schools and communities. We will be partnering with Jewish communities across the US because there is great strength in numbers. By creating networks at the local, regional and national levels, we can create a force that will successfully attract grant dollars to put community interventions in place.

But who will be putting these programs in place?

We need to create capacity - Jewish community health professionals that are trained to do health promotion and work with local Jewish organizations doing health outreach. We have to go beyond the Jewish Community Centers. How do we create this capacity?

JCHi is pleased to announce a Jewish Master of Public Health Program. This program, like the JCHi, is the first of its kind. The concept is this: a student comes to Case Western to do a Master of Public Health degree with a major in Health Promotion/Disease Prevention. The first years is spent as a full-time student taking courses, and a year-long seminar in community health in faith-based communities. The student will intern with the JCHi working with Cleveland area partners - community or school based. The 2nd year is spent at the student's home community where he/she completes the MPH Capstone project and does a Health Promotion internship in their community. The degree is finished, and then the student works locally doing health promotion/disease prevention/health outreach. JCHi is working on funding for this program, and will work with communities to attract support. This program can train the leaders of community health for our communities, creating a network of similarly trained individuals who can learn from each other and partner to develop successful programs - all under the guidance of the JCHi, providing the know-how and training to help out the local communities.

If you or your organization is committed to helping Jews lead healthier lives, get in touch with us. Together we can make it happen!

Learn moreabout the Jewish Community Health Initiative at the JCHI - About Us page. And don't forget to read our Health and Humo Blog!