JSDD Announces $10 Million Capital Campaign “Building an Extraordinary Future”

Loraine Kasprzak
Advantage Marketing Consulting Services


JSDD Announces $10 Million Capital Campaign, “Building an Extraordinary Future”

Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled capital campaign will raise $10 million for a state-of-the-art facility in Livingston. The new building will enable JSDD to expand its service offerings and accommodate up to 100 additional clients in its programs.

Livingston, New JerseyJewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled (JSDD) has launched the public phase of its $10 million capital campaign. The “Building an Extraordinary Future” initiative to construct a new 17,300 sq. ft. facility at 310 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston, will enable not-for-profit JSDD to expand the residential, advocacy, and community services it provides for individuals with developmental disabilities.

“The need continues to grow for our residential and educational services, yet we have outgrown our leased space in West Orange,” said JSDD executive director Linda Press. “The new facility will enable us to employ additional administrators to expand both our residential program and WAE (Wellness, Arts, and Enrichment) Center to serve 50 additional clients. We’ll also have the capacity to offer evening classes and expand physical, occupational, and speech therapy services.”

Early Support from Key Donors

So far, the campaign has raised $7 million towards JSDD’s goal.  The Steven and Beverly Rubenstein Charitable Foundation Inc. made the lead gift of $1 million. “It is with honor and dignity that we could make this happen for JSDD,” said Andrew Rubenstein, Executive Director.

The Healthcare Foundation of NJ (HFNJ), the original funder of the WAE Center, donated $1 million. Their support will be acknowledged with HFNJ’s name on the new WAE Center signage. “As a long-time supporter of JSDD, HFNJ has been thrilled to watch the agency’s growth and the excellent work it does to empower its clients and provide them with a safe space to grow and develop their unique talents,” said Marsha Atkind, HFNJ’s Executive Director/CEO. “We are very pleased to have been able to make this most recent gift.”

The new facility will be named The Cooperman Family Campus to recognize the $2 million gift from Leon and Toby Cooperman. “I worked in special education as a learning specialist and so I’ve always had a desire to help organizations who help people with special needs,” said Toby Cooperman, who was also one of JSDD’s first board members. “The building was something JSDD needed and I’m very grateful that we’re able to do this for the community.”

Challenge Grant to Match Donations

The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation has also offered JSDD a very generous $500 thousand challenge grant. This grant will match, dollar for dollar, contributions and gifts made by others. JSDD hopes to achieve the matching goal by this December 31, 2019.

“We are major philanthropists and have done a lot of things for the community. JSDD is on our list of important organizations deserving our support. We’re fortunate to be in a position to give back,” said Leon Cooperman, retired chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, a New York-based investment advisory firm.

About JSDD and the WAE Center

Incorporated in 1996, JSDD of MetroWest, Inc., is the lead multi-purpose agency dedicated to providing an integrated program of community education, advocacy, and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. JSDD strives to maximize the potential of individuals with developmental disabilities and promotes opportunities for their integration into the Jewish and general communities. JSDD provides support, services, resources, information, and referral to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in the MetroWest NJ community and beyond.

JSDD’s WAE Center was founded on the belief and knowledge that each individual possesses the potential for creating a meaningful life, a process the Center calls “Finding the Spark Within.” Inclusion is implemented every single day by facilitators trained to bring people of diverse abilities together as equals. Center members explore avenues for maximizing independence and achieving personal fulfillment through writing, painting, film, music, yoga, and more.