Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services
|Headquarters||New York, New York|
|Website||The Jewish Board|
The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board) is one of the United States' largest nonprofit mental health and social service agencies and New York City's largest social services nonprofit.
Its services are non-sectarian. There are over 3,300 employees and 2,200 volunteers serving over 43,000 New Yorkers annually at its community-based programs, residential facilities, and day-treatment centers in each of the five boroughs as well as Westchester.
Programs available cover:
- Mental health outpatient clinic for teenagers
- Adults Living with Mental Illness
- Children and Adolescent Services
- Jewish Community Services
- Counseling Services
- Domestic Violence & Preventive Services
- Early Childhood & Learning
- People Living with Developmental Disabilities
- Professional and Leadership Development
The Jewish Board was created through the successive mergers of New York-area Jewish charitable organizations. The United Hebrew Charities was established in 1845 as an umbrella organization for the Hebrew Benevolent Fuel Association, the Ladies Benevolent Society of the Congregation of the Gates of Prayer, the Hebrew Relief Society, and the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Society. In 1926 it became the Jewish Social Services Association. It merged in 1946 with the Jewish Family Welfare Society of Brooklyn to form Jewish Family Services (JFS). A further merger with the Jewish Board of Guardians in 1978 resulted in the present-day Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board). In June 2015, The Jewish Board acquired $75 million worth of behavioral health programs from the Federation Employment & Guidance Services (FEGS).
The Jewish Board Study on Monozygotic Multiples
Beginning in 1963, a psychiatrist, Dr. Peter B. Neubauer, then an employee of the Jewish Board, conducted a multi-year study involving the deliberate separation at, and in some cases several months after, birth of no fewer than five sets of identical twins and triplets. Under Neubauer’s direction, the children were placed into adoptive families by Louise Wise Services, a prominent New York City Jewish adoption agency in the 1960s, without informing the parents that their adopted child was part of a twin or triplet set. As a condition of the adoption, the parents were coerced into agreeing to in-person visits of up to four times a year by the study’s research team (where the children would be observed, questioned, tested and/or filmed) without knowing the true nature of the study: to observe how the separated siblings would fare in different environments.
At least one biological mother to a set of twins studied by Neubauer reported that she was never informed by the adoption agency that her children would be separated.
The data from Neubauer’s study is currently in the custody of Yale University under seal until 2066 and cannot be released without authorization from the Jewish Board. In 2011, two identical twins reunited as adults, Doug Rausch and Howard Burack, sent a letter to the Jewish Board requesting to see their records. The Jewish Board initially responded refusing to disclose the records and denying that Rausch and Burack had been part of the study. Eventually, the Jewish Board relented, and in 2013 some of the records were released to Rausch and Burack after the brothers were able to produce archived notes from one of Neubauer’s former research assistants proving that they were indeed part of the study.
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- Guide to the Jewish Family Service collection, 1875–1940; I-375, Center for Jewish History. Accessed online October 21, 2014.
- "Twins make astonishing discovery that they were separated shortly after birth and then part of a secret study". Good Morning America (via Yahoo News). Retrieved Mar 9, 2018.
- Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, Official site of present organization