Bellefaire Jewish Orphan Asylum: Cleveland, OH

Cleveland’s Bellefaire Jewish Orphan Asylum

1868 Cleveland Jewish Orphan Asylum is founded in Cleveland, Ohio and is residence to 80 children. By 1900, the orphanage cares for 400 children in a home located at E. 55th Street and Woodland Avenue.
1922 Jewish Day Nursery opens and joins Bellefaire in 1945. It later changes its name to JDN Early Childhood Center to better reflect the programming and diverse student-base.
1924 The orphanage hires its first psychiatrist.
1928 The cornerstone of the new campus is laid at the agency’s current location on Fairmount Boulevard in Shaker Heights. The orphanage is renamed Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau, now known as Bellefaire JCB.
1941 The agency begins offering therapeutic services for troubled youth and those needing a stable living environment.
1954 Admissions are opened to children of all faiths.
1961 Jewish Big Brother Association partners with Bellefaire. In 1973 the program opens to include mentoring of girls, and amends its name to Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Association in 1983.
1979 Bellefaire begins offering residential treatment, community-based services and early childhood programs. During the 1980s specialized foster care, alcohol and substance abuse prevention services, and Parent and Children Together (PACT) programs are introduced.
2000 In response to studies by Mt. Sinai Foundation, Cleveland Foundation and professional advisors, the agency opens Monarch School for Autism with 12 students. Today, the school serves over 100 students, from preschoolers to young adults, from Ohio and beyond. It is now one of many programs offered by Monarch Center for Autism, which includes adult residence and therapeutic treatment, transitional education, and vocational and life skills training.
2002 Bellefaire JCB executives create the administrative oversight company Wingspan Care Group. Partner agencies include Bellefaire JCB, Applewood Centers and Monarch Teaching Technologies (MTT) — a spin-off, for-profit technology company that produces educational software for children with autism.

Today, Bellefaire JCB is among the nation’s largest, most experienced child welfare agencies providing a variety behavioral health, substance abuse, education and prevention services to approximately 21,700 youth and their families each year through its more than 25 programs, including:

  • Outpatient and School-based Counseling
  • Homeless and Missing Youth Program
  • Foster Care
  • Prevention and Early Intervention (SAY – Social Advocates for Youth)
  • Domestic and Hague-accredited International Adoption
  • Residential Treatment including Crisis Stabilization, Drug and Alcohol Treatment, and Transitional and Independent Living
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