Education &

Education and literacy are vital to unlocking human potential.

Close up of Older Man Listening in Classroom

Education & Literacy

Today’s job-seeking environment is so competitive, even the most knowledgeable and qualified applicants sometimes have difficulty finding a job. Imagine how much more challenging that becomes for those who lack the education, language, and literacy skills to even get a foot in the door. Enter the JVS Education & Literacy department, which helps more than 700 adults from across our community—including immigrants and refugees—gain the basic skills they need to successfully enter the workforce.

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“My daughter and I came here from Ecuador, and I needed to learn English to get a job. The people at the church where we’re staying told me about JVS, and in just five months they’ve taught me English and helped me find a job at a coffee shop in Maplewood. I still have a lot to learn, but it’s like a miracle. Thank you JVS!”

–Maria Garcia, JVS Client


Whether you’re a newly-arrived refugee just learning to speak English, an immigrant working hard to prepare for the Citizenship Exam, or an American citizen looking to earn your High School Equivalency diploma, the JVS Education & Literacy department offers the resources, assistance, and classroom instruction to help you achieve your goals.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

The JVS Education & Literacy department offers four levels of instruction for English language learners. The highly interactive, practical program provides 12 hours of weekly instruction for a total of 120 class hours. Instructor-led classes are supplemented by individualized tutoring. Each course focuses on building the following skills necessary for daily living and work:

  • Basic conversation
  • Completing forms
  • Job-readiness
  • Writing sentences
  • Number sense

ESL classes meet Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There is no cost to attend. Enrollment is by walk-in registration only: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Please bring your Social Security card and additional forms of identification (Green Card, Passport, Employment Authorization, I-94) with you.

Upcoming Classes:

Fall Session September 23, 2019- December 17, 2019
Winter Session January 6, 2020 – March 23, 2020
Spring Session April 6, 2020 – June 17, 2020


Adult Basic Education (ABE)

Our Education & Literacy department provides adult participants with 16 hours per week of instructor-led classes in the core skills of Reading, Writing and Math, supplemented by computer instruction. Our ABE classes enable students to strengthen their skills in preparation for the High School Equivalency exam (HSE, formerly GED) and raise their Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) scores to be eligible for training programs and employment opportunities.

ABE classes meet Monday thru Thursday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. There is no cost to attend. Registration and placement testing is by appointment only. To schedule your placement appointment, please contact Lynn Sternstein at 862-704-2291 or

Upcoming Classes:

Fall Session September 23, 2019 – December 23, 2019
Winter Session January 2, 2020 – April 2, 2020
Spring Session April 6, 2020 – June 30, 2020


Citizenship Exam Preparation

JVS offers classes to help Legal Permanent Residents prepare for the United States Citizenship Exam. The curriculum includes English instruction, American History, Civics, and the N400 application. Our Citizenship Exam Preparation classes also give students the chance to practice the 100 interview questions and participate in mock interviews.

Citizenship Exam classes are held one or two days per week for 10 weeks. They are offered on Thursday mornings at our East Orange office and at local libraries on weeknights and weekend mornings:

Jewish Vocational Service, 7 Glenwood Avenue, Lower Level, East Orange, NJ 07017

Woodbridge Public Library- Fords Branch, 211 Ford Avenue, Fords, NJ 08830

Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042

There is no cost to attend—you must have a Green Card to enroll. For more information about a class near you, please contact please contact Lynn Sternstein at 862-704-2291 or

Refugee Services

JVS provides the following additional services to refugees, parolees, and political asylees:

  • Referrals for refugee cash assistance for new arrivals
  • Referrals to free or low-cost immigration legal services
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
  • Resume writing
  • Job search assistance

For more information—or to make an appointment—please contact Lynn Sternstein at 862-704-2291 or

Though often referred to as “basic skills,” they are the most important stepping stones to future success.

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