Newly Launched Australia Program Shows Tweens Local Poverty

Photo courtesy Twelve Batmitzvah program

A unique Jewish coming of age program for 11-12 year old girls, Twelve, has been launched this year in Melbourne, Australia, in response to a growing desire of many parents to show their tweens firsthand what poverty and disadvantage looks like in Australia. Over 50 families, or 100 participants, have signed up for the yearlong program to roll their sleeves up and get to work with their daughters to help people in need. … [Read more...]

At ‘Bat Mitzvah,’ Israeli Center Seeks more Women’s Advancement Milestones

“It appears that halacha trumps God’s justice, a great pity in a system so centered on justice.” Blu Geeenberg By Judy Lash Balint The controversy surrounding Israel’s complex framework of laws relating to family life is well-known. Often portrayed via popular culture in films and books, the laborious get (Jewish divorce) process, along with other issues relating to the status of women in family law, are a major concern among both secular and Torah-observant Israelis. Against that backdrop, one Israeli institution dedicated to bringing about legal and social change is the Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women, housed within the faculty of law at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan. Last week, the center celebrated its “bat mitzvah” year with a … [Read more...]

Koret Foundation gifts $4m. to URJ Camp Newman

The Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Newman has received a grant of $4 million from the Koret Foundation to establish the Koret Retreat and Conference Center at Camp Newman. This grant will enable the camp to significantly expand its retreat center facilities to serve upwards of 12,000 individuals a year, more than tripling its retreat usage. The Koret grant is the largest single gift Camp Newman has ever received and one of the largest in the history of the Reform Movement’s camping system. Camp Newman has now raised approximately $22 million toward its comprehensive campaign of over $30 million to significantly improve its infrastructure, housing and program space. This next phase of construction that encompasses the Koret Retreat and Conference Center will begin in August of 2015 and is … [Read more...]

Major Benchmark Reached for LA High School Affordability Initiative

In 2008, five Jewish high schools in Los Angeles partnered with BJE: Builders of Jewish Education, the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, the Simha & Sara Lainer Day School Endowment Fund, and the Jim Joseph Foundation to launch the LA High School Affordability Initiative (LAHSAI). The initiative was premised on the schools collectively raising $17 million in cash endowments , which would be matched by $4.25 million from the Lainer Endowment Fund, positioning the schools - and really the broader community - to be able to help middle income families enroll their daughters and sons in Jewish high schools for years to come. Earlier this month, the five schools - Milken Community High School, New Community Jewish High School, Shalhevet High School, YULA Boys High School, and YULA … [Read more...]

Jewish Day Schools Raise More Than $57m in Endowment Funds


PEJE, the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, has announced that its endowment-building program, Generations, has enabled selected schools to raise a record $57 million in endowment funds for Jewish day schools across North America. Funded in part by The AVI CHAI Foundation, the initial pilot phase of Generations included 30 schools in Los Angeles, Baltimore, New York and Boston. Generations launched in 2011 with the express goal of inculcating endowment into a school’s strategic development plan. Schools selected for the program have raised a mix of outright gifts and legacy gifts. Following its highly successful pilot, PEJE has evolved the program into Generations National. The first cohort launched this past winter and a new cohort will launch in the fall of 2015. … [Read more...]

NY Area Teens Raise More Than $200K to Help People In Need

Over the last 12 months, more than 100 New York City teens, ages 14 - 18, raised over $216,000 to help people in need. Working with UJA-Federation of New York professionals, they collectively decided where the money should go and in sum will award 25 grants to selected not-for-profit agencies including Save A Child’s Heart, Jewish Child Care Association, Selfhelp Community Services for Holocaust Survivors and Bet Elazraki Children’s Home. This is the fourth year for UJA-Federation of New York’s Center for Youth Philanthropy and Leadership (CYPL), which was established to give teens age-appropriate opportunities to get involved in philanthropy, volunteerism, and the grant making process. This year, the teens raised nearly $70,000 more in funds than last year, which enabled them to double the … [Read more...]

New Partnership Between JDate and Ramah Aims to Connect Camp Alumni


The first-ever partnership between JDate and a Jewish camping movement has launched. A project of the Reshet Ramah alumni and community engagement initiative, RamahDate will offer former Ramah campers and staff members the opportunity to connect online with other Ramah alumni 18 years of age and older who share the passion for vibrant Jewish life that characterizes the Camp Ramah experience. A well-established, industry leader, JDate is responsible for more Jewish marriages than all other online dating sites combined. Online dating has become increasingly prevalent in the last decade; Jews who married in 2011 were more than twice as likely to have used online dating than those married in 2003. RamahDate members will subscribe to JDate through an exclusive link for Ramah alumni only and receive … [Read more...]