The Jewish Communal Fund (JCF), the largest and most active Jewish donor advised fund in the country, approved grants totaling $816,904 to local Jewish charities in the New York area through its endowment, the JCF Special Gifts Fund. Since 1999, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Communal Fund has granted more than $10 million to support programs and institutions that promote the welfare and security of the Jewish community at home and abroad. These charities are selected with the assistance of UJA-Federation of New York.
“These Special Gift Fund grants enable us to provide additional support to diverse Jewish charities within the New York area,” said Suzi Jaffe, the Chair of Jewish Communal Fund’s Charitable Distribution/Special Gifts Fund Committee. “Our goal is to help meet the needs of the community above and beyond the support that our fund holders provide.”
This year’s Special Gift Fund Grantees include:
- $141,530 over three years to the Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center for a New Food Pantry
Recently, the only Jewish community run food pantry on the North Shore of Long Island closed. Jewish Communal Fund’s grant will fill a critical gap in service by enabling the Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center (the JCC) to provide much-needed nutritious food, basic pantry staples and toiletries for more than 100 clients a month. The Jewish Communal Fund Food Pantry will provide kosher food as well as educational and volunteer opportunities for nearby school and synagogue groups. Nassau County experienced a 138 percent increase in the number of Jewish households living in poverty in the New York metropolitan area from 2001 to 2011.
- $450,000 over two years for an Intentionally Jewish Daycare at the Educational Alliance
Family economics often necessitate two parents working outside of the home, yet there is a dearth of quality Jewish daycare in Manhattan available to meet the needs of young families. Jewish Communal Fund is providing funding to the Educational Alliance in Lower Manhattan to support its pluralistic and inclusive Jewish daycare. This initiative will connect young families to Jewish life at a time in their lives when research has shown that they are especially open to engagement with Judaism. It will also serve as a model that other JCC’s and synagogues may seek to learn from. JCF’s philanthropic funding will assist with start-up costs with the goal for the center to become self-sustaining as enrollment increases.
- $100,000 to UJA-Federation for the Expansion of Witness Theater to the Ramaz School
Witness Theater is a unique, intergenerational program that brings Holocaust survivors and teenagers together under the guidance of a drama therapist to develop a theatrical presentation of the survivors’ Holocaust experiences. JCF’s grant will bring this moving and powerful educational experience to the Ramaz School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as well as cover the cost of a program director to oversee Witness Theater at a total of four schools.
- $125,374 to renovate the Activity Building at Camp Oakhurst
Camp Oakhurst, located in Monmouth County, New Jersey, offers more than 500 children and adults with special needs day-long and overnight summer camp experiences. Jewish Communal Fund’s grant will help renovate the camp’s Activity Building, a 10,500 square foot facility that houses most of the therapeutic and recreational activities.
A leader in the world of Jewish philanthropy, Jewish Communal Fund’s generous fund holders distributed $297 million in grants in FY 15, representing 21 percent of assets. JCF fund holders recommended a record-number of grants – 43,472 – to charities in all sectors, an 11 percent increase from 2014. The average grant amount was $6,839.