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...]

Guiding Donors Through the Philanthropy Loop

Philanthropy Loop

By Rabbi Jay M. Stein Being a fundraiser is kind of like acting as a sherpa; it’s my job to guide people on their philanthropic path. The problems facing the world can seem like insurmountable Everests, but fundraisers can help make those problems much more approachable. We work with people to find opportunities to not just give back, but to do so in a way that’s an expression of their values. … [Read more...]

Using Data to Effect Change

Organizations in the nonprofit sector are increasingly realizing the value of using data to make decisions, but they are often unsure where to begin. To help, UJA-Federation of New York’s SYNERGY has constructed a roadmap that illustrates how nonprofits can begin collecting and tracking data in increasingly sophisticated ways. The report - specifically directed toward synagogues - is called “Data Maturity for Synagogues: Incorporating Data into the Decision-Making Culture,” but these same lessons can apply to any nonprofit that is looking to become more data savvy. The report was prepared in collaboration with Idealware, with input from Measuring Success. According to the report, there are six stages in an organization’s progression from being a data beginner to a data expert: collecting basic … [Read more...]

UJA-Federation of New York Seder Information Service is Back

UJA-Federation of New York’s Find-a-Seder resource is back for 2015, listing pre-Passover celebrations and Seders on the first two nights of Passover at local community centers and synagogues of all denominations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester. For more than 25 years, UJA-Federation's J-1-1 Information and Referral Center has been working to match Jewish families with communal Seders in the area. This resource details more than 80 community Seders that are open to families looking to observe the tradition-rich holiday. The list of Seders can be found here: www.ujafedny.org/passover/find-a-seder/. Individuals or families looking to Find-a-Seder can contact UJA-Federation's J-1-1 Information and Referral Center Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. … [Read more...]

Missed Opportunities for Jewish Life in Renewed Urban Neighborhoods


What if various larger Jewish nonprofits saw their role as focused not exclusively on funding existing operations through grants, but rather in investing wholesale in communal growth and creating the facilities and infrastructure to allow that to happen? [This essay is from Contact, a publication of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life. Reprinted with permission.] By Steven I. Weiss One hundred years ago, Harlem was among the largest Jewish population centers on the planet. Some 175,000 Jews called Harlem their home, and synagogues, Jewish schools and communal organizations dotted the landscape. Several of New York’s most prominent congregations - such as Ansche Chesed and Ohab Zedek synagogues - were once located right in the heart of Harlem. Due to a range of economic and social … [Read more...]

First Ever Israel Experience Program for Teenagers from Interfaith Families Launches

The Big Tent Judaism/Interfaith Israel 2015 Summer Teen Fellowship is the first ever Israel experience for teenagers from interfaith families. The fellowship will launch June 29, 2015 through July 12, 2015 and will focus on exploring Israel through a multi-cultural and multi-faith lens. The 12-day educational adventure is designed to support teenagers from interfaith families as they navigate their unique religious identities. The Interfaith Israel Teen Fellowship will provide an immersive travel experience that allows teenagers to explore their complicated religious identities in an intellectually mature way and educates them about the multiple faith traditions. Significant scholarships are available to off-set the trip cost of $3,650. These scholarships are available for qualifying Fellows … [Read more...]

To Thrive, Day Schools Need to Make Parents Feel Heard

By Chavie N. Kahn Would you recommend us to a friend? Every business or nonprofit that pays attention to customer satisfaction would hope for an enthusiastic “yes,” and day schools should be no exception. The Jewish community needs day schools to thrive because research shows that day school graduates are more engaged in Jewish life and constitute a larger portion of communal leadership than people who did not attend day schools. And parent satisfaction is key to helping day schools thrive. Daniel Held’s study, “Learning From Parent Voices,” found that positive word-of-mouth communication by parents encourages enrollment more than the amount of tuition or the quality of the school facilities. Word-of-mouth recommendations, rather than advertisements, drive 75 percent of new admission … [Read more...]

Foundation for Jewish Camp Awarded New Grants for Day and Overnight Camping

URJ Six Points Sports Academy; courtesy URJ.

The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) has received four new grants to pilot innovative programs supporting both overnight and day camps. Consistent with FJC’s new strategic plan, these four grants have been developed as scalable models that can be expanded as additional funding at the national and local levels becomes available. The first two grants will support overnight camps. New Camp Accelerator: Based on the continued success of FJC’s Specialty Camp Incubators, funded by The Jim Joseph and The AVI CHAI Foundations, FJC has created the “New Camp Accelerator”, designed to provide a platform and structure for the continued growth of the field. The Accelerator will fast-track the creation of new camps, encouraging and leveraging significant local investment with FJC’s well-honed consulting … [Read more...]