Jewish Education Importance Not Forgotten Following Hurricane Sandy

For Jim Joseph Foundation and Genesis Philanthropy Group, assisting families access Jewish education following Hurricane Sandy is a priority

Two foundations, the San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation and Genesis Philanthropy Group have stepped in to aid families impacted by Hurricane Sandy defray some of the costs associated with Jewish education. As Sandy recovery continues to stretch out over months, the financial blow to many families has been significant, forcing many to choose relocation and restoration expenses over continued Jewish education opportunities for their children.

To assist these families, Jim Joseph Foundation yesterday announced a $1,000,000 grant to UJA-Federation of New York that will provide additional assistance for educational purposes such as tuition/enrollment subsidies for Jewish day schools and Jewish residential summer camps.

The Jim Joseph Foundation does not award grants to individuals for direct tuition assistance. However, their Board is guided by the principle that grants to established Jewish organizations that know their constituencies can provide support for Jewish educational experiences that families would otherwise have to forsake. The Foundation first implemented a similar grantmaking strategy following Hurricane Katrina and again early in the recession that started in 2008. Here, with UJA-Federation of New York, the Foundation has a partner that can locally administer funding to families victimized by Hurricane Sandy and are struggling to keep their children engaged in Jewish learning.

Earlier, Genesis Philanthropy Group launched a Hurricane Sandy Jewish Education Relief Fund for Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) families in Brooklyn and Staten Island, providing relief funding to defray some of the costs of Jewish education, including informal education initiatives, for RSJ families impacted by the disaster, in order to ensure that the added financial strain does not result in them pulling out of or not enrolling their children in such programming. Genesis Philanthropy Group is working directly with the organizations to help meet their needs in the programs relevant to them, such as after school and Sunday programs, as well as day schools serving the RSJ community. 100% of the funding by Genesis will be distributed by partner organizations in the form of tuition relief. In addition, and above and beyond previous plans and commitments, Genesis has provided partner camps with need-based subsidies specifically targeting those in the RSJ community who were effected by Hurricane Sandy.

Genesis’ partners in this work include Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, Kingsbay Y, JCC of Staten Island, Mazel Day School, Staten Island Hebrew Academy, Camp Tel Yehudah, Sprout Lake Camp, and others.