JFRE members make a difference in millions of lives. Each year, JFRE invests hundreds of thousands of dollars in critical projects to support Jewish communities in Greater Philadelphia and in Israel through the JFRE Fund. In 2018-2019, JFRE provided over $550,000 to the following 19 critical projects.

CAMP GAN ISRAEL – Chilling Room

Camp Gan Israel is a Jewish Camp for all Jewish kids, including those with special needs, who make up approximately 10% of Gan Israel’s campers. The special needs coordinator has been successful in helping these kids, including occasionally taking them out of their bunk for important “decompression time” during the camp day. Camp Gan Israel is seeking to construct a dedicated sensory room at the campsite called the “Chilling Room” that would be available to all campers who need time to “chill” with supervision.

CAMP HAVAYA – Theater Upgrades

At the heart of Camp Havaya’s 120 acres in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania is their Teatron (theater). With seating for 450, a dual-level stage and four classrooms, this indoor- outdoor space is the central gathering point for the camp community. However, the technology is sorely out-of-date. With support, the technical theater will include new stage lighting, microphones, pick-ups for instruments, monitors, microphone stands, a digital projector, sound board, programmable light board, installation hardware and a locked cabinet for storage.

CAMP RAMAH IN THE POCONOS – New Camper Bunks to Increase Capacity

Established in 1950, Camp Ramah has been creating a warm, nurturing, fun and inclusive environment for their campers for close to 70 years. Summer programs are for children currently in 2nd through 10th grades. Camp Ramah in the Poconos looks to renovate a current programmatic space in camp, with the purpose of creating a new double camper bunk, thereby allowing the camp to clear their wait-lists and increase the current and future capacity by at least 10%.

THE CHEVRA – Security & Life-Safety Improvements to Chevra’s Center City Community Center

The Chevra’s facility, located in the Rittenhouse neighborhood and Market Street West corridor of Center City Philadelphia, is a unique 12,000 square foot facility that is a hub of Jewish communal life for young Jewish professionals and graduate students living, working and going to school in the region. With a grant they will make critical upgrades based on the recommendations of security consultants, which include upgrading the entry system into the building and interior access controls, installing a security fence and gate on the mouth of the 20th Street driveway, exterior security lighting, HD/IP security cameras (exterior and interior), glass treatments/replacements for lower level windows and lobby windows, and modi cations to the 20th Street exterior fire escape system.

GOLDEN SLIPPER CAMP – Volgelson Village Wrap

Golden Slipper Camp was built in 1948. At that time, the original buildings were sided with laminate board. Although portions of the siding have been replaced, much of the original siding remains in place today. The goal is to begin replacing the laminated boards with a high-quality siding that will last 40-plus years. The requested grant would start the process of replacing the siding of three buildings in Vogelson Village, where the youngest male campers live. Not only will the bunks look better but they will also be insulated, enhancing campers’ comfort and safety.

HABONIM DROR CAMP GALIL – Dining Hall Energy Retrofit

Habonim Dror Camp Galil owns and operates a summer camp facility in Ottsville, Pennsylvania (Bucks County). The facility hosts a summer camp from June through August, and retreats throughout the fall and spring. Camp Galil’s dining hall and kitchen is very much the heart of the camp, as the community gathers there each day for meals and programming. But built in 1961, it is an aging facility in need of upgrades. Over the past decade, Galil has renovated the kitchen plumbing and ventilation, and updated the bathrooms. With this grant, the camp will renovate the wiring and lighting in the dining hall and kitchen. This will enhance the time spent in the dining hall by the camp community and outside groups. The money saved annually on electricity by the camp will be reinvested into the camp programs and facility.


This project is specifically for smart boards and other classroom technology for JCHAI’s new John and Jacqueline E. Swartz Education Center. The building will be used to provide education across all of JCHAI’s programs that will help their clients get jobs and live independently in the community, reducing their vulnerability by increasing their ability to earn a living wage and live with fewer support services.

JEVS HUMAN SERVICES – Tikvah Residence Renovation Project

Tikvah Residence speci cally serves individuals with a disability caused by serious, chronic mental illness, which can disrupt individuals’ thinking, mood, and ability to relate socially, as well as diminish their capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of daily life. Tikvah Residence strives to improve the quality of Jewish community life for vulnerable populations. JEVS requests a grant to create a safe living environment in one kitchen and two bathrooms for Tikvah residents, focusing on making the spaces safer for residents with a variety of disabilities to navigate. Renovations will include upgrading stoves and appliances, installing new flooring, installing grab bars, new lighting, installation of new toilets and vanities.

JEWISH FARM SCHOOL – 707: The Center for Cultural Resilience

Jewish Farm School equips and mobilizes Jews to be part of creating and maintaining a just, equitable, and sustainable food system. Through their programs we build the Jewish community’s capacity to live more sustainably, support the work of local farms and food justice organizations, and connect these efforts to Jewish traditions, values and the cycles of the Hebrew calendar. Working closely with several partners, JFS opened Yibaneh: The Center for Cultural Resilience, which serves as shared office and programming space for Jewish Farm School and several other Jewish and social justice organizations. The first floor storefront is JFS’s home for sustainability skills workshops, classes and events, and the space is already being utilized as a community library and beit midrash. A programmatic home increases JFS’s capacity to engage more members of the Jewish community in West Philadelphia and beyond, and will enable us to collaborate with other Jewish organizations to create a unique and innovative hub for Jewish life in Philadelphia.


Jewish Family and Children’s Services proposes two technology-related improvements. The first is developing a live-stream and webinar series available to clients unable to travel to the Brodsky Enrichment Center for programs due to health, financial or family constraints. The second is upgrading the Internet network infrastructure to increase inter-office communication efficiency, better linking staff who work across JFCS’ ve Philadelphia area offices and reducing the need for travel time between o ces for meetings and collaboration. These improvements will enhance the quality of Jewish community life by ensuring everyone in the community can benefit from JFCS’ high-quality enrichment programming. It also ensures that JFCS’ five regional offices have the infrastructure needed to ensure quality client services with no technology-related disruption.

JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA – Northeast NORC Build 2018 with Habitat for Humanity

The NORC proposes replicating the successful model of partnering with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia to provide critical repairs for low-income older adults living in Northeast Philadelphia. Habitat for Humanity will provide extensive repairs for six to eight homes, dependent on need and work-scope, and will provide the materials, logistics support, and additional planning to support minor maintenance, repairs and energy efficiency projects for an additional 15-20 households that will be performed by up to 100 JFRE, NextGen and community volunteers on a designated day in October. This project helps rehabilitate and preserve the homes of low-income older adults, allowing them to age safely in place and mobilize volunteers from Jewish Federation’s affinity groups.

KLEINLIFE – Energy Efficient Lighting

KleinLife proposes to replace 1,090 lighting fixtures throughout its 106,000 square-foot facility with energy-efficient LEDs. This upgrade will net KleinLife an energy cost savings of nearly $35,000 per year, which would be directed to the health and wellness program for Holocaust Survivors from the former Soviet Union, a Person-Centered Trauma-Informed support service recently funded by the Jewish Federations of North America’s Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care.

PERELMAN JEWISH DAY SCHOOL – Security and Fire System (Stern) and Security Cameras and External Lighting (Forman)

Perelman Jewish Day Schools will replace the security and re alarm system at Perelman’s Stern Center and install higher definition cameras and external lighting at Perelman’s Forman Center. A recent security assessment recommended that Perelman effectuate these security enhancements in order to protect the school from a security breach. Both campuses are open and accessible to the public and have no physical barriers. These upgrades will enable the office personnel and administrators to more closely scrutinize the activities of potential perpetrators, which would provide local law enforcement officers with more time to respond.

AIR FORCE ASSOCIATION – Flight Academy Leisure Club for Learning

The cadets at the Hatzerim base go through a three-year training course, incorporating academic studies and culminating in a Bachelors degree after a full year of studies. There is a critical need for updated facilities and this grant will allow for the renovation of classrooms enabling productive study areas, renovating appropriate facilities for teachers and staff, and a rest area for freshening up between classes.

AMIGOUR – Shimshon-Granit Sheltered Home in Be’er Sheva

Amigour is Israel’s leading sheltered housing company and second largest public housing group. Amigour’s goal is to provide sustainable and affordable housing as well as a range of social and cultural activities to Israel’s older adults, as a means to empower and respect this aging population and enhance their quality of life. While Amigour currently provides about 6,000 residential units, the need is constantly growing with some 27,000 seniors still lacking proper housing. According to the Ministry of Absorption and the Ministry of Housing, an estimated 1,560 seniors are currently waiting for suitable and affordable living arrangements in Be’er Sheva. Amigour has plans to substantially expand the Shimshon-Granit Sheltered Home by constructing a new building with 112-housing units next to the existing complex. In addition to the apartment units, a social hall will be built for events, lessons and gatherings, made available to all residents and community volunteers. These new units and facilities will serve an additional 112-224 individuals, who will join the 132 residents currently living there.

BINA: THE JEWISH MOVEMENT FOR SOCIAL CHANGE – New BINA Campus in Tel Aviv: A Home for Jewish Study, Action and Community

Over the past years, BINA has established itself as an authorized and sought-after educational provider for IDF units, which often seek off-IDF-base spaces for programming. Their ability to o er adequate program space is critical in order to expose an increasing number of IDF soldiers and officers to BINA’s pluralistic approach to Judaism, Zionism and Jewish life. BINA’s Tel Aviv campus will complete a full renovation of the ground oor of their Main Building, which will serve as a library, study space and much-needed classrooms, particularly for their work with IDF units.

HINAM CENTER – Establishing a Center for Tolerance in Abu Ghosh

In order to establish of the Center for Tolerance, the Hinam Center has located and rented a 150- year old stone house in Abu Ghosh, on a total area of 400 square meters. The building has been deserted for the past few years and needs to be thoroughly renovated. Renovations include flooring, plastering and painting the walls, building an accessible bathroom area on the ground floor, renovating the infrastructure (electricity, water and sewage) and building a Roman-style amphitheater in the building’s main hall, where we will hold conventions, seminars, learning sessions and musical events. The center will host high school students, Taglit groups, missions of Jewish Federations around the world and other guests for diverse and experiential activities that will bring different people together. The center will also operate a midrasha, a pre-military program, for youth.

NIRIM FOUNDATION – Nirim in the Mountains - Utility Area

Nirim in the Mountains, a therapeutic agricultural farm located in a beautiful spot near the borders of Jordan and Syria, was built six years ago with minimum capital investment and has slowly developed since then. The infrastructure is minimal and, as of yet, does not include living quarters. Rather, youth and staff work the land from sunrise to sunset but sleep, eat and live at a nearby spot where they have built rudimentary structures to allow basic living conditions. A utility area will serve as another step towards improving living conditions at the farm.


It is of great significance to develop a park that provides a picnic area for all residents to interact with each other and meet new people. The park will be a tool for facilitating integration, as well as a place for educational and social programs, for events and for recreation. It will be a place where people of different culture and classes can develop a sense of community. The park will connect the existing city of Netivot to its future neighborhoods in the west. The gathering area is planned near the entrance to the park, following the playground.