Through The Jewish Federation Real Estate Fund, JFRE members make an impact on the lives of millions. In 2023-2024, JFRE allocated $759,459.68 to 24 projects locally, in Israel and globally.
Each year, the fund invests hundreds of thousands of dollars to support critical projects in Greater Philadelphia and Israel. This year, capital projects remained a funding focus. However, with the on-going rise of antisemitism, ensuring the safety, security and resiliency of our agencies became a priority as well. Thanks to the JFRE Fund grants, training, tools, and resources will be made available to protect those inside our synagogues, schools, summer camps, and other centers of Jewish life.
Table of Contents – JFRE Grantees
- Mitzvah Food Program
- Moishe House
- Federation Early Learning Services (FELS)
- Golden Slipper Camp
- Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia
- Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia
- Habonim Dror Camp Galil
- Jewish Relief Agency
- Kol Tzedek
- Mount Carmel Cemetery
- Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshurun
- Camp Ramah in the Poconos
- Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation
- South Philadelphia Shtiebel
- Temple Hillel
- The Congregations of Shaare Shamayim
- Politz Hebrew Academy
- Yad LaKashish
- Leket Israel
- The Association for Israel’s Soldiers
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Mitzvah Food Program
The Mitzvah Food Program helps provide nutritious fresh products (including dairy, proteins, fruit and vegetables) to disadvantaged Jewish households in the Greater Philadelphia community. The JFRE grant is being used to update aging cold storage equipment that needs to be improved to keep all of their fresh food products stored for long periods, given their growing demands.
Moishe House is the place for Jewish 20-somethings and their friends, with two Houses and one Pod, each planning 3-7 programs a month. The community and activities are centered around the homes where groups of young community builders live and host events. The grant will provide furniture and programming supplies for better living conditions and a more welcoming environment for visitors.
Federation Early Learning Services (FELS)
FELS provides early care and education for infants to five years old in Philadelphia. The JFRE grant will be going towards critically important capital improvements to our Mary Bert Gutman Early Learning Center including: replacing the existing non-functional playground equipment and rubberized safety surface and helping replace the current lights from fluorescent to LED as it will improve our children’s health and productivity.
Golden Slipper Camp
Golden Slipper Camp is a boys and girls overnight camp in the Pocono Mountains near Stroudsburg, PA. The JFRE grant will allow Golden Slipper Camp to upgrade their dasher boards that are multi-purpose use along with a newly installed floor, much-needed lighting and a new steel roof/cover to allow the structure to be used in almost all weather conditions. This will also reduce maintenance costs due to constantly needing to remove debris adding minor damage to the floor and facilities.
Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia
Now approaching its 40th year, Hebrew Free Loan provides solutions to borrowers experiencing a crisis or challenge. Interest-free lending is a lifeline for those struggling to make ends meet. Since 2018, housing loans have increased 180%. The JFRE grant will be used towards interest-free loans for housing needs, including home repairs, home purchases, rent payments, mortgage payments and relocation costs.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia
The Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) is a cluster of homes where people have aged in place and now need services to maintain independence and remain at home. NORC helps primarily low-income Jewish older adults living in Northeast Philadelphia to age in place safely. Many older residents with limited, fixed incomes and declining health cannot keep up with ongoing home maintenance; and they cannot afford or physically complete repairs to preserve their homes as safe, affordable places to live. Therefore, home repair/modification is a critical component of the NORC program. The JFRE grant will be going towards overall project expenses, including home repair materials and staff time of their Home Repair Coordinator.
Habonim Dror Camp Galil
Habonim Dror Camp Galil is an overnight summer camp serving Jewish youth whose activities occur across a 60-acre facility. The JFRE grant will replace and upgrade the radios their staff carry and use. The upgrade will increase their capacity to ensure that any group of campers is with a staff member with a radio with redundancy built in.
Jewish Relief Agency
The Jewish Relief Agency (JRA) is built on the foundation of its monthly food distribution; their programs relieve the pangs of hunger, bring meaning to their recipients and volunteers, and build a caring and connected community. JRA was founded in 2000 as a hunger relief organization working to inspire volunteerism in Philadelphia, under the conviction that no community member should be hungry. The JFRE grant will go towards upgrading fixtures and flooring, increasing the number of storage carts and bins to match the increase in products JRA are currently providing clients, and enhancing security equipment due to the increase of antisemitic incidents occurring and allowing volunteers and staff to feel safe doing this work.
The JFRE grant will enhance its security features due to increased threats against the organization over the past two years and building maintenance. These features include increasing and enhancing exterior lighting, applying a glass bonding agent to reduce the likelihood that entrances could be breached and adding access readers to several additional doors to prevent unauthorized access to portions of their building. Additionally, part of the grant will be used to repair a portion of their roof over the swimming pool to ensure a structurally sound facility for years.
Kol Tzedek Synagogue is currently located in the Cedar Park neighborhood of West Philadelphia. They have rented space in a shared church that hasn’t been able to maintain their facility and has failed to keep the building safe, causing security concerns. The JFRE grant will allow Kol Tzedek to add security features to their new location, about 1 mile from where they currently reside, to ensure their new place of worship and gathering is up to standards. These features include: digital locks on all outside doors, cameras at each exit, and motion detectors inside the building to help secure their space.
Mount Carmel Cemetery
Mount Carmel Cemetery is located in Northeast Philadelphia. Due to vandalism and exterior damage, the cemetery has needed costly repairs to boulders and their fence. The JFRE grant will be used to erect bollards or triangular concrete barriers along the perimeter of the cemetery on Frankford Avenue to protect is from cars crashing into the fence and help keep out vandals.
Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshurun
Beth Tikvah B’Nai Jeshurun is a synagogue located in Glenside, PA, where, at the local Middle and High School there have been seven hate-related crimes between November 2022 and February 2023. The JFRE grant will update its security system to ensure a safe space. These updates include a new access control system, expansion of their video monitoring system and training staff and congregants on new security planning.
Camp Ramah in the Poconos
Camp Ramah in the Poconos is located in Lakewood, PA, and is home to about 600 campers and staff each summer. As caretakers of other people’s children, we prioritize making our campus as safe as possible every summer. Due to the rise in antisemitism, they request funds to help upgrade their security measures. The JFRE grant will go towards helping expand their security needs, including fencing, equipment and systems.
Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation
The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (PHRF) operates, maintains and programs the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza. Centered around the oldest public Holocaust monument in the United States, PHRF opened the redesigned Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza with new educational features and artifacts in 2018. The JFRE grant will go towards a new Park Manager Booth, to monitor the surrounding grounds full-time and four additional security cameras focused on the high-concern areas.
South Philadelphia Shtiebel
The South Philadelphia Shtiebel is a Synagogue located off Wharton Street. The JFRE grant will help purchase cameras, turn on their ADT system and install panic buttons.
Established in 1944, Hillel at Temple University (Temple Hillel) became a national model for service to commuter students. In 2009, the Rosen Center, a 13,000-square-foot facility, was built to serve the changing needs of Temple students, most of whom were now living on and around campus. The JFRE grant will go to help fund the security camera system including: Laptop at the front desk for the security guard to monitor the live camera feeds, a laptop lock to secure the laptop to the security desk, one security camera in the back hall of the building by the back exits of the building, battery backup and surge protector for the host computer of the security camera system in the basement, a twenty-two-inch computer monitor for the host computer of the security system in the basement, and two TVs to be mounted on the wall of the 2nd and 3rd floor with a live security camera feed of the activities on the first floor of the building.
The Congregations of Shaare Shamayim
The Congregations of Shaare Shamayim is a Synagogue located in Bustleton that has served the communities of Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Philadelphia for over 50 years. While they have a security guard to help protect the Synagogue, he must use his car if there is adverse weather to protect himself and keep him from being close to the building. The JFRE grant will go towards the installation of a guard shack that will be visible to deter potential intruders, provide the guard with protection from the ambient weather, have a monitor that will provide the guard with continuous access to our video surveillance cameras, and include a button by which to summon law enforcement in case of an emergency.
Politz Hebrew Academy
Politz Hebrew Academy, located in Northeast Philadelphia, was founded in 1982 and is dedicated to providing quality Orthodox Jewish Day School education to Kindergarten through 8th grade children. They asked the Jewish Federation’s security expert, Scott Kerns, to evaluate their security needs and he recommended a Guard Shack as an immediate need which the JFRE grant will be allocated towards.
ISRAELI and Global PROJECTS
Since 1962, Yad LaKashish has provided creative work opportunities for thousands of Jerusalem’s most deserving elderly residents. The elderly at Yad LaKashish, many of whom do not have nearby family, also gain a sense of community and belonging. Most program participants are Jewish immigrants from the FSU, Ethiopia, South America and Iran, many of whom survived the Holocaust, others walking across the Sudan to save their families from war and famine. The JFRE grant will go towards Yad LaKashish need of new industrial tables, standard tables, and chairs for their workshop as their current equipment is well-worn and has needed to be repaired multiple times.
Leket is requesting the JFGP’s assistance to specifically support Bet Eliyahu NPO, located in Kiryat Shalom (South of Tel Aviv). Bet Eliyahu services over 1,100 people both through the weekly distribution of food packages and the preparation and serving of 750 meals daily. Of the people served 60% are elderly, including 10% holocaust survivors. 20% of the food recipients are immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia. The JFRE grant will fund the following capacity building in the form of, but not limited to: general renovation of the kitchen, including new water and sewerage pipes, retiling of the floor, additional shelving, and distancing the gas supply; ceiling renovation, including the replacement of ceiling tiles; and the completion of electrical rewiring including conversion to tri-phase capacity.
Nirim in the Mountains was established to provide a space for the most at-risk teens, ages 14-18, who must be removed from participation in other frameworks due to personal crises, violence, or disruptive behavior. Nirim in the Mountains represents a “last chance” for teens otherwise bound to be incarcerated. Located in a secluded area in the Golan Heights near the Syrian and Jordanian borders, the farm is designed to hold up to 10 teen participants at once, and 30 in a given year. The improved safety measures will better enable the teens to focus on rehabilitation, healing, and learning, without worrying about their physical safety.
The JFRE grant will go towards this central component of these improvements and renovations, which concerns building a life-saving “safe room” in the residential area of the facilities, where participants and staff can gather in times of rocket attacks and/or other security emergencies.
Amigour’s “Rupin” Home for the Elderly Sheltered Home, located at 30 Rupin Street in Kiryat Ata, was initially an absorption center established in the 1980s. The nine-story building houses 119 residential units, offering a caring home and refuge to 126 elderly new immigrants and Holocaust survivors. The lobby of Amigour’s Rupin Sheltered Home has not received any notable renovation or upgrade since its inception in the 1980s and is in dire need of revitalization. The JFRE grant will go towards replacing its old flooring, which is currently outdated and needs renovation. The lobby renovation will include installing new flooring, acoustic ceilings, electrical and lighting work, and ornamental work on the walls and pillars.
Since 2014, Ayalim has operated a student village in Sderot, providing a unique opportunity for students attending Sapir College to reside in the city and experience its manifold benefits. The city needs more development, particularly in cultural enrichment and artistic opportunities. The JFRE grant will go towards the proposed capital project located next to the Ayalim Student Village and will foster an environment for young professionals and serve as a hub for students, artists, travelers, and performers. The center will contain four art galleries, a studio, a performance stage, and an outdoor bar, all along a pedestrian street lined by pergolas.
The Association for Israel’s Soldiers
The Association for Israel’s Soldiers helps support those Israeli soldiers who may face additional challenges being away from home, including food insecurity, emotional challenges and additional family issues due to their background. The JFRE grant will help fund capacity building for the 638 Battalion of the Technology and Maintenance Support Unit to receive the necessary resources and support to fulfill their duties and provide them with a sense of belonging and comfort while serving in the military.