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 2019-2020, JFRE will provide funding to the following critical projects.

Israeli Projects

Ayalim Association – Communal Library in Sderot

Ayalim was founded in 2002 to strengthen social engagement in the Negev and the Galilee in the spirit of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion. Ayalim establishes student villages throughout the geographic and social periphery, while educating the students on the values of Zionism, encouraging young entrepreneurship, and creating connections between the younger generations to the land of Israel. Ayalim will utilize grant money to create a shared learning space which will enable students living in the city to enjoy a communal study room.

Hemdat Hadarom Academic College of Education

For young men and women who wish to specialize in education and live in the south of Israel, specifically in the Jewish Federation’s partnership region, Hemdat Hadarom College is the ultimate option. This teacher’s college for religious teachers who are teaching in the Orthodox stream offers first rate training programs ranging from pre-school to Junior-High school in the following areas: sciences, English, mathematics, literature, special education and Jewish studies. The Hemdat Hadarom Academic College of Education will use the JFRE grant to build a security fence around the campus in 2019.

Yahel - Israel Service Learning

Yahel – Israel Service Learning is an educational non-profit organization that offers service and social action programs in Israel. Yahel offers both short and long volunteer programs for teens, college students and post-college participants which combine hands-on volunteer work with in-depth learning and immersion in Israeli society. Yahel is looking to build two pop-up libraries in Rishon LeZion and Lod that will bring the joy of reading to local residents, strengthen English language skills in children, offer recreational and educational activities to locals, and connect residents to services offered by their local library.

Nirim Foundation

Nirim in the Mountains is a therapeutic residential complex in the Golan Heights which serves teenagers, boys and girls who reach a state of dysfunctional behavior and are in deep crisis, by providing intensive and individual care. Nirim will use the JFRE grant to build a residential complex on their therapeutic farm that can be suitable residence for the boys and girls in the program.

IMAGINE – STEAM Inspired Music Education

IMAGINE has created an innovative ‘STEAM’ inspired music education program combining music and technologies specifically for children with disabilities (physical and mental). The STEAM movement has yet to become a major trend in Israel and IMAGINE wants to bring it first to the geographical and social periphery (where all focus is on STEM programs) and also provide for them potential vocation options in digital and electronic solutions for music editing and teaching. The JFRE grant will create sound labs that will serve and better the lives of hundreds of students and youth in the periphery.

Local Projects

Camp Ramah in the Poconos

Camp Ramah in the Poconos has close to seventy years of experience in creating innovative programming, exciting, experiential Jewish learning opportunities, and building life-long relationships and connections to the Jewish tradition at its overnight camp facility in the Poconos.

The camp will use the new JFRE grant to add a significant expansion to house a new woodworking program. In it, campers, staff, and retreat guests will experience engaging, hands-on, wood construction activities resulting in completed projects to take home.

Ramah Day Camp

Ramah Day Camp is an excellent Jewish day-camp experience for young people in the local Philadelphia community, introducing them and their families to the joys of Jewish living, Hebrew language, and connection to Israel. Ramah Day Camp will use their grant to fund an outdoor space expansion that will allow the camp to leverage their already beautiful green space and create additional programming areas through shade and creative design. The creation of these spaces will then allow them to offer new, and enhanced, Jewish cultural experiences to the campers and their families.

Caskey Torah Academy

Caskey Torah Academy is an Orthodox Jewish Day School which educates boys and girls from nursery through grade eight in the Lower Merion, Northeast Philadelphia, Elkins Park, and Cherry Hill communities. CTA has over 350 students and provides a dynamic education that fosters intellectual, as well as spiritual understanding. Caskey Torah Academy is looking to use their JFRE grant to better secure its building and property.

JEVS Human Services

The Tikvah Residence is a supportive home in Delaware County that strives to improve the quality of Jewish community life for vulnerable adults with serious and persistent mental illness. Tikvah Residence offers the psycho-social supports, linkages to medical and mental health care, access to the full range of JEVS services, and perhaps most importantly, the genuine sense of belonging to and being valued, that are so critical to residents’ continuing recovery and satisfaction in life. To this end, the Tikvah Residence looks to JFRE to improve safety, security and accessibility at Tikvah Residence.

Camp Havaya

Camp Havaya is all about the joy of summer camp with the freedom to be who you truly are. Camp Havaya will make a number of needed upgrades that will increase the aesthetic, use, safety, and security of the building. The focus of the upgrades will be on the Main Lodge, a 15,000 square foot building that includes the dining hall, kitchen, administrative and program offices, and housing for adult staff and visitors.

Makom Community

Makom Community is a Jewish enrichment center that creates family-centered Jewish experiences. They cultivate fluency and comfort in Jewish tradition through inspirational and cutting-edge Jewish education for youth and families. Makom Community is growing quickly and has the opportunity to build out a space that would increase their capacity. They will use their JFRE grant build out the location in order to have space for staff offices, classrooms, a kitchen, a learning garden, and gatherings for Family Shabbat Celebrations and eventually B’nai Mitzvah celebrations.

Habonim Dror Camp Galil

Habonim Dror Camp Galil owns and operates a summer camp facility in Bucks County, its primary patrons are children and youth from the Greater Philadelphia area but it also serves as a retreat center for Jewish college-aged programs. Camp Galil will use their grant to replace and relocate their Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program. The CIT Village will create separate personal living and communal spaces for the CITs and their staff, it will foster their own interpersonal bonds and increase Galil’s ability to recruit and retain older campers.

Pinemere Camp

Pinemere Camp’s mission is to provide its campers and staff members with a group living experience rooted in the religious and social traditions of Judaism. Campers summer camp experience at Pinemere enables them to establish a strong Jewish identity by developing lifetime friendships with other Jewish youth, engage in Jewish practices and create strong connections to Israel.

Pinemere Camp will use JFRE funding to enhance security to ensure the safety of the campers, staff and visitors and to provide parents with a sense of confidence that their children are safe.

KleinLife

KleinLife’s Grow for a Friend program cultivates partnerships with onsite and volunteer led community gardens. The program is currently entering its ninth growing season, with half an acre of KleinLife’s campus transformed into an edible landscape. KleinLife’s Grow for a Friend program will use JFRE funding to rehab deteriorated infrastructure and to hone the growing spaces and assets to their fullest production. Through this restoration and expansion, they will be able to promote healthy eating, provide fresh food to an at-risk population, build community with the many volunteer opportunities, and engage KleinLife membership with educational programming.

The Mesivta High School of Greater Philadelphia

The Mesivta High School of Greater Philadelphia is an Orthodox Jewish boys’ high school educating students in grades 9-12 in Torah, Jewish Law, Ethics, and secular disciplines. The JFRE grant will greatly improve the outdated electrical and safety systems in the building, and enhance the security of the property and grounds.

Perelman Jewish Day School

In 2017, Perelman opened a Hebrew-Immersion Junior Kindergarten (Ganon) on the Stern campus. Tremendous community interest has driven Perelman Jewish Day School to consider expansion of the Ganon program by opening a second classroom in 2019. The JFRE grant will allow expansion of Ganon which will not only help Perelman build enrollment, it will also enhance engagement of young Jewish families and connect them to the Jewish community and its constituent agencies at an earlier stage.

URJ Camp Harlam

Harlam is one of the oldest, largest, and most significant assets of the Union for Reform Judaism’s camping system. Thousands of campers and staff have made Harlam their summer home, enjoying the enriching and powerful Jewish environment, extraordinary leadership and traditions, diverse programs, and an expansive facility. Using the JFRE grant, Harlam will create a much safer and more secure environment on the Main Camp property, increase range of vision on campus, and enhance the practical and perceived security level at the main gate.