2023 Fiscal Year Allocation Summary
Jewish Community Fund (JCF) Grants totaled more than $3.7 million during Fiscal Year 2023, as part of more than $4.75 million being invested to build a vibrant Jewish community.
The Jewish Federation invested in programs focused on developing deep, long-lasting connections to Judaism, the Jewish community and inspiring the next generation of leaders.
Impact in the priority area of Building a Vibrant Jewish Community is also made through Jewish Federation grant processes (including the Bernard and Etta Weinberg Family Fund, Chair’s Venture Fund, Jewish Federation Real Estate Fund, Justin P. Allman President’s Fund, and Women of Vision Endowment Fund) and special funds.
By collaborating with partner agencies, our financial resources helped achieve the following goals in Fiscal Year 2022:
- Connecting young families, children and teenagers with resources, educational and engagement opportunities in Philadelphia and Israel
- Increasing engagement of young adults (18-39) to strengthen Jewish identity, Jewish wisdom, communal leadership and Jewish practice
- Celebrating the diversity of our Jewish community by connecting all Jewish persons to Jewish life and promoting programs that are welcoming
- Ensuring that Jewish Philadelphia has the infrastructure to foster connections between religious and cultural institutions and support diverse religious/cultural expressions of Judaism
Fiscal Year 2022 Impact Through JCF
individuals identifying as LGBTQIA+, People of Color, and their families accessed programming that represents their identity in Jewish learning
interfaith individuals, couples, grandparents, parents and their children accessed online materials related to religious and cultural traditions
children, teens and young adults both with and without special needs participated in structured group activities, home visits and cohort-specific social events
Jewish educators received
young adults participated in targeted programming to strengthen their Jewish identities
scholarships were awarded for Jewish camps
individuals participated with parents, grandparents and siblings in social and educational programs created specifically for family learning and engagement
businesses were Kosher-certified, including restaurants and grocery options
adults participated in weekly Jewish education on the Talmud, Tanakh and foundations of Judaism
Grant Recipients FOR fISCAL YEAR 2023
Connecting Young Families, Children & Teens ($820,000)
Grantee programs that provide opportunities for individuals to increase their knowledge about Judaism, Jewish history and texts.
Atlantic Seaboard NCSY
Philadelphia Jewish Student Union (JSU) ($40,000)
The Philadelphia JSU provides innovative, social and recreational programs in informal settings, bringing programming to public school campuses to forge a deep connection with students’ Jewish heritage through ongoing activities, annual events, and extensive summer programs. JSU offers a wide range of activities to allow teens to access Jewish engagement where it is most relevant and meaningful to them.
BBYO Leads: Jewish Teen Leadership ($40,000)
BBYO offers teen-led, staff and adult supported, weekly or bi-weekly experiences where youth engage with Jewish life through chapter programs, trainings and retreats, summer camps, Israel and global travel experiences and global conferences. The experiences teens have in BBYO build contagious enthusiasm and a strong desire to reach out and ask friends, family and peers to join. BBYO staff and volunteer advisors, who are trained in youth mental health first aid, provide individual mentorship and support to teens as caring adult role models.
Israeli American Council (IAC)
IAC Keshet is a Jewish educational program which meets twice-monthly for children ages 4-8 growing up in Israeli-American households to learn spoken and written Hebrew, about Israeli culture, Jewish heritage and foster a connection to Israel. Keshet also reaches the parent community through traditionally Jewish and culturally Israeli family events as well as “Take Home” kits. This program serves to bring Israeli culture to the mainstream Jewish community, for example, by bringing an Israeli children’s play performed in Hebrew to Philadelphia.
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Teen Leadership Incentive Grants ($15,000)
These grants lower the cost barriers for teens to participate in a convention, shabbaton or similar immersive youth movement overnight experience, which can cost upwards of $1,000. All dollars for this grant go directly to teens and families to defray the costs of participation in these engagement opportunities.
Jewish Learning Venture
jkidphilly provides resources and community-wide programs that support the social, spiritual and educational needs of families raising Jewish children. This includes the nationally celebrated PJ Library program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which sends age-appropriate books on a monthly basis to children ages 6 months to 8 years, as well as PJ Our Way subscriptions for children up to 12 years old.
Kaiserman Jewish Community Center
Diller Teen Fellows ($55,000)
The Diller Teen Fellows is an international program that provides a year-long teen leadership program for 10th and 11th graders. The program is centered on three learning modules: Jewish Identity, Leadership Development, and Israel and Tikkun Olam. Highlights include monthly gatherings, weekend retreats/shabbatons, hosting Israeli teens from the city of Herzliya for a Jewish Community Mifgash, and a three-week summer experience in Israel. Over the course of the year, Fellows learn the skills of program planning and facilitation, through coordinating their own shabbaton experience and impact project.
Kaiserman Jewish Community Center
J on the Way: Creating Community ($75,000)
J on the Way is a fully mobile JCC program and activity center that engages the Jewish community in new ways at new locations and attracts new Jewish individuals by meeting them wherever they may be. Operated out of a customized van outfitted with a multi-purpose program space, it will offer the flexibility to hold events in any location, day or night. The program will focus on serving families with young children and active adults in our community who are craving Jewish connection and seeking opportunities to create their own definition of Jewish community.
Jewish Afterschool Enrichment ($65,000)
Makom Community offers Jewish educational after-school enrichment, b’nai mitzvah preparation, weekly family Shabbat celebrations and alternative childcare during school closings in Center City and South Philadelphia. Through Makom Community’s family-centered Jewish experiences, parents – 60% of whom are not otherwise in contact with the organized Jewish community – are empowered to build a Jewish life that is meaningful for their family and are connected with others in a joyful Jewish learning environment.
Pathways Programs ($40,000)
Moving Traditions emboldens youth by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning. Through their small-group model, teens learn to navigate the world so they will thrive as healthy, ethical, and Jewishly connected people. Particularly interested teens can apply to be a part of the Kol Koleinu leadership development program. Organization staff recruit clergy, educators, and adult mentors, providing advanced training, one-on-one support and coaching for them to be group leaders.
Young Adult (18 – 39 year old) Engagement ($810,000)
Grantee programs that provide opportunities for individuals to deepen their Jewish identity and form Jewish community.
Jewish Student Engagement ($100,000)
Drexel Hillel is a major resource for religious, social and spiritual well-being for the university’s Jewish community. This program supports five strategies: Learning+Engagement Internships, which combine Jewish education, leadership development and peer engagement; Jewish/Israel Learning Fellowships, which are cohort-based Jewish and/or Israel learning experiences led by skilled educators; Communities of Spiritual Practice; Shabbat and Holiday Celebrations; and Immersive Travel Experiences, including Birthright Israel. Program support will allow Drexel Hillel to scale these successful strategies to serve more students.
Greater Philly Hillel Network
Hillels in Philadelphia (HIP) ($45,000)
HIP promotes the development of Jewish life on local campuses that have smaller Jewish student populations and lack the resources for full-time staff. Through a network of part-time and faculty advisors, program activities include Shabbat services and dinners, holiday celebrations, Israel educational and cultural programming, Birthright recruitment, and Jewish learning cohorts. HIP currently serves approximately 650 Jewish students at Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and West Chester University, with plans to expand to two additional campuses, offering cross campus programming and engagement.
Greater Philadelphia Hillel Network
Jewish Graduate Student Network ($115,000)
The Grad Network has grown dramatically over the past five years and runs on two separate tracks – one that supports Jewish Student Associations (JSA) and a second that coordinates city-wide programs and initiatives. They offer a year-long Israel Fellowship focused on leadership development, Israel education and engagement, and provide the Shabbat Across Philly initiative. Jewish Learning Fellowships were launched in the Spring of 2020 (FY20) and will continue in the FY22-24 grant cycle.
Hillel at Temple University
Engagement and Learning ($180,000)
This program engages students in opportunities to enhance their Jewish identities and community affiliation; to be educated about Jewish heritage, the Jewish people, and Israel; and to build their leadership capabilities. Temple Hillel’s programming revolves around Shabbat & Holiday worship and celebrations, Jewish learning, a relationship with Israel, Tikkun Olam service, mental health and wellness initiatives, activities that encourage social connections, and leadership training. Additionally, they form coalitions and create collaborative programming with other groups on campus.
Hillel at the Pennsylvania State University
Acharai Initiative ($45,000)
At Penn State, Hillel focuses on training and developing student leaders who then manage all Hillel programming on campus. The Acharai Leadership Initiative provides cohort-based leadership development training for a variety of student leader and intern roles, with an emphasis on engagement methodology, network mapping and community building. Each cohort of leaders and interns has a different micro-community focus in order to best meet the needs of the broader Jewish student population on campus. Some groups are focused on one-on-one student engagement while others strive to build self-sustaining micro-communities of Jewish students.
Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania
Jewish Student Engagement ($35,000)
This program employs multiple methodologies to engage Jewish students. Those with strong Jewish backgrounds are assisted in developing their leadership skills, while those with minimal backgrounds are inspired to explore and develop their connections to Jewish life and community. Typical activities include student-led minyanim, Shabbat dinners or holiday celebrations, weekday kosher meals, weekly learning cohorts, Israel Groups, subsidies to Jewish conferences, immersive trips (including pre and post engagement), Senior Goodbyes/Celebrations, and volunteering opportunities. Penn Hillel also works to help students from other religious and ethnic backgrounds to increase their understanding of Jews, Judaism and the State of Israel.
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia Israel Engagement
Micro Communities ($40,000)
This program will recruit 25-45-year-olds to build out an Israel engagement program for each cohort based on specific areas of interests. Each micro-community will be mentored to design 8 meetings a year that are educationally and culturally significant in Israel engagement terms, have a vibrant social media group, and culminate with a specially tailored trip to Israel. Jewish Federation will identify and select the micro-communities, mentor the leading activists, offer expert programming advice,
and locate and bring in short-term Israeli Shlichim with pertinent expertise to the needs/goals of the micro-community.
The Jewish Federations of North America
Taglit-Birthright Israel ($75,000)
Birthright Israel trips have profoundly influenced a generation of Jewish young adults worldwide by linking them to Israel, Judaism and one another. This program provides an all expense paid, first-time, educational trip with peer groups to Israel for Jewish young adults, ages 18-26. Each year, funds are used to help send more Jewish young adults on these unique introductory trips to Israel.
The Shabbat Project, Inc.
OneTable Philadelphia ($75,000)
OneTable recruits local Jewish young adults as participants who create their own authentic, meaningful Shabbat dinners for their peers. Participants have access to a suite of resources (including Nourishment Credits for purchasing food) as they form their own Shabbat dinner traditions, putting Jewish experiential learning into action each week. A full-time Field Manager is the local point person, recruiting participants, providing 1:1 coaching, curating Jewish educational resources, building partnerships with the Jewish and secular community, and cultivating financial supporters.
Moishe House Philadelphia ($25,000)
This program aims to build, strengthen and sustain Jewish young adult life and create a future generation of strong Jewish leaders through one local house in Center City. In their model, young adults live together, create and host diverse peer-led, home-based engagement programs, including Shabbat and Jewish holiday celebrations, discussion groups, tikkun olam projects and more. Moishe House builds strong relationships with other organizations by holding programs in partnership to create a more collaborative Jewish community. The West-Philly house was funded by another Jewish Federation grant.
The Philly-Israel Fellowship (PIF) ($50,000)
PIF is an educational and community-building initiative for young Jewish adults in the Greater Philadelphia area. PIF is a 4 month-long intensive program that meets weekly to provide leadership training, Jewish education, Israel advocacy, involvement in social and community service programs, networking opportunities, and Shabbat experiences. Complementing PIF is the Chevra’s annual 12-day Israel experience, designed to inspire each participant to foster a genuine and meaningful connection to Israel. In addition, PIF includes a robust pre and post trip program designed to enhance the impact of the Israel Road Trip and encourage follow-up engagement.
Tribe 12 Tribes ($25,000)
The Tribes program provides a series of peer led niche groups for 20s/30s that create connections among those who share interests, identities and other defining characteristics. Each Tribe has its own cycle, whether year round, seasonal, or multiple session clusters during the year and are led by staff and/or volunteers, who often bring in paid experts as session leaders. Volunteer Tribe leaders are currently provided mentorship and support by Tribe 12 staff and receive additional leadership training opportunities.
Diversity of Our Jewish Community Engagement ($243,000)
Grantee programs that focus on creating inclusive and welcome Jewish spaces around shared values or identities.
18Doors Philadelphia ($35,000)
18Doors encourages individuals, couples, grandparents, parents and their children in interfaith relationships or households to engage in Jewish life and make Jewish choices. They also help Jewish communities to welcome interfaith couples and families. 18Doors provides curated content to people in interfaith relationships. The Philadelphia Rukin Rabbinic Fellow leads small-group programs for couples that introduces religious and cultural traditions that can be practiced at home and social experiences that infuse Jewish themes and values and build community.
The Friendship Circle Philadelphia Region Inc.
Friendship Formulas: Community Programming ($60,000)
Philly Friendship Circle offers three main types of programming in the Greater Philadelphia region designed to engage children, teens and young adults both with and without special needs in structured group activities, home visits and cohort-specific social events. All programs offer parents respite time while their children engage and, intermittently, Philly Friendship Circle offers more formal opportunities for parents to learn about and share resources.
Jewish Learning Venture (JLV)
Engaging Underrepresented Communities ($85,000)
JLV engages families that are raising Jewish children who have historically been underrepresented or marginalized in the Jewish community. Of particular focus are families that have at least one member who is a person of color (POC) or a person who identifies as LGBTQ+. JLV creates leadership councils of parents who represent these families and a group of professionals (educators, therapists, advocates) who work with these populations to guide the work. The organization employs at least one staff person who represents the LGBTQ+ or POC populations to convene the leadership councils and translate its feedback into communications, engagement, and programming for JLV.
Jewish Learning Venture
Whole Community Inclusion Family Engagement ($20,000)
This program enables children with special needs and their families to engage more fully in Jewish life and community. The initiative includes interactive webinars prior to Jewish holidays, offering ways to modify and adapt celebrations in the home for children with cognitive, sensory and learning disabilities, curates online resources connecting families with easily accessed strategies for holiday celebration with children who have disabilities, and offers three communal family events each year that are holiday-based, sensory-friendly and held in partnership with local synagogues.
Tribe 12 LGBTQIA+ Community ($18,000)
Tribe 12’s LGBTQIA+ supports people in their 20s and 30s to connect in an authentic and comfortable way to increase personal and communal Jewish identity. Programming focuses on Jewish experiences with a uniquely queer sensibility with Shabbat gathering, holiday celebrations, and health and wellness events. The program is also community and coalition minded through its work with various Jewish and LGBTQ+ events in the city (JProud Consortium, the annual queer Seder, Pride Shabbat, etc). In addition, Tribe 12 provides meaningful LGBTQ+centric programming where alcohol is not a focus since rates of substance abuse and addiction are higher within this group than in other sectors of society.
South Philadelphia Shtiebel
Evening Beit Midrash ($25,000)
The Shtiebel is a new, innovative spiritual community based in South Philadelphia. Launched within the last year, the Beit Midrash has consistently offered weekly online adult Jewish education on the Talmud, Tanakh, and foundations of Judaism. These learning opportunities are offered in both small groups as well as larger study events that are focused around Shabbat and holidays. While the texts studied are traditional, the access points range from the primary texts to food, arts, and culture and reach a diverse segment of the Jewish community.
Community Infrastructure Engagement ($1,847,000)
Grantee programs that support the community in a variety of ways to express their Judaism and/or come together in groups to celebrate, socialize or build community around shared values or identities.
Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia
Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia ($20,000)
The Board of Rabbis brings together a diverse group of rabbis who live and/or work in the Greater Philadelphia region to contribute to a strong, vibrant and diverse Jewish community. Members serve in a wide range of professional contexts and represent a wide range of rabbinic perspectives. Each year, the Board of Rabbis hosts 4-5 programs with guest speakers on topics relevant to local rabbis. Throughout the pandemic, they have offered regular support calls on Zoom to allow rabbis to connect on timely and sensitive topics.
Community Kashrus of Greater Philadelphia
Communal Kashrus Certification ($30,000)
Community Kashrus provides the religious infrastructure to allow for kosher food services to be widely available in the Greater Philadelphia area. They provide supervision of area stores, restaurants, and communal organizations. A new website is currently being developed and will be the central location for visitors to Philadelphia to learn about kosher options.
Day School Per Capita Program
Abrams Hebrew Academy, Barrack Hebrew Academy, Cheder Chabad, Kohelet Yeshiva, Kosloff Torah Academy, Mesivta High School, Perelman Jewish Day School, Politz Hebrew Academy, Caskey Torah Academy and OROT ($1,250,000)
Day Schools are an essential component of a strong and thriving Jewish community, attracting Jewishly committed families and training the next generation of Jewish leaders in our community. The Jewish Federation provides grants based on a weighted student per capita model to the nine local Jewish Day Schools as well as the OROT special needs program, filling a critical philanthropic gap between tuition income and the true cost to run a quality Jewish Day School.
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Need Based Day Camp Scholarships ($57,000)
Need Based Overnight Camp Scholarships ($100,000)
The Jewish Federation offers scholarships to make Jewish day camp more accessible to families in the five-county region who demonstrate financial need. All dollars for this grant go directly to children and families to defray the costs of Jewish camp.
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
One Happy Camper ($100,000)
This incentive program encourages local Jewish families to send their children to non-profit, Jewish overnight camps for the first time. One-time grants range from $700 to $1,000 and are not based on financial need. All dollars for this grant go directly to children and families to defray the costs of camp.
Jewish Learning Venture
Education Innovation Lab ($100,000)
This program offers a series of Professional Learning Cohorts each year that brings educators together to support them in making positive systemic changes in their schools. Some of these educators are invited to participate in a second and/or third year that will push them to make larger-scale changes. A new initiative called the Innovators Circle is developing experimental educational initiatives to be delivered outside of Jewish organizations, in an effort to reach families who are not enrolled in formal Jewish education.
Teacher Education with Makom Community ($40,000)
Makom’s Teacher Education program provides training and coaching for synagogue-based educators to elevate supplementary Jewish education in Philadelphia. Teams of teachers and a director participate together developing skills for social, emotional and spiritual learning through Jewish text, managing teams through institutional change, and writing rich curricula that serve the needs of their communities.