Dear Friends,

At the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, we are devoted to helping our communities build, grow and connect with one another. In this guide are details about ways we can help you further engage your membership.

Whether you are looking for opportunities for congregants to volunteer together, learn together or socialize together, we can offer resources to supplement your synagogue’s programming. In addition, we have included programs that can help strengthen and support your synagogue’s staff and lay leadership, as well as scholarship information to help your community members achieve their Jewish life and learning goals.

Despite COVID-19, the work continues, albeit with changes and more virtual offerings. We hope you are inspired by what you find here. If you have any questions, we urge you to call the contact person listed by your program of interest or contact us directly at aklein@jewishphilly.org. We can also arrange for a consultation about these offerings with a Jewish Federation professional.

We look forward to a year filled with new and creative opportunities for connection. Thank you for helping to Carry the Light of Jewish community.

David Adelman & Gail Norry
Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors

MITZVAH OPPORTUNITIES AND SOCIAL ACTION PROGRAMS

Advocacy Days

Our lobbying trips to Harrisburg are an easy way to make a difference. Participants receive education about important domestic issues (past topics have included nutritional assistance, elder services, disability rights, Holocaust education and day school scholarships) and, in turn, educate legislators on issues important to our Jewish communities.

Contact Robin Schatz at rschatz@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0654.

Cemetery Cleanup Days

Bring a group to a local Jewish cemetery in need of TLC. Volunteers can pick up litter, rake tree debris, and clip overgrown vines. Then, participate in a meaningful memorial service to honor the lives of everyone buried there. This experience is appropriate for groups b’nai mitzvah age and older. Learn more about our cemetery work at jewishphilly.org/cemetery.

Learn about the Jewish values and customs around caring for the deceased through our special “Memories and Blessings” curriculum; then take part in a chesed project (acts of loving-kindness) by helping with cleanup at historic Jewish cemeteries, scheduled at your convenience.

Contact Addie Lewis Klein at alewis@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0828.

Cook for a Friend

Through this program, small groups get together to cook nourishing kosher meals for homebound older adults in the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community. This mitzvah opportunity is also a means for congregants to strengthen their bonds with one another as they work side by side in the warm intimacy of the kitchen.

For people ages 21-45, register at jewishphilly.org/cookforafriend or contact Andrea Cantor at acantor@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0861. For other age groups, contact Cook for a Friend coordinator John Eskate at jeskate@kleinlife.org or 215.698.7300 ext. 196.

Disability Advocacy and Inclusion

Every February, during Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion month, communities all across America join to advocate for people with disabilities and mental illness to become active participants in Jewish communal life.

To join the Philadelphia contingent heading to Capitol Hill, contact Robin Schatz at rschatz@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0654.

Holocaust Remembrance

Choose from a variety of programs that teach the history and lessons of the Holocaust, so that we Never Forget. Throughout the year, our Jewish Community Relations Council facilitates conversations with survivors, impactful youth symposia and a creative arts competition; and each April, hosts an annual community-wide Yom HaShoah observance.

Contact Beth Razin at brazin@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0536.

Mitzvah Food Program

Over 11,000 Jews in our region face food insecurity, and our five food pantries throughout Greater Philadelphia offers them some relief. Congregants of all ages can get involved with our Mitzvah Food Program through donations, food drives and volunteering to pack or deliver bags of food, and utilizing the services themselves.

Contact Deirdre Mulligan at mitzvahfoodprogram@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0509.

The Northeast NORC

The “Naturally Occurring Retirement Community,” or NORC, provides three annual programs that support individuals living in Northeast Philadelphia. The Fall, MLK and Spring programs are a great way to volunteer by pitching in with raking, outdoor clean up, winterization projects, and minor home exterior repairs. In addition, there are opportunities to be a friendly caller in our Phone-a-Friend program.

Contact Naadiya at nmuhammad@jfcsphilly.org or 215.320.0351.

Super Sunday

The Greater Philadelphia Jewish community comes together one Sunday each February to help raise vital funds to serve vulnerable populations and support Jewish life and learning. Make this a group mitzvah opportunity for your congregants! Join volunteers of all ages who Carry the Light by making those important phone calls to Jewish Federation supporters. This is also a great time for Hebrew School classes to donate the tzedakah they have been collecting.

Find more information at jewishphilly.org/supersunday.

Save the date for Super Sunday on February 27, 2022.

Understanding Our Vulnerable Populations

The Jewish Federation can provide speakers to discuss some of the serious social issues troubling our region and nation, including issues surrounding older adults and low-income families.

Contact Brian Gralnick at bgralnick@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0850.

FOR TEENS AND 20s

Birthright Israel

Since its inception, Birthright Israel’s mission has been to give every young Jewish adult (ages 18-32) an opportunity to visit Israel and meet Israeli peers, with the goal of strengthening Jewish identity and participants’ connections with Israel and its people. Help give your young adults an experience of a lifetime with this 10-day free journey through both Jewish history and the contemporary Jewish state.

Contact Max Moline at mmoline@jewishphilly.org or 215.832-0803 to find out about post-college Philadelphia Birthright trips.

Diller Teen Fellows

This incredible experiential learning and travel experience for 10th and 11th graders aims to build the next generation of committed Jewish leaders, equipping them with the skills, confidence, knowledge and Jewish values to help create a better world. This highly subsidized 12-month program includes all workshops, retreats, seminars and a three-week trip to Israel where they meet teens like themselves from around the world.

For more information contact aschneiman@jewishphilly.org or click here.

The Teen Empowerment Program

The Teen Empowerment Program (TEP) is designed to provide teens, ages 13-14, with a springboard to become future leaders in the community. TEP enables teens to experience philanthropy and the grants and allocations process first-hand and explore the Jewish tradition of giving back to the community through volunteer opportunities with JFCS. Through TEP, teens learn community leadership, working with JFCS’ professional staff who encourage thinking about and acting upon the values of tzedakah (giving back) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). TEP plants the seeds for future leaders and philanthropists in our community.

For more information, click here.

NextGen

NextGen is the young professional group of the Jewish Federation for 20-, 30- and 40-somethings who want to build Jewish community as we build families and careers. NextGeners gather at social events, volunteer together to make our hometown a better place, and even travel together to learn about Jewish communities around the world and help those in need. We make a difference. And we have a great time doing good.

Contact Max Moline at mmoline@jewishphilly.org or 215.832-0803 For more information, click here.

Masa Israel

Masa Israel Journey is the global leader in immersive experiences for young diaspora Jews, lasting 4-12 months and including study, volunteer, and career development programs. Every year we accompany thousands of young Jews from all over the world for an in-depth and authentic experience of Israel, where they work to grow both personally and professionally. The immersion into Israeli society, connection to their roots and culture, and professional growth they experience on these programs contribute to their personal development, their Jewish identity, and their deepened relationship with Israel and the Jewish people.

Learn more about Masa travel opportunities by clicking here.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR JEWISH LIFE AND LEARNING

Most Jewish families would qualify for reduced rates for high-quality programs. Please share this valuable information with your congregants.

Jewish Preschool Scholarships

Along with Pennsylvania’s EITC program (see above), the Foundation for Jewish DaySchools helps provide need-based school scholarships for eligible pre-K programs for three to six-year-olds.

Contact Ellen Horowitz Matz at ematz@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0525.

Jewish Day Schools Scholarships

The Foundation for Jewish Day Schools, created as a partnership between the Jewish Federation and area Jewish days schools, helps provide needs-based school scholarships for eligible K-12 students and their families. Utilizing Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program and, when possible, the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program, the Foundation provides two important services: helping children receive a quality Jewish education and helping Pennsylvanians redirect their state taxes towards this worthy goal.

Contact Ellen Horowitz Matz at ematz@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0525.

Jewish Supplementary School Scholarships

The Keren Chinuch Scholarship Fund is a need-based scholarship for Jewish children attending nearly 50 supplementary schools at synagogues and similar program throughout Greater Philadelphia. Funds are distributed to qualified schools base on enrollment; schools are responsible for determining need and distributing aid to the students.

Contact Jessica Ranweiler at jranweiler@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0537.

Higher Education Scholarships

Over the years the Jewish Federation has administered a number of endowed scholarships and interest-free loans to help Jewish students with financial needs achieve their higher education goals. These include funds for general graduate degrees; medical and law school; and music and cantorial students.

Contact Alaina Gillespie at agillespie@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0504 

Applications are available at jewishphilly.org/endowed-scholarships.

Jewish Summer Camp Scholarships

Summer camp is a chance for kids to look at who they are, who they want to become and as importantly, a chance to explore their connection to the Jewish community – while having the summer of their lives. For some families, paying for overnight or day camp can be difficult or even impossible. That’s why the Jewish Federation offers two assistance programs: one for first-time campers regardless of financial need, the other a need-based scholarship for returning campers.

Contact our Grant Coordinator at scholarships@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0522, or click here.

Israel Program Scholarships

Through our need-based Israel Program Scholarship Aid Fund (IPSAF), the Jewish Federation provides scholarships to participate in educational or volunteer programs in Israel. This scholarship — for eighth grade students to adults of all ages —helps participants deepen their connection to their Jewish heritage by participating in an organized group travel and/or study experience in Israel.

Contact our Grant Coordinator at scholarships@jewishphilly.org or 215-832-0522, or apply online here.

Yeshiva Study in Israel Scholarships

The Morton Stein Scholarship Fund for Orthodox Yeshivot In Israel offers needs-based financial assistance to Greater Philadelphia residents — including high school and college-age youth, young adults and teachers in Jewish settings — to attend study programs in Orthodox yeshivot in Israel.

Contact Alaina Gillespie at agillespie@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0504 

Teen Leadership Incentive Grants

The Jewish Federation’s Teen Leadership Incentive Grants provide support for teens attending conferences through an eligible youth movement which fosters Jewish identity and leadership. Each participant may receive up to $150 for a program which is two nights or less, or up to $300 for a program that is three nights or longer. A participant may receive only one grant per cycle.

For more information about the grants, eligible programs and to apply, click here.

ISRAEL TRAVEl & Engagement

Birthright Israel

Since its inception, Birthright Israel’s mission has been to give every young Jewish adult (ages 18-32) an opportunity to visit Israel and meet Israeli peers, with the goal of strengthening Jewish identity and participants’ connections with Israel and its people. Help give your young adults an experience of a lifetime with this 10-day free journey through both Jewish history and the contemporary Jewish state.

Contact Max Moline at mmoline@jewishphilly.org or 215.832-0803.

Masa Israel

Masa Israel Journey is the global leader in immersive experiences for young diaspora Jews, lasting 4-12 months and including study, volunteer, and career development programs. Every year we accompany thousands of young Jews from all over the world for an in-depth and authentic experience of Israel, where they work to grow both personally and professionally. The immersion into Israeli society, connection to their roots and culture, and professional growth they experience on these programs contribute to their personal development, their Jewish identity, and their deepened relationship with Israel and the Jewish people.

Learn more about Masa travel opportunities by clicking here.

Israel360

Israel360 is a powerful, immersive yearlong group experience for 27-40-year olds that includes a highly-subsidized 10-day trip to Israel offering a deep dive into its history, culture and politics. Participants emerge with a network of new friends; a deeper understanding of Jewish Federation’s role in Philadelphia, Israel and overseas; and an even stronger Jewish identity.

Contact Max Moline at mmoline@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0803, or visit jewishphilly.org/israel360 for information.

Israel Program Scholarships

Through our need-based Israel Program Scholarship Aid Fund (IPSAF), the Jewish Federation provides scholarships to participate in educational or volunteer programs in Israel. This scholarship — for eighth grade students to adults of all ages —helps participants deepen their connection to their Jewish heritage by participating in an organized group travel and/or study experience in Israel.

Contact our Grant Coordinator at scholarships@jewishphilly.org or 215-832-0522, or apply online here.

Travel With Purpose

Our Missions department offers immersive travel opportunities that transform a trip to Israel into an experience imbued with meaning, giving participants a first-hand experience of the shared heritage, traditions and values that unite us all. Missions staff can also help if your synagogue is planning its own trip by providing information on and connections to service projects in Israel, off-the-beaten-path places in the Negev and reliable local trip providers. In addition, if you’re considering a trip but need more participants, we may be able to match you with a synagogue in a similar situation.

Contact Arielle Shemesh at ashemesh@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0629.

Yeshiva Study in Israel Scholarships

The Morton Stein Scholarship Fund for Orthodox Yeshivot In Israel offers needs-based financial assistance to Greater Philadelphia residents — including high school and college-age youth, young adults and teachers in Jewish settings — to attend study programs in Orthodox yeshivot in Israel.

Contact Alaina Gillespie at agillespie@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0504 

Connect with Israel Locally

The Jewish Federation can connect your community to personalized, Israel-focused cultural programs and workshops at little cost. We can help bring Israeli life and culture to your synagogue, covering everything from pop culture to politics, crafted to appeal to children, youth and adults.

Contact Beth Razin at brazin@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0536 

TOOLS FOR STRENGTHENING OUR COMMUNITIES

Boomer Engagement Network (“BEN”) for Jewish Singles

The Baby Boomers have been called “the loneliest generation,” with a high number of people facing aging alone. The Boomer Engagement Network aims to bring together Jewish singles born between 1946 and 1964 with a range of community-building and social events.

Click here to join the Facebook group.

Community Calls

Join a periodic Zoom webinar call dedicated to Jewish communal leadership that has conveyed critical information throughout the pandemic. Past guests have touched on issues of public health, government responses, necessary changes in the Jewish education and camping worlds, services for seniors and those with disabilities and many more.

Contact Addie Lewis Klein at aklein@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0828 to receive the necessary Zoom link.

Community Grants

See the impact the Jewish Federation is making through grants in fiscal year 2022 by clicking here.

Find out about our grant application processes by clicking here.

Community Portrait

Understanding basic socio-economic, demographic and public health trends across the region’s population is essential to enhancing and targeting service delivery for the most vulnerable and at-risk populations. The 2019-2020 Community Portrait is a population study, commissioned by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia once every 10 years, that will help us to most effectively evaluate and support the needs of our local Jewish communities. Findings from the study will help to direct resources to where they are most needed so our entire Jewish community can continue to grow and thrive. Learn more about your community via an interactive data tool by clicking here.

Dignified Burial Fund

If a member of the Jewish community dies without the financial means for a Jewish burial, you may be able to help by accessing the Jewish Federation’s Dignified Burial Fund. In collaboration with our partner agency, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, we can assist families during this difficult and delicate time.

For general information contact Addie Lewis Klein at aklein@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0828. If a family member wants to request financial assistance for burial, contact Jewish Family and Children’s Service at 866.532.7669.

Emergency Communications

It’s always best to be prepared. The Jewish Federation uses a state-of-the-art emergency notification system called MIR3 to communicate with Jewish community leaders in the event of a disaster or crisis. Your synagogue’s top staff and lay leadership should register to receive these urgent and timely messages via text in the event of an emergency.

Contact Addie Lewis Klein at aklein@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0828.

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)

The JCRC at the Jewish Federation is where a congregant with expertise in or passion for areas like interfaith relations, government affairs, social action and advocacy can help develop and advocate for consensus positions on a range of issues through a Jewish lens.

Contact Robin Schatz at rschatz@jewishphilly.org or 215.435.4621

Jewish Information Referral Services

Have questions about our Greater Philadelphia Jewish communities? Our in-house referral service can help find answers. Common questions are about financial aid to meet basic needs; camp and school scholarships; legal aid; programs for people living with disabilities; and kosher dining. In addition, the Jewish Exponent produces the annual Guide to Jewish Greater Philadelphia and the Jewish Federation creates our informational booklet Resources for Stressful Times.

Contact info@jewishphilly.org or call the Jewish Federation at 215.830.0500.

JPRO

Help your staff’s professional growth. JPRO offers networking and professional development for those who work in the Jewish community, amplifying each of our abilities to contribute to the vitality of our communities.

To learn more and to sign up for the JPRO newsletter, click here.

Kehillah (Neighborhood) Initiative

Get involved with your local kehillah, a venue for partnering with other local synagogues, Jewish organizations and community volunteers on collaborative programming and enrichment for all ages.

Contact Rachel Berger at rberger@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0812.

Sustaining Your Synagogue’s Legacy

Through our Create a Jewish Legacy program, the Jewish Federation helps Jewish community organizations develop legacy plans and goals to ensure a stable financial future. We provide ongoing coaching and develop long-range legacy-building strategies that assist you in approaching donors for legacy gifts to help ensure that your valuable work can continue long into the future.

Contact Jennifer Brier at jbrier@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0528 or click here.

Understanding COVID’s Impact

In the weeks after COVID-19 hit, the Jewish Federation’s Strategy and Impact team undertook a major project to assess the changing needs of the community. Learn about the findings via an interactive data tool here.

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