The Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest NJ has announced $96,446 in local and overseas grants for the 2010-11 year, assisting programs ranging from a daily meal program for frail seniors in Israel to tuition subsidies and enrichment for local Jewish day school students.
In Israel, the grants were targeted to five programs in the MetroWest partnership communities of Rishon Letzion, Ofakim, and Gush Etzion.
They build on a long-standing relationship with these communities.
“In 2009-10, our efforts successfully helped more than 300 children, youth, and seniors through various funded grants and aided in the establishment of a new center for women, the Ofakim Isha Center,” said Michael Gooen, chair of JCF’s Grant Review Committee. “This year we hope to enhance these efforts, which make a difference in the lives of Jews in need.”
Locally, Gooen added, “our grants will directly benefit our MetroWest seniors with more than 500 transportation subsidies through the Metro Transport program, our day schools through tuition subsidies and enrichment, and our teens with scholarships to study at Alexander Muss High School in Israel.”
In FY 2010, the foundation and its donors distributed $19.1 million in grants. The total includes $96,446 in JCF-Grant Review grants, as well as approximately $1 million from JCF Advisory Council funds, $5.7 million from Supporting Foundations, $6.6 million from Donor Advised Funds, and 5.7 million in grants from other funds.
“Many members of the Jewish community know of the families who created these funds, that they lived their lives by the principle of tzedaka or justice,” said JCF president Ken Heyman. “We are pleased that the JCF Grant Review Committee made these grants with sincere dedication to the intent of the donors, and in so doing, to continuing to hear the donors’ voices in our community and the trusting relationships that were built during their lives.”
Amir Shacham, UJC MetroWest’s director of Israel operations, said, “The JCF MetroWest endowment funds and the collaborative relationship with JCF donors through the Grant Review Committee have advanced each of our organization’s missions and make a resolute difference in the lives of Israelis, especially those who are dependent on government and community programs for meals, socialization, and special programs.”
The following represents a breakdown of the grant distributions:
$28,416 in Israel grants
- $7,932 to the Isha Center, Rishon Letzion, to offset the costs of programming at a new community center for at-risk women and girls. The center will provide daily skills training, tutoring, counseling, social support, and art and enrichment to needy women and girls, many of whom are immigrants and from poor families. This project is being funded in partnership with United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ and the Rashi Foundation.
- $6,724 to the Rishon Community Center for the Neve Eliahu Soup Kitchen, to support seniors and special needs adults who receive meals and social services in the center.
- $4,705 to Ethiopian Camperships, to support and enable 20 Ethiopian immigrant children who live in Ramat Eliahu to attend summer camp.
- $8,645 to Ma’as, to subsidize the costs of 70 adults with disabilities who participate in community center activities. Sixteen adults also participate in a competitive swimming group similar to “Special Olympics.” Funding partially supports equipment needs and teachers for music, nature, sports and games, animal therapy, and art.
- $410 to Gush Etzion, to support the cost of musical instruments and supplies for the music conservatory school.
$68,030 in local grants
- $4,310 to Daughters of Israel for MetroTransport, to support 157 local rides for seniors and disabled adults via MetroTransport, a non-profit community transportation program that provides rides throughout Essex, and parts of Morris and Union counties.
- $18,000 to the Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life, to provide 18 $1,000 scholarships to local students who wish to attend the Alexander Muss High School in Israel.
- $45,720 to UJC MetroWest, to fund local needs and allocations, notably the MetroWest Day School campaign.