Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ is fortunate that, together with our 19 partner agencies and local foundations, such as the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, we are on the front lines of funding programs and services essential to the health and well-being of our community members. The complementary nature of the work of the agencies, foundations, and federation comes together every day to provide a strong network of support for our Jewish community.
With an eye on doing an even better job of providing that support, federation adopted a strategic plan in the spring of 2014. One of the most important recommendations of the plan was to allocate the funds raised through the UJA Annual Campaign based on the following four mission-driven criteria:
Are the programs or services the unique obligation of the Jewish people?
Does the program or service ensure the future vibrancy of the Greater MetroWest Jewish community?
Where applicable, does it provide connections between Greater MetroWest, Israel, and overseas communities?
Does the program or service show tangible outcomes and impact?
We’re working closely with our agencies as we move to funding programs and services based on these criteria. It is unfortunate that in the article “Healthcare Foundation makes up agencies’ shortfalls” (Oct. 20), we did not have the opportunity to highlight the mission-driven allocations criteria. We would also note that federation supports numerous agencies and programs that ad dress both the physical and emotional health needs of many in the community. In addition, we serve as a convener of organizations that meet the wide-ranging needs of those with disabilities and their families as well as seniors and their families in Greater MetroWest. We regularly bring providers together to address common concerns, share best practices, and envision new ways to collaborate.
It is also unfortunate that the generous grants from the Healthcare Foundation to Jewish Vocational Service, Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, and Jewish Family Service of of Central NJ were characterized by the author as “in part to make up for lost allocations from the federation.” In each instance, the grants from the Healthcare Foundation covered programs or services that either were not previously funded by federation or were new to these agencies. Indeed, federation was not asked to fund these programs and services. To their credit, the agencies worked with the Healthcare Foundation to meet crucial needs in changing times, and we are grateful that the foundation was able to respond generously.
Our Jewish community is fortunate to have innovative agencies that are constantly looking for ways to improve their services and to care for those in need. We are also fortunate to have funders such as the Healthcare Foundation of NJ, whose mission, in part, is to serve the healthcare needs of the MetroWest Jewish community. The responsible use of community funds is a holy task, and it is only by working together that we can truly make a difference.
Leslie Dannin Rosenthal
Executive vice president/CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ