Jewish Federation announces $15 million community investment

The direction of the Latet – Israeli Humanitarian Aid, said it was grateful to be able to continue funding the redistribution of food to impoverished Israeli residents, many of whom are elderly or Holocaust survivors, and to provide emergency aid , courtesy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Each year, the Jewish Federation provides grants to agencies locally and in Israel, such as Leket Israel, which provide free or low-cost meals to adults and families unable to access enough food on their own | Courtesy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

Latet provides cash and food aid to more than 1,000 Holocaust survivors and 60,000 families. They see the Jewish Federation grant program as more than just an opportunity to obtain resources, but also an opportunity to maintain and advance their goals.

“There is a strong message based on trust and understanding, understanding that we are together to fight poverty and food insecurity,” said Latet CEO Eran Weintraub. Latet, which means “give” in Hebrew, has worked with the Jewish Federation for 15 years.

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The Jewish Federation announced on June 24 that it would make a $15 million investment in the Jewish community of Philadelphia, Israel and beyond, representing $9.1 million in grants and fund distributions – including the Latet grant – to be distributed among 91 programs within 66 organizations.

The Jewish Federation will also invest $5.2 million in community programs, such as the Mitzvah food program, scholarships for Jewish camps and trips to Israel, as well as $1.2 million in housing grants for allow agencies to rent on the Jewish Federation campus for free or at reduced rates.

This investment is in addition to the Jewish Federation’s collection and distribution of $4.8 million in emergency COVID relief in the Philadelphia area and Israel, and $870,000 in emergency funding in Israel, following military action by Hamas and other militant groups in May.

“Our job is to help create sustainability, both for people who are in need during this time, as well as for institutions that serve the community at a time of enormous financial uncertainty,” said the CEO and Jewish Federation President Michael Balaban.

Balaban began his tenure as CEO on June 1, and he has already worked to engage with Jewish Federation partners on a meaningful level: “In less than two weeks, I learned that God gives us two ears and a mouth ; we should spend more time listening than talking. It is very important at this early stage of my presence in the community to hear from our stakeholders and partners about opportunities, needs and interests.

The Jewish Federation will prioritize grant allocations in three areas: serving vulnerable populations, shaping the Jewish future, and supporting Israel and global Jewry.

Among the organizations working to serve vulnerable populations is the Hebrew Free Loan Society of Philadelphia. The Jewish Federation will help fund “The Way Forward: Towards Financial Security with Dignity and Respect” program, designed to provide interest-free, no-cost loans to borrowers who may not have a co-signer with good credit or co-signer who does not live in the area.

The 37-year-old agency provides loans of up to $7,500 to community members looking to pay medical bills, home and auto repairs and for housing.

Although the organization was able to provide emergency grants during the COVID-19 pandemic, non-COVID loans are in high demand.

“As we see people returning to work and feeling more confident in the economy, people are more willing to take out loans for things that maybe they should have put on the back burner last year,” he said. said Cheryl Barish Erlick, the company’s loan executive director.

OneTable Philadelphia, part of the Jewish Federation’s goal to “shape the future of Jews,” is another organization that seeks to help Philadelphians. Through The Shabbat Project, Inc., OneTable subsidizes Shabbat dinners and events for Jews in their 20s and 30s who hope to connect with Shabbat rituals in personal and meaningful ways. OneTable has staff in Pittsburgh, but not in Philadelphia, which has limited its ability to establish a local audience.

“[Philadelphia] has been a growing community. And there has been a lot of demand for some time,” said Vice President of Development and Expansion Julia Malkin Reger.

The Jewish Federation grant will allow OneTable to hire a field manager in Philadelphia to liaise with the city’s young Jewish community, expanding audiences, as well as connecting with local businesses to provide food and drink for Shabbat dinners.

The Makom community, located in the city center, is also looking to expand. Founded eight years ago by Beverly Socher-Lerner, the Makom community provides “Jewish enrichment in an after-school setting,” by “inviting children to engage in Jewish wisdom.” The stipend will allow him to open a second location in South Philadelphia (sharing space with the South Philadelphia Shtiebel) and launch new programs for parents and families.

Ultimately, the goal of these grants is the same as any year, according to Balaban: “to meet the needs of the Jewish people and work to build a more vibrant Jewish future.”

[email protected] | 215-832-0741

Jill E. Washington