Danielle V. Minson — Raising the Bar
Strong Safety Net of Funding Helps Our Community Fight COVID
With Your Help, We Raised $456,619 in Additional COVID Relief Fund Dollars
Just since December, our donors showed an incredible outpouring of generosity and care for our community by giving $206,619 in new Relief Fund funding, which was matched by our national organization, the Jewish Federations of North America at $250,000.
COVID-19 Relief Fund Allocates $421,533 in Second Round of Funding
The Federation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund distributed an incredible $689,942 in its first round of funding in November—but given the long tail of the pandemic, we planned for more. Just this month, with Federation board approval, we allocated out a second round of requests totaling $421,533 to ten organizations, making a total of $1,141,475 allocated so far. The requests for this second round have been in all the areas the Relief Fund addresses: basic human needs, and safe delivery of programs and services, but also young adult mental health, combating isolation and depression, and efforts to improve the summer: to make camp and school happen safely.
Sherri Symson, cochair of the Fund along with Suzette Fisher, articulated the importance of the fund for all of us:
“The COVID Relief Fund has enabled us to directly impact those most affected by the pandemic in our Jewish community. It has also opened the doors for increased collaboration—it truly has been a community wide effort to ensure that we are reaching as many people as we can. I’m so grateful to our community for coming together to raise these vital funds.”
This month, the Federation was also able to allocate separate emergency funding for the Mayerson JCC and Camp Livingston.
In addition, the Federation’s Shared Business Services (SBS) is working hard on the second round of PPP loans. It has researched eligibility and participation requirements, advising its clients on those guidelines as well as providing necessary calculations and documents for each eligible client to apply. So far the Federation itself and 10 of SBS’s client agencies have applied.
Local Allocations in Process …
Federation also has all its regular work on top of what I’ve just mentioned. Local allocations have recently gone out, and were approved by the Federation board on October 21. A total of $2,858,194 has been allocated by our Planning & Allocations committee, led by veteran volunteer Elida Kamine, Vice President of Planning & Allocations, who told me:
We saw how our agencies are meeting critical immediate needs today but also working to ensure that our community’s strategic priorities and goals are still being addressed. We really got to witness first-hand the strength and resilience of our agencies and their staff. Thanks to the generosity of our community, the campaign was actually up this year, and we were able to allocate additional dollars to our agencies.
…and Israel & Overseas Allocations
Israel and Overseas (I&O) has a separate allocations process, organized under the volunteer leadership of Gary Greenberg (VP of Israel & Overseas), Karen Goodman and David Weiskopf (Israel & Overseas Chairs), and Michelle Kohn (Israel & Overseas Allocations Sub-Committee Chair). I&O has the responsibility of ensuring our Federation dollars respond to the needs of Jewish communities in Israel and around the world. We work together with Federation partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), to serve the most vulnerable populations in regions such as Israel, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, and Ethiopia. We also work with Israeli nonprofits to advance Jewish pluralism.
In addition to the regular funding, on Feb 17 the executive committee voted to approve the I&O’s request of one-time funding (additional dollars) of $100,000 in COVID-19-specific relief funds. These will be allocated $50,000 to JDC (the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) and $50,000 to the Jewish Agency for Israel. Michelle Kohn reports:
“We are focused on reviewing COVID relief projects for the most vulnerable in the countries mentioned. That will go to the Executive Committee for approval. We are meeting effectively by Zoom, including having representatives from Israel and New York join our meetings.”
Raising the Bar
I want to give thanks to you, as well as our donors, volunteers, and staff, for truly raising the bar on what is possible this COVID winter. As you can see, in the middle of a crisis, you have risen to meet every challenge. In my new role as President, I will work my hardest to do the same. As we all know, it’s not over, but with both spring and the COVID vaccines on the horizon, things are certainly getting better.
P.S. If you are able to give during this difficult time, you can easily donate here. It means so much, and thank you so much.
P.P.S. If you want to help, or need help, including information about how to get the COVID vaccine, please call the community’s COVID Hotline: 513-766-3333 or click here. In addition our partner agency Jewish Family Service has put together a new amazing, extensive set of COVID resources.
Thanks for caring about our community and what we do.
Stay connected: sign up for our newsletter here.