Home Community JCFR allocates more than $1.9 million to local, regional and international partners

JCFR allocates more than $1.9 million to local, regional and international partners


By Sara Rosenbaum, Chief Impact Officer

After a successful Federation Annual Campaign, which raised more than $2.8 million from community members, the Allocations Committee convened to allocate more than $1.9 million to support our local, regional, and international partners for another year.

Including allocated, supplemental and donor-designated funds, the financial impact to the community and overseas is $3,353,534, an increase over the last fiscal year.

The Federation remains proud to be able to continue the unrestricted allocations to our core local agencies, who will be receiving their third year in a three-year guaranteed allocation.

In the Fall of 2019, the JCFR Board approved this three-year strategic allocation model. The model includes funding toward Local Unrestricted, Israel & Overseas, Regional and Local Restricted Grants, based on the results of the 2020 campaign.

This coming year, the Allocations Committee will reevaluate these funds in consultation with each of the local partners.

Three-year unrestricted allocation for the 5 main agencies

  • Weinstein JCC -$245,000
  • Jewish Family Services – $120,000
  • Beth Sholom Senior Living – $165,000
  • Rudlin Torah Academy – $140,000
  • JCFR – $340,000

JCFR continues to be committed to supporting a variety of other local and regional agencies. These include youth groups, education organizations, Hillel’s across the Commonwealth of Virginia, and more.

This year the allocations committee recommended, and the Board approved the following:

  • Aleph Bet Preschool – $17,500
  • BBYO – $17,500
  • Birthright Israel – $1000
  • Central VA Hillel (VCU, Randolph- Macon College, and Mary Washington University – $35,000
  • Jewish Life at VCU/Chabad – $10,000
  • George Mason University Hillel – $5000
  • Jewish Educational Loan Fund – $2,500
  • Jewish Student Union – $17,500
  • Radford University – $1000
  • Richmond Coalition for Jewish Education – $12,000
  • UVA Hillel – $5000
  • VT Hillel – $5000
  • William & Mary Hillel – $5000

The Federation continues to strive to offer programmatic grants to our local agencies and synagogues to offer community-based programs to support and build Jewish community in new and exciting ways.

This year we are pleased to fund 15 programmatic grants, 6 of which are new. The programs receiving grants this year are:

Brith Achim – Children’s Service Initiative $2,000

The second year of this program presented by Congregation Brith Achim in Petersburg will continue its success of welcoming new families with children to their congregation and online.

This program plans to hold hybrid (Zoom/in-person) Saturday services for children ages 5-10 years old featuring dynamic activities, Hebrew learning, Torah study, as well as basic prayers – all presented in a manner to inspire and excite pre-Bar Mitzvah-study, school-aged children.

The program is one of Brith Achim’s steps in a long-term plan to foster Jewish youth participation.

JFS – Jewish Care Line $50,000

We are pleased to continue to support this vital program in our community. Since the Fall 2018, Jewish families and individuals have received confidential, compassionate, and understanding help from the Jewish Care Line to recover from a crisis.

The Care Line does not just pay clients’ bills: in fact, only about 65% of Care Line clients have had short-term cash assistance since its founding. The Care Line works with each client to offer personalized services to help them recover from the crisis and return to life stability.

Each client meets with a JFS Social Worker and receives needed support including career or resume coaching, financial counseling, navigation of public benefits, or other resources to help them get back on their feet.

Without the Care Line already in place the circumstances of COVID 19 may have been even more difficult for our community; with the Care Line already in place those more in need were able to receive help faster.

JFS/Beth Sholom – Hospice $10,000

Currently, there is no organization in the Greater Richmond area that offers hospice services grounded in Jewish tradition and values; JFS and Beth Sholom Senior Living are close to making one a reality.

The partnership to offer in-home hospice services is a commitment to provide the Jewish community quality, compassionate care in life and to surround individuals and their families with peace and loving care as they complete their life’s journey.

BSSL and JFS are ready to enter the next phase of the Hospice launch plan, and the Federation’s allocations committee is proud to be an early funder.

 KBI – J-LEAP & J-Lead $15,000

Launching its second year, Keneseth Beth Israel offers this program, in partnership with JCFR Richmond’s PJ Library program — J-LEAP: Jewish Learning Enrichment & Play.

A program for preschool and elementary age children that will connect and teach about the Jewish Holidays using STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math) through J-LEAP events.

Children in the Richmond community will gain an understanding of the Jewish holiday cycle and connect with their culture and heritage. Aims to engage children of all backgrounds.

J-Lead will serve as a volunteer program for teens to help facilitate the programs for the younger children while giving the service and leadership learning opportunities.

Or Atid – Gan Chesed $9,500

JCFR is pleased to once again support the Or Atid Gan Chesed initiative. Gan Chesed, is a universally accessible, sensory-based outdoor play area and Jewish-themed Garden focusing on natural elements to safely engage all of the senses. Inspired by Jewish practices and teachings, Gan Chesed offers new learning opportunities and programs for all ages and abilities in the spirit of inclusion.

We are excited to be part of the funding to see the programs happening at the garden with a variety of community and synagogue partners.

RTA – Scholarships – $30,000

RTA is committed to ensuring that no Jewish child should be denied a Jewish education due to the inability to pay full tuition.

The underlying premise is that Jewish education should not be considered just a commodity. The scholarship funds will help RTA be more successful in attracting families to our community’s only Jewish Day School, and lead to our having greater financial resources to appropriately service those students succeed in both Jewish and General Studies.

RTA – IDEAL – $20,000

RTA’s I.D.E.A.L. – Inclusive, Dual-Education for Accessible Lessons. This program strengthens and enriches the lives of our Jewish youth and maximize inclusion in our institution and community. To offer the necessary assistance to students for whom modifications offered in their regular classroom are not quite enough, and to stimulate the gifted and talented students with enrichment experiences beyond the opportunities offered in their daily classes. IDEAL is a program that helps achieve the goal of any quality education: To tailor the instruction to best fit each individual student.

At RTA, every teacher strives for this goal within the classroom – and at the same time, there are students who need something more. Examples include: a) Children with learning challenges and disabilities – who in the ‘old world’ would have simply been placed in a separate, non-inclusive class or school; b) Students who are years behind in specific skills due to having switched to RTA’s dual program in the later years of their education; c) ‘Gifted and talented’ students whose academic prowess enables them to grasp concepts far beyond their grade level.

Weinstein JCC – Scholarships $40,000

The Weinstein JCC believes in the strength of community and seeks to cultivate a sense of belonging in all we do. All members of the community should have an opportunity to utilize all that the Center has to offer. The Weinstein JCC lives out the commitment to the traditional Jewish values of Tzedakah {charity) and Tikkun Olam (acts of kindness) through our Financial Assistance Program, providing scholarships to support individuals, families and children in need to be a part of our strong and vibrant community.

The goal is to meet the ever-growing needs of people turning to us for financial assistance and it is our intention that no one be denied program access because an inability to pay full fees. All funds from Federation are used to support Jewish Families; currently 45% of the 153 families receiving scholarship assistance identify as Jewish.

Weinstein JCC – EnRich $10,000

EnRich for Life (EnRich), presented by the Weinstein JCC and Jewish Family Services (JFS),  focuses on improving the quality of life for Jewish older adults and non-Jewish olders (aged 65+) from the greater Richmond community by reducing their social isolation. By offering opportunities for older adults to connect, engage and learn in a safe place, the program allows them to meet new people, experience new things and explore places. The program is offered free of charge and provides monthly programming that meets the social, mental and physical needs of older adults. It offers a unique opportunity for older adults of all cultural/ethnic backgrounds and faiths to convene in a central location where Jewish life, values and culture are shared and friendships are made.


WEINSTEIN JCC Shabbat Shabbang – $12,000

One of the most important rituals in Jewish life is Shabbat. Shabbat provides a weekly opportunity to reconnect with family, friends, and our Jewish values. Shabbat Shabbang is a new program from the Weinstein JCC to bring the community together to offer three Kabbalat Shabbat programs. These programs will be inclusive of all levels of religiosity and range from the traditional to modern, ensuring all who attend feel comfortable and welcome.

Beth Sholom – Seniors Giving – $3,600

Beth Sholom Senior Living plans to introduce a new program to our residents and the community. BSLCC has been gratefully on the receiving end of so much generosity—especially since the pandemic. In the spirit of our founding principles, we would like to give back to our community in some way. “Beth Sholom Seniors Giving” program would invite our residents to create monthly “heart” projects to give back to those who need a spiritual lift. This project will allow residents of Beth Sholom to give back to the community. Usually, the residents are on the receiving end of generous donations and activities. This will allow residents to not only receive but to do acts of kindness for others. Our hope is that residents feel a sense of fulfillment and purpose by doing for others.

JCFR – Scholarships – $35,000

The JCFR is honored to be able to offer scholarships for Jewish Overnight camps and Israel travel programs. Over the past two years, the Federation as awarded given more than $50,000 in grants and needs-based scholarships to help make overnight Jewish summer camp more for affordable to families.

Overnight Summer Camp is one of the leading ways kids become active members in their Jewish communities.

JCFR – Security – $45,000

The Communal Security Initiative strengthens the Jewish community and builds resilience through education and training, grant support, security assessments, emergency communications, and law enforcement partnerships.

In 2020, The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond partnered with Secure Community Network (SCN) to enhance our community’s safety, security, and preparedness posture. SCN, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America.

Founded in 2004, SCN works on behalf of 146 Federations, the 50 largest Jewish nonprofit organizations in North America, and over 300 independent communities as well as with other partners in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors to ensure the safety, security, and resiliency of the Jewish people. Securing the community and fighting Antisemitism is one of the core priorities of the Federation’s Strategic plan. This program is the lynchpin of the security work and allows us to maximize the impact we have on behalf of the community. Our goal is to create a network of security that protects and trains our entire Jewish community.

Friendship Circle – Birthday Boxes – $5,000

Birthday Boxes is Friendship Circle of VA’s brand-new program. The goal of Birthday Boxes is to celebrate each child’s unique gift to this world and highlight that only they can accomplish what they need to do, exactly as they are. This is the ultimate definition of Inclusion – that each person is valuable and created exactly as they are to accomplish their purpose in this world. Highlighting each person’s birthday is a reminder and a celebration of the uniqueness and perfection of each one of us. Friendship Circle already creates monthly birthday programs in the community, so our friends with disabilities can celebrate their special day with friends, in a way that often may not happen otherwise. Birthday boxes will be delivered directly to the home of all our friends with disabilities as well as our Teen Friends without disabilities to let them know someone is thinking of them on their special day! It will be filled with birthday items such as birthday hats, celebratory items, toys, treats, and gifts. The contents will be designed with each participant’s age in mind.

Or Ami:  A Light of ALL of My People – $12,500

Since its inception, Or Ami has focused on inclusion. As a result, their membership consists of single individuals, married people, families of every description, Jews by choice, Jews of color, “Jewish adjacent” people, and people with disabilities. We particularly welcome LGBQT+ individuals and their families. Or Ami – “Light of My People” – seeks to be the “Light of ALL of My People” in proposing this project, which speaks to our commitment to social justice and Tikkun Olam. This program plans to serve two main constituencies; the Jewish community, regardless of affiliation, and the LGBQT+ community for a series of a variety of programs.

Ignorance and misinformation can keep us from seeing others as we all want to be seen. “ALL of My People” will help program participants understand gender diversity. As a result, acceptance of and engagement with gender-diverse people will follow. As program resources for “ALL of My People,” members of the queer community will have a voice and a new audience. As a result, program resource personnel will experience validation and respect.

Israel and Overseas

The Federation has and will always be committed to the work of our overseas partners around the world and in Israel. We continue to see this work as a top priority in balance with the support we give at home in Richmond. The Israel and Overseas committee will meet to allocate the recommended, 30% of the allocable pool. A total of $586,016 will be allocated and be split between JAFI, JDC, JFNA, and elective I&O programs.

Thank you to the committee for their diligence this year.

They are:  Josh Goldberg; Chair, Ellen Renee Adams, Phyllis Ellenbogen, Seth Feibelman, Ron Felmus, David Galpern, Howard Goldfine, Helen Griffin, Seth Kaplan, Amy Melnick-Scharf, Jordan Perin, Rob Slotnick, Franklin Wolf, and Amanda Young.

For more information, reach out to Sara Rosenbaum at srosenbaum@jewishrichmond.org.


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