Celebrating Stronger Bonds, New Programs, and Greater Opportunities for The East Bay Jewish Community

As the Jewish year turns, we would like to reflect on the past year and highlight some of the ways in which, together, we are all strengthening East Bay Jewish life and Jewish life in the entire Bay Area. In what was an extraordinarily challenging year for all of us, we are proud to say that this second year since the integration of the Federations has been one of stronger bonds, new programs, and more opportunities in the East Bay.

We invite you to celebrate these highlights with us and join us in deepening our work together in the year to come:

The East Bay is Fully Integrated into the Jewish Community Federation:

  • All Federation programs and services have been rolled out to the East Bay, detailed below.
  • Two dozen leaders from the East Bay are active members of various Federation lay leadership groups, including the Federation Board of Directors and the Endowment Committee.
  • Many donors who are committed to strengthening our East Bay Jewish community give generously to Federation. There are too many to list, but we are grateful for all of them.
  • The Annual Campaign funds many organizations and communities throughout the East Bay, and over 950 East Bay donors generously contributed to it this year.
  • Donor-advised funds that began at the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay continue to be held and advised by senior East Bay-based professionals at the integrated Federation.

The East Bay Jewish Community is Thriving:

  • COVID-related grantmaking to the East Bay totaling $1,625,011 bolstered organizations during the pandemic.
  • Federation supports the Jewish ecosystem throughout the Bay Area, including the East Bay, by generating thought leadership, aggregating actionable data, convening major funders to enable collaborations, convening our organizational partners within and across sectors, and sponsoring educational opportunities on everything from PPP loan forgiveness to avoiding Zoombombing.
  • Building on the East Bay’s Sprout Initiative, Federation now has six PJ Library Parent Connectors —four in Contra Costa and two in Alameda County—serving hundreds of East Bay families as part of a multi-year program supported by the Rodan Family Foundation, in addition to PJ Library subscriptions supported by the Libitzky Family Foundation.
  • The Federation’s Teen Initiative has supported ten East Bay Jewish teen programs through its Tzedek Cohort, Accelerator Cohort, and special COVID support, helping our incredibly rich array of teen programs reach even more of our diverse Jewish teen population.
  • East Bay communities are responding to changing security needs with advising, seminars, and assessments from the Federation’s Community Safety Program.
  • Jewish day schools in Lafayette (Contra Costa Jewish Day School) and Oakland (Oakland Hebrew Day School) received a total of $179,392 in grants to support tuition assistance from Federation and participated in our Culture of Belonging cohort.
  • Eleven teachers and directors in Jewish preschools in the East Bay are earning master's degrees and advancing their work through a Federation initiative and generous support from the Rodan Family Foundation. Additionally, the Federation granted $280,343 in tuition assistance grants to 13 East Bay preschools and has provided ongoing guidance from Federation’s Early Childhood Education team to help navigate complex challenges of operating through the pandemic.
  • Hundreds of East Bay lay and professional leaders have participated in the Federation’s (virtual) Culture of Belonging workshops, learning groups, cohorts and annual 473K Belonging experience, bringing valuable tools back to their organizations to increase engagement in their communities.

Continued growth is on the horizon:

  • Federation recently hired East Bay native Rabbi Josh Weisman as a Senior Program Officer focused on the East Bay. He is already in the field throughout the East Bay listening to leaders, organizations, and communities, connecting them with opportunities, and developing new initiatives. He is also focused on Federation’s Bay Area-wide Racial Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.
  • Long-time senior philanthropic advising professionals Lisa Tabak and Steve Brown and their team continue to focus on the East Bay and support East Bay philanthropists to fulfill their goals.
  • As soon as our offices open, the Federation office in Downtown Berkeley will be a center of activity and collaboration for the above East Bay-focused professionals and some of the many other Federation professionals who live in the East Bay.

We are proud of the immensely rich tapestry that constitutes East Bay Jewish life, as we know you are. We look forward to another year of growth with you as the integration creates even stronger bonds throughout our region.


Categories: Community


September 01, 2021


Josh Weisman