Endowment Committee Grant Bolsters Bay Area Participation in Birthright

Thanks to a new grant from the JCF Endowment Committee, the Bay Area waiting list for Birthright Israel – the national program that takes Jewish young adults on free trips to Israel – just got a whole lot shorter. Through a $120,000 grant earmarked for local participants, the Endowment Committee is providing 40 Bay Area students with the opportunity to visit Israel for the first time. Some 2,000 Bay Area young adults have been turned away from the program because of its popularity, but the Spring 2010 grant – which also launches a community campaign to raise additional funds – will help ensure that local young adults who sign up for a free trip to Israel won’t be denied.

The move to increase local Birthright participation is but one example of the many ways that grants approved by the Endowment Committee are energizing Jewish life. The latest swath of 11 grants totals $3,220,000 and funds everything from the Kehillah Jewish High School to an innovative partnership designed to bolster local synagogues. The Synagogue-Federation Partnership in tandem with the Areivim Create A Jewish Legacy program – a combined effort that will receive $800,000 over three years – works to increase participation in synagogue life, as well as provide synagogues with the tools to build their own endowments.

The 2010 Spring Endowment Committee grants also provide much-needed funding for those agencies hardest hit by the financial downturn. Community dollars will be funneled to Jewish Family and Children’s Services, in order to provide emergency financial assistance to Jews in need, as well as Jewish Vocational Service’s Jewish Employment Network, which provides job placement assistance to 400 members of the Jewish community. This is the first year that the Birthright Israel Foundation has allowed earmarked grants for local participants. As a result, the Endowment Committee was able to ensure that Bay Area youth who have been turned away from the program due to high demand, will now have a chance to see the beauty of the Jewish State.

Categories: Endowment, Israel


May 27, 2010


The Federation