Announcing targeted South Peninsula Grant Awards for 2015

Palo Alto, CA – Today, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (the Federation) announced 11 new grants to outstanding organizations through two Federation programs: the South Peninsula Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) and the South Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation (JTF). This is the first time that adult IGI committee members and teen philanthropists are coming together for a joint celebration of local Jewish grantmaking. The grantees will be celebrated at a special event in Los Altos Hills on May 14.

“We are delighted to deepen our impact in the South Peninsula with these 11 outstanding grant awards,” said Danny Grossman, CEO of the Federation. “These grants come following months of deliberate and thoughtful research and learning about needs both locally and globally. Our South Peninsula IGI leverages the ideas and resources of this amazing community to address specific local needs. The Jewish Teen Foundations is a phenomenal program for mentoring and training our local teenagers while working with them to do a world of good. I am proud of all of these grants and the many success stories behind them.”


Strengthening individual and community understanding of and connection to Israel:

Jewish Community Relations Council ($198,000 over three years)
Training, Education and Ambassador Mobilization for Israel (TEAM Israel): A multi-pronged Israel education and advocacy program with multiple target populations within and beyond the Jewish community. Key strategies include creating an innovative Israel Education Toolkit including a series of video shorts, communications and messaging trainings, and identification, training and mobilization of community ambassadors.

Oshman Family JCC’s Israeli Cultural Connection ($200,000 over three years)
Israel for REEL: Support for the expansion of the ICC’s pilot program that engages American and Israeli participants in deep discussion about some of Israel’s most complex issues through the medium of film. The program provides participants with the skills and tools to engage in constructive and respectful conversations on challenging topics about Israel.

Increasing the relevance of being Jewish in our personal and community experience:

Yom Rishon ($67,000 over three years)
Yom Rishon School: A Russian-language Jewish family education program that teaches multigenerational participants, comprised of parents, grandparents and their children, ages 2-13. This program, which developed under the auspices of Congregation Beth Am, recently obtained its own 501(c)(3) status, and is transitioning to an independent, self-sustaining organization with the support of this grant.

InterfaithFamily ($35,000 over three years)
Couples and Conversations: A monthly program that engages interfaith couples who are seriously dating, engaged or newly married. This facilitated program aims to enable these couples in a low-barrier setting to explore issues related to Judaism and to being in interfaith relationships, while simultaneously building relationships with other couples grappling with similar questions.


Supporting the health and wellness of people affected by violence by funding prevention and recovery programs in the Bay Area, Israel, and Jewish and global communities:

Jewish Agency for Israel ($5,300; Israel)
The Jewish Agency was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel and continues to serve as the main link between the Jewish state and Jewish communities everywhere. One branch of JAFI focuses on “Emergency Aliyah,” the rescue and evacuation of Jewish people living in dangerous or hostile parts of the world. Half of this work is identifying and safely extracting the victims; the second part is receiving the refugees in their new home, addressing their physical and emotional wounds, and ensuring their long-term success and self-sufficiency.

France Emergency Fund ($5,000; France)
In response to increasing violent, anti-Semitic attacks in France, the Federation has partnered with JAFI to support the French Jewish community in rapidly upgrading security infrastructure for schools, synagogues, and neighborhoods.

Shalom Bayit ($5,000; Peninsula)
Shalom Bayit's mission is to foster the social change and community response necessary to eradicate domestic violence in the Jewish community. The three main ways we address this pressing need are crisis intervention, prevention programs for Jewish youth, and community education to community leaders. Each year, we respond to approximately 500 helpline calls, provide direct assistance to 100 battered women, educate over 1,000 Jewish youth and provide outreach, education and training to 1,000 adults in nine Bay Area counties.

Swords to Plowshares ($10,000; Bay Area)
When Their Service Ends, Our Mission Begins: War causes wounds and suffering that last beyond the battlefield. Swords to Plowshares' mission is to heal the wounds; to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need; and, to prevent and end homelessness and poverty among veterans. We promote and protect the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships with local, state and national entities.

Tikva Children’s Home ($10,000; Ukraine)
Tikva's core mission is to care for the homeless, abandoned and abused Jewish children of Ukraine and the surrounding region in the former Soviet Union. Tikva provides a warm and compassionate home, essential social services, and quality education. Tikva saves the lives of over 900 orphaned children from a life of certain helplessness and homelessness to one of love, healing and hope for a brighter future.

Turning the Tables ($10,000; Israel)
Turning the Tables provides economic empowerment to women exiting prostitution in Israel. Our mission is providing participants with vocational training, building self-worth and achieving livelihood possibilities, alongside mainstreaming the issues of personal damage caused to women in prostitution and the moral damage caused to society by the existence of prostitution.

ZAKA ($10,000; Israel)
ZAKA is Israel's dominant rescue and recovery organization. With over 1,500 volunteers, 22 ambulances, and 162 motorcycles deployed around the country, ZAKA is on-call 24/7 ready to respond to any terror attack or disaster. This grant will build the capacity of the ZAKA organization by replenishing the emergency equipment used in the conflict and by purchasing additional equipment to be prepared for any kind of emergency.

About the South Peninsula Regional Impact Grants Initiative:

The Federation’s trailblazing Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) program employs a high engagement and empowerment approach to grant-making modeled on social venture philanthropy. The IGI program provides donor-participants with a hands-on way to make a real difference in their community by making high impact grants that focus on pressing community needs.

The South Peninsula Regional Impact Committee recently completed its third grant round, with each grant round awarding approximately $500,000 over a three-year period to South Peninsula initiatives that respond to a pressing priority. Cumulatively, the South Peninsula IGI has now awarded nearly $1.5 million in three-year grants supporting 10 initiatives that collectively respond to the priority areas of “engaging families,” “engaging young adults,” “Israel education and advocacy,” and “building Jewish identity and community.”

For more information, contact Adina Danzig Epelman, Program Officer, Regional Grantmaking, at or 415.512.6216.

About the South Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation:

The Federation’s Jewish Teen Foundations (JTF) is a groundbreaking, 12 year old, project-based learning program that trains and inspires high school students to run real grantmaking foundations and change their world. Our three boards (South Peninsula, North Peninsula, Marin/SF) choose their own funding mission statements, research nonprofits, fundraise for their causes, review grant proposals, and interview nonprofit professionals before making their grant award decisions (cumulatively totaling ~$200,000 each year).

Board members participate in monthly board meetings from November to May and can apply to return for a second year on their local Leadership Council. Sometimes described as a “mini-MBA program based in Jewish values,” JTF teens develop leadership skills, gain a deep understanding of contemporary social issues, and make a real impact.

Applications for 2015-16 are now being accepted at For more information, contact Lom Friedman, Director of Youth Philanthropy, at or 415.512.6263.

The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power of the Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Learn more at

For immediate release

May 18, 2015


Ilan Kayatsky