Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund Approves Over $13 Million in Grants to Date for COVID-19 Response

San Francisco, CA – The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund (the Federation) announced another round of emergency response funding totaling $2.4 million in grants to 20 organizations and four new funds to support individuals and families. The Federation has now approved over $13 million in grants to address needs evolving from the COVID-19 crisis. 

“These new grants aim to help stabilize the Bay Area Jewish ecosystem and maintain access to Jewish life during and after the crisis,” said Roxanne Cohen, Managing Director of Community Impact and key lead for the organization’s response. “We conducted an extensive needs assessment using surveys, conversations, and consultation, and used that information to determine the most urgent needs and prioritize funding.”

The Federation’s COVID-19 Response Fund Task Force approved $1.4 million in bridge grants to core Jewish organizations such as JCCs and Jewish camps, to mitigate impact of business disruption due to lost revenue and support re-opening of facilities. It also created a Resilience Fund for Synagogue Communities to assist clergy in providing direct support to community members in need. Its Endowment Committee approved $1 million, which includes creating scholarship funds for Jewish preschools, day schools, and overnight camps. The full grant list is available online.

“We listened to the Jewish institutions who engage and educate families to build Jewish life in the Bay Area, and they are worried about how financial hardship could break that bond with their families and last for years to come,” said Laura Lauder, Endowment Committee Chair. “We concluded that we should subsidize the demand for families to keep those relationships with their kids’ schools, camps, and preschools. Therefore, coupled with the COVID-19 Response Fund’s work, we created three scholarship funds to respond to this need that we hope will leverage more support from the community – much like we did for Hebrew Free Loan.”

Donors with donor-advised funds and supporting foundations at the Federation pooled their assets into a recoverable grant to help Hebrew Free Loan meet its unprecedented demand for its interest-free loans. The Federation exceeded its $5 million goal within days, and so far has helped provide loans to 69 borrowers facing lost wages, reduced small business income, and other challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis. Loan demand is projected to continue through the summer months.

The Federation’s response is a holistic, collaborative approach, in which professionals and lay leaders are working together to create the following need-driven strategies and leverage various funding sources as follows:

Federation Philanthropy Partners ($7.5 million granted): In addition to donating to the Federation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, donor-advised funds and supporting foundations granted to 63 organizations addressing COVID-19 related issues such as food insecurity, case management for seniors, and distance learning support for school districts. This includes $4.7 million in assets for the Hebrew Free Loan Pooled Recoverable Grant.

Unrestricted Endowment ($3.2 million approved): To support individuals and families in financial distress and help them maintain access to Jewish life. Includes a $1 million super draw match for the Hebrew Free Loan Pooled Recoverable Grant, $1 million in scholarship funds and bridge grants, and an additional $1.2 million designated for longer-term grantmaking. 

COVID-19 Response Fund ($2.09 million granted): To meet the needs of most affected populations and mitigate the financial impact on our Jewish ecosystem. With a $4 million goal and $2.2 million raised to date, the Federation continues to raise funds and encourages community members to donate. 

Restricted Endowed Funds ($804,000 granted): As a part of legacy planning, donors created endowed funds designated for Israel support. Grants to 20 organizations will fund basic human needs in Israel arising from the pandemic.

“Although we are still early in this crisis, our ability to mobilize over $13 million in a matter of weeks is a testament to the power of community to step up and help those who need it most,” said Danny Grossman, CEO. “We will remain focused on ensuring the resilience of our Jewish community, no matter how long it may take.”


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 08, 2020