Resilience Fund for Synagogue Communities

Matching grants for clergy support to individuals/families in need and COVID-19 community aid projects

Background and Purpose:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, its impact is becoming increasingly dire for many in our Jewish community. Shelter-in-place restrictions have led to isolation and job loss at unprecedented rates, resulting in financial distress and insecurity, and challenges to mental and physical health.  

Recognizing the critical role that clergy in synagogues, Chabads, and Jewish organizations play as first points of contact for people in distress in their communities, the Federation has created a new Resilience Fund for Synagogue Communities as an important element of our COVID-19 response. Funding will match direct support provided by clergy to community members in need and support for projects providing community aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Resilience Fund for Synagogue Communities is made possible with generous support from the COVID-19 Response Fund, which was created to mobilize the Jewish philanthropic community to address the urgent needs of populations most acutely impacted by the crisis and to help stabilize the Jewish ecosystem. 

Grant Opportunity:

Clergy may request up to $500 per individual or family, to be matched by discretionary funds or other congregational sources, to provide emergency assistance for food assistance, housing expenses (rent/mortgage), utilities, medical expenses, childcare, or other basic needs. Support from this fund should complement referrals to Hebrew Free Loan Association and JFCS in San Francisco or the East Bay for emergency loans or cash assistance.

Congregations may also request match funds of up to $1,000 for community aid projects, such as grocery deliveries or food preparation for the home-bound, delivery of Jewish ritual objects, or other volunteer mobilizations to support community members during these challenging times. Grassroots efforts to assist synagogue members or the community at large with needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged. 

Grants will be made to synagogues and organizations (not individuals), and will be awarded on a rolling basis. The maximum total request per congregation is $5,000. This funding is generously provided by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

Eligibility and Criteria:

  • Grants will be made to Synagogues, Chabads, or Jewish religious organizations with 501(c)3 nonprofit status or fiscal sponsorship in the Federation’s service area.
  • Applications must be submitted by professional staff (clergy or other representatives).
  • Individual Aid grants (up to $500) are on a once-per-household basis. We request that grants be accompanied by referrals to support organizations including HFLA and JFCS when applicable. No identifying information about the individual or family will be requested.
  • Community Aid grants (up to $1,000 per project) may be grassroots in nature, but must be requested by a clergy or staff member. A maximum of two applications from any single organization for Community Aid projects will be considered at any one time.
  • All funds are provided on a matching basis with $5,000 maximum per organization.

How to Apply:

Clergy or synagogue representatives may request support through a short online application. Please note that there are separate applications for individual aid and community projects. Micro-grants will be awarded on a rolling basis with no current opportunity for renewal. 


For more information, please contact Community Impact.


Roxanne Cohen
Managing Director of Community Impact