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JCF Grants-in-Action Update #25

Following a post from the last week in December, (see previous JCF Grants-in-Action blog post), let's look at several other programs and services that have taken place in South Jersey that received funding from JCF Grants:

a person holding challah bread
JCF Grants-in-Action Update #25, January 2022


Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey:

Shabbat-O-Grams for Welcome to Southern New Jersey

Iris Snyder, Project Manager, said:

"The Jewish Federation of Southern NJ provided Shabbat-O-Grams through the Welcome to Southern NJ program allowing the Jewish Federation and our agencies to warmly welcome newcomers to our community (with a delivery of a fresh challah), while also providing valuable information about community resources and programs. Additionally, we were able to gift Shabbat-O-Grams to new clergy and community leaders taking on new roles."

In all, a JCF Grant enabled nearly 100 Shabbat-O-Gram challah deliveries to be made; it's wonderful to have so many new community members here in SNJ... welcome!


Jewish Family & Children's Service (with Jewish Community Relations Council):

Heirs of the Holocaust: Support for Second and Third Generation Descendants of Survivors

Per Lydia Silpe, Grants Coordinator:

JFCS and JCRC "presented a Zoom screening of the film Will the Second Generation Please Rise on December 5, 2020, that enabled over 50 viewers to learn more about how the children of Holocaust Survivors carry out their family legacies. In the film, descendants of Survivors discussed shared experiences and the importance of art and literature in remembering the Holocaust. After viewing, the attendees participated in a group discussion with Deena Dlusy-Apel and Max Beer who wrote, produced, and directed the documentary."

Thanks to very positive feedback from the participants, in May, JFCS and JCRC hosted an additional "2-part program by Dr. Irit Felsen, PhD, a clinical psychologist specializing in trauma and traumatic loss, with a special focus on Holocaust Survivors and their families. Dr. Felsen focused on intergenerational trauma and the special legacy of being a Second or Third Generation (2G/3G) Descendant of a Survivor. The first program (on May 13) had 66 participants who were engaged in her lecture about her research, her clients, personal stories, photos, and statistics. The comments and questions in the chat box showed how much this programming is needed and wanted in our community. The second 2G/3G workshop, held on May 27, included 60 participants who engaged in a discussion about preventing future transmission of intergenerational trauma within the 3G group and how things hopefully will be different as the 4G group grows."


Jewish Family & Children's Service:

Rhona Fischer Family Assistance Program – FAP Food Collection and Distribution Specialist

Per Lydia Silpe, Grants Coordinator:

"The JFCS Family Assistance program utilized (a JCF Grant) to hire a Food Collection and Distribution Specialist, to help address the increasing physical and time demands of bringing food to the growing number of individuals in need, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This individual was sorely needed, as JFCS was not able to utilize as many volunteers to assist with sorting, shelving and packaging food donations due to safety restrictions."

The skyrocketing need for food is readily apparent:

"Two years ago, we served 4,498 individuals. Last year, we served 6300 people, reflecting a 40% increase. This year, we have served 8,093 individuals (approximately 70 families per week), 1,793 more people, reflecting yet another increase of 28%."

Donna Broecker, Food Pantry Coordinator and Client Support at JFCS, also shared her thoughts with the JCF, adding that:

The impact of being able to feed so many people who were desperate and giving them relief was tremendous. JFCS also gave out gift cards to purchase perishables. Donna said she never saw so much generosity with people donating food and such large turnouts at food drives. It was heartwarming for her and others to see so many people helping with the cause. In fact, local health departments contacted JFCS often, to assist with families who were stuck at home due to quarantining for covid and needed food delivered.

Thanks to the JCF Grant, JFCS was able to hire a coordinator to assist with working in the pantry since volunteers didn’t want to come in to help due to social distancing.


Katz JCC :

Derech Eretz

Nina Staiman, Director ACHaD Special Needs Department, said:

"Derech Eretz -- Patterns and Nature -- Art Class in a Box provided 13 of our ACHaD participants in a virtual learning experience utilizing plants, flowers, seeds, and different kinds of growing mediums. Under the direction of Hollis Citron from I Am Creative, participants created art pieces from patterns that appear in nature and the surrounding environment in which we live. Concepts helped to develop and reinforce memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills, and peer socialization in a safe online class structure."

Pictured are some of the art pieces created by the participants.

Thank you to all who coordinated these programs and to all who participated, we look forward to many more exciting updates in 2022!

P.S.-- The 2022 Spring JCF Grants Cycle is now open, click here to learn more and apply by the deadline of March 18th.


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