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  • Writer's pictureJCF

JCF Grants-in-Action Update #32, June 2023

Since our last JCF Grants-in-action blog post in January, a number of new initiatives have been completed that deserve recognition.

Please enjoy the following recaps about programs and services that were made possible all or in part by funding from the Jewish Community Foundation via a JCF Grant to benefit the South Jersey community:


Kellman Brown Academy

Children show their hands covered in matzah dough during a JCF Grant-funded program for Kellman Brown Academy

For the second year, KBA partnered with PJ Library of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey for "PJ Engage."

According to Shira Weinstein,Director of Student Services, School Counselor & Grant Programs at KBA:

"For the 2022-2023 school year, thanks to the support of the JCF, KBA was able to continue the initiative we call PJ Engage which brought together more than 200 students and their families from across the community for young family Jewish STEM programming at KBA.

"This year's collaborative programs included: Superheroes in the Sukkah, the KBA fall musical theater production Annie with a PJ Library JSTEM project where we bussed in preschool students from Beth El and TBS but then followed up with families, Light Up the Night with TBS and PJ Library for young families, a Matzah Making Workshop for PJ Library families (pictured), and a Preschool Parent Parlor Meeting for families which PJ Library specifically marketed to about coming to tour our school.

"The partnership between KBA and PJ Library has worked well and we see it is crucial to continuing to grow our school. We are grateful to the JCF for supporting our partnership and helping us grow this special young family Jewish STEM community programming in 2022-2023. Turnout has been incredible and now the preschool is giving tours daily.

"Todah Rabah! This year's program was a success! We are grateful for the support of the JCF for helping make this program a reality in 2022-2023!"


BBYO South Jersey Region

For its Fall 2022 programming, BBYO utilized JCF Grants for a wellness specialist and security to ensure that their 170 attendees would have the proper resources on hand during the programming. From BBYO South Jersey Region Senior Regional Director Sara Nussbaum:

"Between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, South Jersey Region hosted 1 overnight event and 2 single day events- 1 after hour events at the JCC and 1 at an outside venue. The Wellness Specialist was utilized at both the convention and regional kickoff multiple times. The extra support from licensed health professionals for our teens was incredibly helpful for the BBYO staff to be able to know their teens were safe while also running the programs. In addition to providing individual support, we also had a dedicated space at every event where teens could spend time if they are feeling overwhelmed or otherwise need a break from programming. The wellness specialist’s presence fosters a safe and supportive environment, providing participants with an opportunity to seek guidance, express their emotions, and receive necessary interventions if needed."


Temple Har Zion

Rabbi Adam Lautman of THZ and Darcy Grabenstein, a core leader for Bend the Arc: Jewish Action South Jersey, cofacilitated a 10-week course called "Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out" from January through March.

The Inside Out Wisdom and Action (IOWA) Project created the curriculum to provide spiritual grounding tools for social justice advocates. Designed to serve small groups, the course served a cohort of 10 individuals.

According to the IOWA Project, "Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out is a course and community of practice that equips participants with daily concrete Jewish spiritual tools of Mussar to confront, subvert, and heal implicit and internalized racism within ourselves and others, supporting the collective organizing, advocacy and service-work efforts to dismantle racism systemically."


Young Israel of Cherry Hill

Young Israel of Cherry Hill's flyer for a JCF Grant-funded program

During Shabbos on May 19-20, Young Israel hosted Dr. Eli Shapiro and Morah Chaya Shapiro for the theme of "Functioning & Flourishing in the Digital Age."

According to Young Israel's Sarah Bienenfeld:

"Eli Shapiro spoke four times over the weekend about the effects of technology use on our psychological well-being with a lot of research backed information. The most impactful part of the weekend was likely the Q and A where individuals were able to ask relevant questions. In addition, the session with teens was very well received, particularly since they reported enjoying hearing this information from a "regular guy" rather than a teacher/educator."

Approximately 125 people participated during the weekend, and Young Israel received excellent feedback from the participants.

Apply for Fall 2023 JCF Grants

The JCF congratulates the above grantees for utilizing JCF Grants and hosting effective and impactful initiatives.

Looking ahead, we invite nonprofits and synagogues that serve Southern New Jersey to apply for our Fall 2023 JCF Grants Cycle starting in August and concluding on Friday, October 20 at 4:00 p.m. A complimentary Grants Workshop will be held on Thursday, September 7 at 9:00 a.m. To RSVP for the workshop or for any questions, please contact us at 856-673-2528.


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