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JCF Grants-in-Action Update #34, April 2024

JCF Grants-in-Action Update #34, April 2024

As you may be aware the Spring 2024 JCF Grants Cycle application deadline has passed, and the JCF anticipates announcing results within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, please enjoy the following updates on programs and services benefiting the Southern New Jersey community, all of which received funding from JCF Grants:


Congregation Beth Tikvah

Congregation Beth Tikvah hosted two Havdalah and concert programs with in the past nine months that were funded by a JCF Grant.

These events attracted approximately 200 congregants and community members in total.

First, musical guest Rabbi Micah Becker Klein (pictured, right), who is a musician and vocalist, performed familiar Jewish and popular music during his program titled, “Havdalah Under the Stars” in July of 2023, and families had a blast.

Then, on February 17, the Ben Sutin Trio (pictured, right)-- a jazz-klezmer band, performed a spirited concert of both familiar klezmer tunes and jazz interpretations of other Jewish music.

Ben is an alum of the CBT Hebrew school, and his concert filled the synagogue with an audience of young and old.

This program was held in collaboration with Temple Har Zion of Mt. Holly.


Kellman Brown Academy

Shira Weinstein of KBA provided this lightly edited recap of a recent JCF Grant-funded, multi-sensory program (pictured, right) that positively impacted approximately 100 students in pre-K thru 3rd grade:

"In 2023-2024, KBA grew to over 240 students. Historically our numbers in need of special education mirrored public schools but in smaller numbers at approximately 25% of the student body. At this time, our numbers needing special education support are significantly closer to 40%.

"Early on, we hired 2 teachers to work with our special needs students in part-time capacity. We brought in faculty professional development on ways to create sensory stations and a more multi-sensory experience in the classrooms. We did this at both the fall and spring in-service days for all grade levels.

"Then, thanks to this JCF Grant, we built sensory corners and added in OT materials in nursery through 3rd grade. Under the guidance of 2 OTs (privately hired by some students) and 1 retired OT who volunteers some support of our students and teachers, we helped grow our multi-sensory offerings. Our teachers incorporated more differentiated learning techniques, executive functioning activities and targeted sensory material supports for our students to help meet their learning needs! Todah Rabah for helping us expand our multi-sensory offerings in special education in 2023-2024!"


Politz Day School

"Discussing Sensitive Topics with Our Children and Other Tips for Raising Adolescents" was the presentation at hand on Wednesday, January 10 in the Krupnick Family Gymnasium at Politz Day School.

Dr. Shloimie Zimmerman (pictured, right speaking at Politz), a licensed clinical psychologist and published author of "From Boys to Men: Guiding our Sons and Students in the Ways of Kedushah," spoke to a full room of about 100 attendees, including parents of Politz students and the community at-large.

According to a recap provided by Chana Kelman, Zimmerman spoke "on the topic of educating and supporting our children during the years of puberty and sexual development. He started by asking the audience to remember their own experiences of puberty and sexual development and think about what would have been helpful to them at that time. He then went on to discuss the importance of being there for our children at this time in their lives and shared a framework for understanding when to discuss the particular aspects of the overarching conversation. He ended with a question and answer session, which was well utilized, and clarified some confusion that attendees had."


Jewish Family & Children's Service

Over the past year, JFCS has hosted a Holocaust Survivor Book Club. Here is a lightly-edited recap thanks to Donna Lymper, Geriatric Social Worker from JFCS:

"Thanks to the generous support of the Jewish Community Foundation, we've been able to establish an enriching book club experience. Over time, we have read 12 remarkable books together... While we initially anticipated a group of 18, we enjoyed welcoming five members, including three Survivors and one spouse, alongside myself as facilitator.

"In line with our mission, each book selection was carefully curated, featuring Jewish authors, protagonists, or themes resonating with our shared history. Our approach, rooted in person-centered, trauma-informed principles, prioritized creating a safe space free from triggering content, fostering meaningful dialogue, and deepening connections among participants. Through engaging Zoom discussions, we not only explored the books but also shared personal narratives, highlighting our immigrant experiences and stories of survival.

What transpired exceeded expectations. Over time, our diverse group of women from varied cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds forged genuine friendships, exchanged perspectives, and embraced the opportunity to voice their opinions within our nurturing environment. Witnessing this transformation has been a highlight of my tenure at JFCS over the past two years.

"As our grant period draws to a close, I'm thrilled to announce that, with JCF's approval, we will be able to use the remaining dollars to purchase several more books. This ensures our continued gatherings for another year, sustaining the bonds and fostering the growth that has made our book club such a meaningful endeavor."

Mazel tov!

The JCF appreciates these wonderful community programs that effectively show JCF Grants-in-Action, and we wish a hearty mazel tov to all organizations who made them happen.

Interested in applying for JCF Grants?

The Fall 2024 JCF Grants Cycle will begin in summer and applications must be submitted by October 30. In addition, a complimentary, hybrid Grants Workshop will be held on September 19 at 9 am. More details will be posted on the JCF Grants page in July, or contact us at 856-673-2528 with any questions.


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