Federation Announces 2023 Israel & Overseas Grant Recipients

Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey exists to strengthen Jewish life and Jewish communal response to the issues facing Jews and the Jewish community near and far.

Jewish Federation proudly invests hundreds of thousands of dollars overseas, in Israel and in Jewish Communities throughout Europe by funding programs and services deployed by partners, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (The JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), helping the most vulnerable members of our extended Jewish family around the world. In addition, we make targeted overseas grants, focusing on Israel-based organizations, to make a more concentrated impact among vulnerable populations.

Each year we engage members of our community to determine key challenges and gaps in service in Israel, and in Jewish communities around the world, and prioritize ways we can have the most impact. The war in Ukraine has created the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Among those fleeing are Jews who are making their way to Israel via the Jewish Agency and with support from Jewish Federations of North America and other national organizations.

When the Israel and Overseas Committee met in the summer to discuss criteria for eligible programs to be considered for funding, it recognized that the State of Israel will be absorbing thousands of Aliyah-eligible Ukrainians and that many non-profit organizations who care for Israel’s vulnerable populations will service the incoming Olim in addition to their “regular” beneficiaries.

Therefore, the following criteria was used to determine eligibility for funding:

Israel-based non-profits with an organizational budget of $3,000,000 or less, and with a program budget of $1,000,000 or less can request up to $30,000 per program. Organizations may apply for more than one program. Funding will be provided for programs supporting Aliyah-eligible Ukrainian refugees, ages 0-25 who are currently in Israel.

The Committee also recognized that Jewish Federation has a long and fruitful history with four organizations serving different vulnerable populations. These organizations were encouraged to apply to receive a grant for the same programs funded in the last four years.  The above criteria did not apply to these organizations.

The Committee chose eight high-impact programs that address the current needs as a result of the war in Ukraine as well as the needs of other marginalized groups in Israel.

One example is the “Our Duty to Support all Ukrainian Refugees” program facilitated by the Ma'ale Adumim Foundation. Since the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the city of Ma’ale Adumim took in about 140 Jewish immigrants from the conflict zone. The families received the standard governmental allowances for new Olim (Jewish immigrants) covering the most basic needs, such as food, rent, and some bills. Other necessities needed to start a new life which is not covered are supported by the funded program filling in the following gaps that are critical to ensure a smooth integration process:

  • Education support in the form of supplies for a smooth transition into school.
  • Social life via after-school activities (with Israeli peers) such as music instruction, dance, and sports.
  • Therapy for teen refugees adjusting to a new life in a strange country.
  • Psychological therapy for teens traumatized by war, displacement, and human and material loss.
  • Basic needs for families with babies lacking supplies such as diapers, strollers, and help paying for childcare.

Another example is the “Independence” program implemented by the Katef Le Katef (Shoulder to Shoulder) organization. This program is designed to help Ukrainian Olim with single-parent households - 90% of which are female parents – with an overwhelmingly low earning capacity, difficulties in finding and maintaining gainful employment, and are the sole caregivers for their children with very limited support systems.

Funding will be used to help with integration into Israeli society providing services such as assistance in developing economic stability, psychological support, navigating the immigration process, applying for benefits, assisting children in adjusting to the new school environment, and help to search for employment with flexible hours that can accommodate the unpredictable schedule of single parents as well as assistance in finding a home.

Additional organizations with programs selected for funding by the committee include:

  • Clubhouse Amit*
  • Crossroads*
  • Gesher El Hanoar (The Bridge for Youth) *
  • Gimmel Foundation
  • Herzog Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma
  • Shutaf Inclusion Programs*

* Historically funded by Jewish Federation.

The programs service vulnerable populations in the following categories:

  • Youth At-Risk
  • Mental help
  • Crisis management
  • Basic needs
  • Vocational training

Another crisis is developing: The recent Russian military call up of 300,000 reservists created a new refugee crisis, now from Russia. Thousands of Jews are among those fleeing to avoid conscription and fighting in Ukraine. Israel is now faced with an additional stream of Aliyah eligible refugees. The Jewish Agency is projecting an increase of 3,000 Olim per month to an estimated 15,000 Olim per month with 60% of Russian Olim and potential Olim being under the age of 45 with families. Absorption and integration needs will increase drastically.

The committee recognizes this heavy strain on the Israeli government and on the non-profit organizations servicing Olim and decided to leave funds in reserve to address the needs of the incoming Russian Olim. The committee is monitoring the situation and in the coming months, will assess and allocate these funds accordingly.

As you can see gifts provided by generous donors from our community enable us to fund such programs as mentioned above, TRULY MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF SO MANY especially in times of crisis.


For more information and questions please contact Dan Rozett at danr@jewishheartnj.org.

Thank you for your continued support and generosity,

Israel & Overseas Allocation Committee of Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey.


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