Foundation giving $11 million in emergency grants


NEW YORK (JTA) — A San Francisco foundation said it will provide millions of dollars in emergency grants for Jewish education.

The Jim Joseph Foundation announced Tuesday that it would provide five communities with funding for need-based scholarships and subsidies for children attending Jewish schools and summer camps over the next two years. The money will be distributed through local Jewish federations.

“This is a critical economic time and a critical response to an emergency situation,” said Alvin Levitt, the foundation’s president. “To the greatest extent possible, these grants are meant to make the difference between kids being able to afford to go to Jewish school and camp — and not going.”

Federations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston and Boston’s North Shore will receive the grants. Allocations will be decided locally, the foundation said.

“We chose the federations to administer the grants because of their core competency and established capacity,” according to Charles Edelsberg, executive director of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “But we’ve also insisted on lay oversight committees to help us find the greatest demonstrated need in each community, those who would otherwise have to withdraw from school or camp if not for this kind of assistance.”

In each year of the grant the foundation will provide Boston with up to $2 million; San Francisco, up to $1.75 million; Los Angeles and Washington, up to $1.25 million; and the North Shore, up to $250,000.

“This is exactly what Jim would have wanted us to do,” said Levitt, referring to the foundation’s namesake. “If we don’t do this now, these kids simply aren’t going to go to Jewish school and Jewish camp. And that’s not acceptable.”

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