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2018-07-13 digital edition

TODAY in the Jewish World:

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


July 13, 2018  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Fundraising stays strong; Federation dollars go further

The Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties again surpassed the $1.5 million mark in its annual fundraising, allowing for a broadening of local and international allocation and community program investment.

The 2017-18 charitable dollars were about the same as last year’s total, despite the 2016- 17 year seeing several one-time and unusual gifts.

The Federation raises money through its Annual Campaign and donor directed gifts, which is then allocated to organizations around the globe. The Federation leadership, through its Allocations Committee, acts as the “eyes and ears” of the community, performing the due diligence required to fund the programs of highest need. This year’s allocations went into effect on July 1 and will be distributed throughout the year.

“Our Federation has expanded its reach so far beyond what it used to do, and we’re able to do so much with a modest budget. I think that it’s a very positive reflection of how our team lives our Jewish values by really spending their time on the things that matter most: creating Jewish connections and experiences, putting out more cultural and heritage focused programs, and encouraging Jewish living,” said Emilie Socash, Federation’s executive director.

The Federation’s 12 percent overhead represents $150,000 of the total budget and includes the “core” expenses of keeping the organization running such as utilities, IT, postage, and a portion of the salaries for its five staff members who are responsible for programs and events, education and fundraising.

“In the past year we were able to reduce our salary overhead by about $40,000 by reconfiguring our staff, and yet we also look forward to our most dynamic program year yet,” said Socash.

Local allocations

Specific allocations were made to:

Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services: $157,000 in annual allocation, an increase of $5,000 over the previous year’s funding. The Federation allocation will support Jewish Family Services counseling center activities, the Koved emergency fund, and the Holocaust survivor support program.

The Jewish Press: $68,000, an increase of $20,000 over last year. Funding will support home delivery of the paper, with particular emphasis on funding delivery to at least 2,000 additional homes in Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

Menorah Manor: Fully funded at $19,334, this is an increase of $2,504. Funding will support community rabbinical activities, particularly for end-of-life care, as well as the continuation of the popular YOUniversity program.

Empath Health: A newly funded organization, at $2,500, the money will be used to create a therapeutic Jewish music program for their end-of-life clients.

Hillels of the Florida Suncoast: Funded at $10,000, the money will support Jewish programs at Eckerd College, including Shabbat programming and the development of a new “adopt-a-student” program.

Jewish Burial Society of Pinellas County: Funding of $31,000 is an increase of $20,000 over last year. Funding will continue to maintain the grounds of Chapel Hill Memorial Park and also allow for maintenance of expansion activities. The increased funding will be used to launch a program to shore up internal operations and ensure smooth operations over time.

Philip Benjamin Tower: Funded at $7,280, this will support the Shabbat dinner program for residents.

Florida Holocaust Museum: Funding of $25,000 represents an increase of $5,000 over last year. Funding will support upcoming exhibits at the museum with an emphasis on community partnership initiatives.

Jewish War Veterans: $2,000 to support VA hospital visits and care packages.

Federation programming

Federation funding to be invested in direct community impact included:

• $18,000 was earmarked to fund summer camp scholarships.

• The “Federation Fellows” program, funded with $22,000, will continue for its third year, welcoming five young adults as regular volunteers for the Federation who will each receive a full scholarship for the Jewish Federations of North America Young Adult summer mission to Israel at the end of their year-long volunteer term. Additional young adult programming was funded at $2,500.

• As part of the Federation’s “Partnership Together” program with the Hadera-Eiron region and continued relationship with the Jewish Agency for Israel, a group of teens will visit our area from Israel in late July. The connection to the region and the program also has supported visits from Pinellas temples on their own missions to people-to-people activities. Funding of the Partnership Together effort of $15,000 was approved.

• The Federation will continue its successful arts and culture initiative with $72,000 in funding that will be used to fund and promote events and engagement opportunities across the community, both in partnership with synagogues and agencies as well as stand-alone projects. A new initiative under the arts and culture umbrella will be “Federation Fridays,” a weekly series of daytime programs happening in the Federation’s community room offering education, engagement, and socializing.

• Additional programming funds totaling $16,700 were budgeted for the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival (now expanded to include the Gasparilla International Film Festival), the Jewish Community Relations Council, and general programming.

PJ Library and family programming will continue this year, with a Federation investment of $42,000, an increase of $9,000. The program will expand this year under the direction of a new Young Family Coordinator position at the Federation, with farther-reaching ongoing programs and opportunities for families to connect with each other.

The Jewish Community Camp initiative was funded for a third year for the summer of 2019 with an investment of $25,000 to offset program needs.

Allocations to Israel

Nine new Israeli or Israel-related organizations were added to the list of recipient organizations. Continuing and new internationally related organizations receiving funding from the Federation are:

Israel Action Network, $450, promoting North American action and advocacy on behalf of Israel.

• The Jewish Agency for Israel electives totaling $30,000. Of this amount, $20,000 will go to Youth Futures, a program which offers mentorship, individual success plans, interdisciplinary meetings, and toolkits for building self-esteem of Israeli children living in poverty. $5,000 was earmarked for Nativ, a program which offers pluralistic Jewish and Zionist educational programs for non-traditional Jewish soldiers in the IDF. The final $5,000 was budgeted for Mechinot, a program for young Israeli high school graduates who come from challenging backgrounds that prepares them for military service through a range of targeted pre-army academies.

Leket, $5,000, to support the continued growth of this efficient meal rescue program which takes institutional unused meals and serves them to people in need within 24 hours.

Jewish Federations of North America Overseas Core funding, $155,000

Birthright Israel, $5,000, supporting the national effort to send young adults to Israel for free.

Ethiopian National Project, $17,000. The ENP focuses its efforts on integrating Ethiopian- Israeli teens into society through a unique funding and programming partnership of social service organizations, the government of Israel, Jewish Federations of North America, and others.

Other recipients

The Federation also approved continued support of a variety of national organizations that have meaningful reach within and beyond our community. These include:

HIAS, $250, to show support for the international work of rescuing and supporting refugees.

Jewish Council for Public Affairs, $1,100, to support the mission of media literacy, accuracy in Middle East reporting, and ongoing training endeavors.

Florida Association of Jewish Federations, $1,100, for ongoing legislative briefings and lobbying representation.

A complete report of the Federation’s charitable revenues and expenses will be available on its website, The Federation always welcomes community input and participation in the allocations process and seeks new members of the Allocations Committee for a year-long commitment. Interested? Contact Diana Morin at for more information.

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