Federation awards nearly $80,000 to synagogues for impact programming

Photo: Ethan Livshits and Jake Lipovitch of the Friendship Circle will enjoy expanded camp activities and field trips thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s new Impact Fund focused on camps and synagogues. The Federation awarded nearly $80,000 to 10 Valley camp and synagogue programs

The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix awarded nearly $80,000 to 10 Valley camps and synagogues for programming that makes a true impact towards their goals and mission within the community. Federation board officers and a few “angel” donors donated the new funding.

“Synagogues and camps make such an impact in our community that Federation wanted to do more to partner with them and to support their ideas for new and expanded programs,” said Barry Markson, chairman of the Planning & Allocations Committee. “We are incredibly excited to grow the scope of our funding and outreach to support large and small programs from Valley synagogues that benefit so much of our Jewish community, as well as new programs that increase camp engagement.”

The programs that received funds are:

Camp Ramah of California Phoenix FUNDay Camp – $10,000. This day of Ramah-style fun replicates the successful program in Los Angeles and brings together current and prospective Phoenix families, allowing everyone to learn more about the summer program and to connect with one another.

Camp Stein Destination: Journey 8th Grade Retreat – $14,500. A new collaboration brings together post-B’nai Mitzvah 8th-grade students from Congregation Beth Israel, Temple Chai, Temple Emanuel of Tempe, Temple Kol Ami and Temple Solel for a fall weekend retreat. The program, led by Camp Stein and Temple Emanuel of Tempe, includes pre- and post-retreat gatherings for the teens to process and deepen their experiences.

Congregation Beth Israel Thanksgiving Meal Delivery – $10,000. CBI provides meals to homebound individuals and families. Beyond the donation, preparation and delivery of the meals, religious school students create greeting cards, teens help coordinate delivery and congregants bake the included desserts.

Congregation Beth Tefillah Nefesh – $2,500. Nefesh is an afterschool religious study for students grades K-4 that provides supplemental education in Jewish holidays, spirituality, textually based Bible study, all within a mentoring environment.

Congregation Kol Ami Community Beatles Shabbat – $15,000. This interfaith, communitywide Shabbat service seeks to bridge the Jewish and non-Jewish communities, while encouraging participation by the unaffiliated and those more comfortable with non-traditional worship. The service is written to Beatles music and includes the development of an interfaith choir.

Congregation Or Tzion Young Family Shabbat Programming – $6,778. Funds will allow Or Tzion to bring back its monthly Family Shabbat and quarterly Havdalah programs. Participants of all ages sing, dance, eat and celebrate together, especially young families and musically talented teens.

Friendship Circle Camps – $2,500. Winter, summer and mini camps are tailored for children and teens with special needs. Teen counselors develop special relationships with their “Buddies” by volunteering in a meaningful and fun way during their school breaks. Funds will allow for expanded activities and field trips.

Merkos Chabad Lubavitch Roving Rabbis – $5,000. Three weeks each summer, Chabad of Arizona brings in two rabbis to travel to the state’s remote areas to encourage Jews who do not have the luxury of living in a Jewish community to have classes, conversations and coffee to build bonds with Jewish life and families.

Temple Beth Shalom West Valley Jewish Community Center Initiative – $5,000. Beginning in fall of 2019, TBS will launch multi-faceted programming, including community outreach for Jewish holiday and culture and arts events, youth and teen programming, adult education and wellness initiatives in partnership with local hospitals and health providers.

Temple Chai It Happens Here: Addiction and Mental Health Programs – $7,500. In partnership with the Jewish Addiction Awareness Network, Temple Chai is developing a workshop for Jewish communal professionals and a community program that addresses the scourge of addiction and the heartache of mental illness.

In addition to the financial awards, the Federation has set aside $1,000 for the sponsorship of synagogue and camp programs as opportunities arise.

“Through our Impact Fund grants, we’re looking forward to the introduction of several new and innovative programs in our community, as well as the expansion of several ongoing ones,” said Robin Loeb, COO of the Federation. “We encourage our community members to watch for many new opportunities to engage with our synagogues and camping programs.”

Federation allocations are reviewed and recommended by the Planning & Allocations Committee and approved by the board of directors.


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