Since its founding in 1995, the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati has partnered with a diverse group of Jewish organizations, agencies and congregations to help fulfill our vision of creating a vibrant Jewish community. Our grants are focused on five priority funding areas: Unmet Basic Needs, Jewish Educational Opportunities, Leadership Development, Continuity of Jewish Involvement, and Israel Connection. The following examples are representative of the types of investments we make in organizations that are strengthening our community.
Since 2000, the Foundation has invested more than $4.5 million in renovations and improvements at Camp Livingston, a Jewish residential camp in Bennington, Indiana. In 2012 & 2013, more than $1,000,000 in Foundation funding went towards necessary repairs, safety and maintenance equipment updates, and modernizing camping facilities. The Foundation has also funded needs-based camper scholarships.
In 2011, the Foundation made a five-year, $2.6 million lead senior services investment in Cedar Village, which used the funding to renovate its rehabilitation services unit, begin construction on a state-of-the-art aquatics center and develop new partnerships with local Jewish agencies that also serve aging adults. Since 2000, the Foundation has invested, in total, more than $4.7 million in Cedar Village.
Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education
In 2012, the Foundation was the Presenting Sponsor of “An Evening with Elie Wiesel,” which was organized by the Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education, in partnership with Xavier University. This program, held at the Cintas Center, was attended by more than 6,000 people, including 103 student groups from 86 area schools. Dr. Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Peace Prize winner, shared his inspirational life story in a way that will have a lasting impact on his audience. The Foundation also funded CHHE’s development of educational resource materials for the “Rescue in the Philippines” project about the Cincinnati Freider family’s efforts to help 1,200 Jews escape the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines.
Cincinnati Hebrew Day School
Since 2001, the Foundation has invested nearly $3 million in the expansion, curricular & staff enhancement and operational capacity of Cincinnati’s Orthodox community day school. This includes an investment in 2013 to renovate the former Losantiville Elementary School building to temporarily meet capacity needs and a start-up operational grant to the new Atara Girls High School.
The Cincinnati Community Mikveh (formerly Beth Tevilla Mikveh Society)
In 2009, the Foundation granted $1.2 million over 4 years to the Cincinnati Community Mikveh to replace its aging facility with a state-of-the-art mikveh that is conveniently located, safe, handicapped accessible, and acceptable to Orthodox standards of Jewish Law.
Cincinnati Museum Center
In 2012, the Foundation was the Presenting Sponsor of “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in the Ancient Middle East.” This groundbreaking exhibit, created by the Israel Antiquities Authority, featured more than 600 priceless artifacts and ancient handwritten texts, and highlighted Cincinnati’s connections to the Dead Sea Scrolls through the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center and dozens of local Jewish organizations, the Foundation helped organize dynamic educational programming around the Dead Sea Scrolls before and after the exhibit arrived in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
In 2012 and 2013 the Jewish Foundation was, with the Haile/US Bank Foundation, a Presenting Sponsor for the CSO’s “One City One Symphony” initiative. This funding helped to enable the digital streaming of the performances as well as neighborhood “Listening Parties” throughout the city at locations including the Mayerson Jewish Community Center.
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
In 2012, the Foundation committed to invest $5.22 million over five years in HUC-JIR to establish the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Fellows Program, an advanced service learning curriculum designed to help build capacity at local Jewish agencies and institutions, as well as the Office of Recruitment & Community Engagement, whose purpose will be to increase rabbinical student enrollment in Cincinnati and to serve as a clearinghouse for deploying HUC-JIR’s resources to serve local Jewish needs. Previously, The Jewish Foundation invested $6.5 million in the construction of the Klau Library, one of the most extensive Jewish libraries in the world, as well as an additional $1.5 million in the construction of the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati’s International Learning Center at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, a distance learning center that allows HUC-JIR to share its vast resources globally.
Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati
In 2011, the Foundation provided $750,000 for the purchase of new cemetery land so that the community would have Jewish burial plots for at least the next 100 years. This latest investment followed a $4 million grant in 2008, intended to assist in this organization’s efforts to consolidate and maintain 22 Jewish cemeteries in the Greater Cincinnati community.
Jewish Family Service
In 2012, the Foundation made a 10-year, $3.2 million grant to support an unprecedented collaboration with Pam and Bernie Barbash, Jewish Family Service, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and other private donors to build the new Barbash Family Vital Support Center of Jewish Family Service. This modern, fully accessible facility, which opened in 2013, replaced JFS’s outdated food pantry, consolidated all services under one roof and will enable JFS to more than double its current caseload by 2020. The Center, on the HUC-JIR campus in Clifton, will allow Jewish Family Service to provide a holistic approach to client needs, and serve as an entry portal to safety net services for the most vulnerable members of our Jewish community.
Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
Since 1995, the Foundation has provided more than $10 million in funding to the Jewish Federation for a variety of programs and initiatives that have benefited the Cincinnati Jewish community. This includes:
- Strengthening Individual Giving – a capacity building grant designed to provide the human resources and infrastructure required to motivate individual giving of all types.
- Annual Campaign Matching Grant – In 2013, the Foundation invested more than $1.5 million in the Community Campaign as part of a matching incentive program, which was made successful by generous contributions from individual donors.
- SAFE Cincinnati – a program to improve the Cincinnati Jewish community’s readiness to deal with security, safety and natural disasters.
- Shared Business Services – an initiative to combine and enhance finance, human resources and information technology functions in key Jewish community organizations.
The Foundation has also funded our community Shaliach (Israeli Emissary) from Israel and the Chaverim M’Israel (Young Israeli Emissaries)—programs facilitated by the Jewish Federation to sustain and strengthen connections between Cincinnati and Israel through awareness, education and advocacy efforts in Cincinnati. The Foundation also funded the Israeli Ankor Choir’s participation in the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati. Through the office of the Shaliach, the Federation partnered with other Jewish agencies to facilitate additional performances in the community, including a standing-room-only Friendship Concert at the Mayerson JCC.
The Jewish Hospital
From 1995 and until the sale of the hospital in 2010, the Foundation invested $15 million in capital improvements, medical equipment and professional development at The Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati. Following the sale of the hospital in 2010, the Foundation made an additional $6 million grant to the departments of Surgery and Medicine for the purpose of advancing medical education.
Mayerson JCC on The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Campus
In 2005, the Foundation made a $10 million lead capital gift for the construction of the new, 150,000 square foot Mayerson JCC on The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati campus. “The J” runs an Early Childhood School, Day Camp and nationally recognized Seniors program, operates a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, a full-service cafe, and offers dynamic Jewish and general programming for its members. In 2013, the Foundation made a grant, in partnership with the Mayerson Foundation, of $1.9 million for capacity building, outreach and capital improvements. The Foundation was also Presenting Sponsor of the 2012-2013 “Season of the Arts,” under the auspices of the JCC’s Wolf Center for Arts & Ideas.
The Foundation invested in the Cincinnati USA Partnership for Economic Development’s five-year Cincinnati-Israel business development plan, now known as REDI Cincinnati. The goals of this plan are to heighten the profile of Cincinnati’s business community and assets in Israel, to help growing Israeli companies find the marketing resources they need to become more globally successful, to increase the number of Cincinnati subsidiaries of Israeli companies, and to partner with the Foundation and Jewish Federation to help relocating Israeli businesses acclimate to our region. The Partnership, a division of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, has already organized two business missions to Israel.
Rockwern Academy (formerly Yavneh Day School)
Since 1998, the Foundation has invested nearly $9 million in renovations, classroom technology, curriculum materials, leadership development and operating support at Rockwern Academy, Cincinnati’s pluralistic community day school. This includes a $1.8 million investment in the 2012-2013 school year.
University of Cincinnati Judaic Studies Department
In 1998, the Foundation invested $1.5 million to endow The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Chair of the University of Cincinnati Judaic Studies Department. There are 121 courses offered by this Department, and more than 2,000 students are educated each year by five core faculty members, 12 adjunct professors, and 16 affiliate professors.
In 2005, the Foundation provided a $200,000 grant for the development of “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II & the Jewish People,” an exhibit created in Cincinnati and designed to foster interfaith education and understanding. To date, this exhibit has been experienced by more than 800,000 visitors in 17 different venues across the United States. The exhibit returned to Cincinnati in September of 2012, and was displayed at the Skirball Museum of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In addition, in 2013, the Foundation granted $77,000 to fund Xavier University Business School courses in Israel for MBA and undergraduate students.