Cincinnati is fortunate to have a wealth of Jewish organizations, agencies and congregations that enhance our lives, support those in need, and create a stronger sense of connection to our Jewish heritage. A key challenge of The Jewish Foundation is to look at every request for funding and invest our financial resources wisely in initiatives that will have the broadest long-term impact on our community.
In 2010/2011, the Foundation Trustees and staff engaged in a strategic planning process to determine our community’s critical funding needs. The resulting plan addresses how to best deploy our financial resources in a way that will positively transform the Cincinnati Jewish community and help our city become a destination for Jews across the country.
Based on these discoveries, the Foundation Trustees prioritized five areas of focus where we believe we can have the greatest impact:
Unmet Basic Needs
Coordinating with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and other local Jewish agencies to identify unique ways to help ensure that the basic needs of all Jews are met, including housing, food, medical, transportation, and jobs.
Fulfilling Our Mission: Barbash Family Vital Support Center
Through an unprecedented collaborative initiative funded by Pam and Bernie Barbash, the Jewish Foundation, the Jewish Federation, and other private donors, the Jewish Family Service Food Pantry will open larger, fully accessible quarters at Hebrew Union College. The new Barbash Family Vital Support Center will bring all of the agency’s vital services under one roof and allow it to more than double its current caseload by 2020. Read more about this program.
Jewish Educational Opportunities
Promoting excellence in all forms of Jewish education in Cincinnati by investing in institutional leadership, educators, institutions, materials, tools and programs.
Fulfilling Our Mission: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR)
This five-year, $5.225 million grant will enable the College-Institute to enhance its rabbinical student curriculum and to focus more of its resources on serving the Cincinnati Jewish community. A portion of the grant will be used to develop the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Fellows Program, an advanced service learning curriculum, as well as a new program to increase rabbinical student enrollment in Cincinnati and serve as a clearinghouse for the deployment of HUC-JIR’s resources to serve local Jewish needs. Read more about this grant.
Enhancing all components of Jewish life by developing volunteer and professional Jewish communal leadership within organizations of all kinds.
Fulfilling Our Mission: The Wexner Heritage Program
Thanks to a significant investment from the Foundation, and additional funding from the Jewish Federation, 20 outstanding Cincinnati Jewish volunteer leaders will participate in this transformative two-year leadership program designed to educate them in the history, thought, traditions and contemporary challenges of the Jewish people. The Wexner Heritage Program seeks to expand the leadership vision of its members, deepen their Jewish values, and bring a Jewish language of discourse to their policy and decision-making in the community.Read more about this program.
Continuity of Jewish Involvement
Facilitating system-wide integration of services and programs to enable lifelong involvement in Jewish life.
Fulfilling Our Mission: Overnight Jewish Camping Program
In this tough economic climate, many Jewish families are unable to send their children to overnight Jewish camp. The Jewish Foundation and other donors provide grants administered by the Jewish Federation that make it possible for all Greater Cincinnati Jewish children to attend overnight Jewish camp, and the grant is renewable for a second year. Read more about this program.
Promoting meaningful connections with Israel in order to deepen Jewish identity and involvement in Jewish life.
Fulfilling Our Mission: Israel Travel Grants
The Jewish Foundation makes it possible for every young person in Cincinnati to visit Israel not once, but twice. The Foundation funds an unlimited number of grants that are administered by the Jewish Federation, including up to $6,500 for high school Israel trips and another grant of up to $5,000 for post-high school Israel experiences. Since 2000, more than 1,400 young people have experienced Israel through the opportunities provided by the Foundation. Read more about these grants.