AgeWell Cincinnati

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 Engagement, and Israel Connection. The following examples are representative of the types of investments we make in organizations that are strengthening our community.

Camp Livingston

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. In 2017 the Foundation agreed to fund a re-launch and expansion of a fully-staffed development program over a two year period. The Foundation also annually funds $40,000 in needs-based scholarships for Cincinnati campers.

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. In 2017, the Foundation contributed $1.8 million to the capital campaign to move CHHE’s home to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.

Chai Tots Early Childhood Center

Since 2015, the Foundation has invested approximately $150,000 annually in operating support and capital improvements at Chai Tots, Ohio’s first Jewish Montessori School, serving the Jewish community in the Mason/Deerfield/ West Chester area. Funds support student scholarships and other critical needs.

Cincinnati Hebrew Day School

In 2016, the Foundation granted over $1.5 million to CHDS for operational support. The Foundation’s funds were used to aid Cincinnati’s Orthodox community day school in expansion, curricular & staff enhancements, and operational capacity growth. In 2013, the Foundation provided funds  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.

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.


The Foundation funds Cincinnati congregations in three distinct ways: improving engagement opportunities for congregants; investment in supplemental education teachers; as well as overall investment in the congregational based supplemental schools. In 2016, the Foundation provided over $1.3 million to support a community-wide mission trip to Israel, bringing together congregants and Rabbis from a variety of congregations.

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.

ish Festival

The Foundation is helping to supporting a new arts and cultural festival that will debut in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 17, 2017, in Washington Park, Over the Rhine. ish Festival is an inclusive, community-wide celebration of Jewish and Israeli arts, food, music and cultural experiences. The event will be free to attend, open to the public and appeal to all ages.

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 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, allows 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–  the Foundation invests 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.


JVS Career Services

Since 2015, the Foundation has invested over $1 million in JVS Career Services, an organization that supports the Cincinnati Jewish community by helping job-seeking individuals and companies find each other and form stronger, more satisfying and more productive relationships. These investments are intended to provide for three new positions and cover one-time costs for technology improvements to strengthen its database tracking.

Cincinnati Community Kollel

In 2016, the Foundation agreed to help fund the Cincinnati Community Kollel for three years in order to cover the expenses related to bringing on 4 new staff scholars, bringing the number of scholars to 10. The Kollel has dedicated itself to providing Jewish learning opportunities to every part of Cincinnati’s Jewish community.

Mayerson JCC

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.

  • Cincinnati Jewish Teen Collective – In 2016, in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Jewish Foundation approved a grant of up to $2,875,000 over five years to the JCC  to fund activities related to the Cincinnati Jewish Teen Collective  in order to both increase the number of teens engaged in high quality Jewish learning experiences and to enhance the knowledge of Jewish teen education and engagement professionals

Moishe House

Moishe House strives to reshape how Jewish 20-somethings from all background and levels of religiosity connect to each other, to Jewish culture and heritage, and to the greater community on both a micro and macro scale. With the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati’s support, Moishe House will work in partnership with the existing community infrastructure to: build a stronger connection to Jewish community for hundreds of Jewish young adults; instill greater confidence in emerging Jewish leaders; and create deeper awareness of and involvement in the greater Jewish community outside of Moishe House.

Rockwern Academy

Since 1998, the Foundation has invested in renovations, classroom technology, curriculum materials, leadership development, operating support and security at Rockwern Academy, Cincinnati’s pluralistic community day school. This includes an investment in the 2017-2018 school year.

Xavier University

In 2016, the Foundation provided a 3 year grant to fund an Israel trip for students in Xavier University’s Philosophy, Politics, and the Public Honors Program. The first trip took place in 2016 and, as a result, this year nearly the entire eligible class of PPP students signed up for the program. This is a 35% increase from the first year. This year’s itinerary included a comprehensive perspective on Jewish-Christian and Israeli-Arab relations, including cooperation with HUC and Progressive Judaism in Israel. With the success of their first two trips, they are exploring ways to make the trip a permanent part of Xavier’s PPP curriculum. Through a second grant, the Foundation helped fund a Jewish Cemetery Restoration project by Xavier students In Vilnius, Lithuania with a side trip to Poland to visit Auschwitz. While in Lithuania, the students restored the number of visible tombstones from 80 to 382.