On July 1, 20 nonprofit organizations will receive the first payments of grants totaling $328,335 from the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona’s competitive community grants process. Funding focused on three areas: Tucson Jewish Community, Israel and Global Jewry, and Tucson General Community. New this year were Synagogue Small Grants, which fund projects requiring $5,000 or less. JCF partners with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona for its Jewish granting.
The following organizations received grants through the competitive community grants program this year. For more detailed information about each grant, go to jcftucson.org/grant-distributions.
Tucson Jewish Community: $212,035
Funding priorities in this category are increasing Jewish engagement and providing basic human services.
• B’nai Brith Covenant House to share the covenant of Shabbat with its Jewish residents.
• Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging for Jewish outreach and community building.
• Jewish Family & Children’s Services for Project STAR, which brings congregations and therapists together to better respond to the behavioral health needs of our Jewish community.
• Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, to continue the community concierge program, which helps members of the community navigate Tucson’s rich and diverse culture and services.
• Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona for PJ Library, which sends free Jewish children’s books to families every month so that they can share Jewish values, traditions and culture.
• Jewish History Museum, for a program coordinator.
• Synagogues in Tucson, for a transportation grant that allows seniors and adults with disabilities to participate in synagogue life.
• The Tucson Jewish Community Center, to coordinate a Special Needs Resource and Respite Partnership with other local Jewish agencies.
• The Tucson Jewish Community Center, for Catch a Ride to Camp “J” for northwest residents.
• Beth Shalom Temple Center for a membership director/program coordinator who will work on identifying and recruiting new members and engaging current members.
• Congregation Young Israel of Tucson – Chabad Tucson for security improvements to the building shared by Congregation Young Israel and Chabad Tucson.
Israel and Global Jewry: $79,000
Funding priorities in this category are two-fold: 1) specialized programs across our partnership region in Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon that promote an integrated society with equal opportunities, 2) secular education for haredi youth. JCF is the first Jewish Community Foundation to address the need for haredi youth to become financially self-sufficient while adhering to their religious practice.
• Society for the Advancement of Education for the Hachmey Lev Yeshiva High School, which enables haredi boys to combine Talmud study with high-level general studies in order to earn a quality Israeli matriculation certificate that will allow them to find gainful employment while maintaining an ultra-Orthodox lifestyle.
• Tikvat Acheinu for Tikvah Kiryat Malachi, which offers sixth to eighth graders an academic education in math, computer sciences and English in addition to traditional curriculum so that they may pursue higher education or vocational training and become self-sufficient through employment and integration into society.
• Kiryat Malachi Development Fund for Puzzle — Kiryat Malachi Youth Movement, which is the catalyst to increasing and strengthening youth’s identification to the community; integrating values and ideology into daily life; developing a strong and cohesive social network; and developing and empowering young local leadership.
• YEDID: The Association for Community Empowerment for Street Law, which offers Ethiopian Israeli youth in Kiryat Malachi an understanding of the local legal system to inspire and help them build the skills and confidence necessary to make change possible.
• Matnas, for a music center program providing music lessons to the children of Hof Ashkelon, including drums, piano, guitar, wind instruments and dance.
Tucson General Community: $37,300
This year, the grants committee choose to make an impact in our community by participating in Cradle to Career: Pima County’s Partnership for Graduation and Beyond. This is part of a national effort in 65 communities that engages 9,750 organizations to support the preparation of every child for success in school and life, through focused, data-driven activities. The ultimate goal of the program is to ensure the economic vitality of our community. The following three programs will receive funding as part of this initiative:
• Partnership to support staff resources dedicated to this Pima county program.
• First Focus on Kids Coalition — Great Expectations for Teachers, Children, Families and Communities, a program to develop highly qualified teachers to implement effective teaching practices in early childhood development settings.
• Integrated Community School that helps link families with young children in southwest Tucson Unified School District to various support programs that increase the likelihood that neighborhood children will be ready for school.
In addition to Cradle to Career programs, funding in this area was provided to:
• Interfaith Community Services for Tools for Financial Stability and Emergency Financial Assistance to help Pima county residents avoid homelessness, secure or maintain employment, meet basic health needs and move toward financial stability.