Funders File, Spring 2021 Edition
Our online edition of Funders File, a publication of special programs in our community which are in need of support, are listed below!
This edition of Funders’ File contains a record 18 submissions* from our partner agencies for your consideration.
We have a long list of nonprofit agencies - our custodial partners - that invest their assets with the Foundation and this is their opportunity to share their most urgent needs and/or transformative programs.
It’s this reason we created Funders File. A “sounding board” for our partners wanting to promote their programs to a community who is always engaged and eager to help. Whether it’s supporting mental health, women and children in need, security, or even enriching opportunities as simple as Passover on a campus, it takes the hands of many to make a difference. Submissions to Funders File are voluntary and offer a glimpse to a variety of needs in our community.
Building a strong future for the Dallas community has always been our priority, and we are pleased to continue bringing to your attention to worthwhile initiatives in the community. If you are a fundholder please use your traditional method of recommending grants to support these efforts.
If you have any questions, please contact Chay John at email@example.com.
*Submissions to Funders File were received prior to the winter storm and, as always, are posted without edits.
Program: Young Adult Passover Seder
Amount Requested: $1,000
We would like to offer a Passover Seder for the Jewish Young Adult community. The money requested for this project will be used to cater the holiday meal for approximately 35 young adults in the Dallas area. There will be a socially distanced outside option as well as a pick up of the meal and ritual items to participate through Zoom.
Program: In-Home Training Program
Amount Requested: $50,000
hen the COVID-19 pandemic hit, all of us at Guide Dogs for the Blind had to quickly change the way we execute everything related to our mission. Due to quarantine and travel restrictions, many of our clients are opting to be trained in their own homes, rather than coming to one of our two campuses. We are facing an increased and unprecedented demand for our In-Home Training Program. We expect to serve at least twice the number of clients we serve in a typical year.
The In-Home Training Program began more than 25 years ago as an alternative to our standard, on-site guide dog training offered at our two campuses. This program was designed for clients with special circumstances that prohibit them from traveling and being away from home for the two-week class training period. Clients who participate in the In-Home Training Program are usually:
• The primary caregiver to children or elderly relatives living in the home
• In school or in a work situation without time off
• Those with secondary disabilities that make travel and being away from home a challenge
This essential program has become even more important during the pandemic. More clients are in need of this service this year than ever before in our organization’s history. We have an urgent funding need for this program. Funds will be put to use immediately to help us continue to serve those who are blind and visually impaired during these challenging times.
Program: COVID Blended Learning Technology Upgrade
Amount Requested: $10,000
Mesorah High School for Girls is a college preparatory school that instills in each student a love of learning and a deep understanding of her unique role as a Jewish woman.
Last year’s disruption to learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic challenged Mesorah to explore new ways to provide a high-quality academic experience for our students in the absence of being physically together on campus. Through our experiences using the Zoom online platform along with Google Classroom, we discovered many positive opportunities for learning even under normal circumstances.
As the new school year began, we expanded our Blended Learning model of instruction, combining online and face to face instruction, including three subjects currently being taught remotely by teachers in East Texas, Baltimore and Toronto. In addition to providing more content and flexible learning opportunities to our students, we have been able to continue instruction for individual students or teachers who were unable to attend classes regardless of the reason, and for the whole school when in person learning was not possible.
At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school-year we upgraded our technology infrastructure, purchased 8 teacher laptops and four mobile stations which include a large flatscreen TV, camera and supporting hardware on a rolling cart to meet this need. Looking ahead, we are seeking the funding to complete this project with two more mobile stations which will enable us to fully meet the needs of our students.
Program: Graduation for Foster Youth in DFW
Amount Requested: $16,000
Foster Kids Charity is 501(c) 3 non-profit organization who cares for foster children & youth in Texas. At this time, we are working in partnership with Child Protective to celebrate foster youth who graduated from high school. While most 18-year-olds are rejoicing over their high school graduation, many kids “aging out” of the child welfare system hardly get a moment to celebrate before facing tough choices about their future. These kids lose much of their support system just in time to face the challenges of the adult world.
Now begins the daunting task of using their skills and resources to begin life on their own. On May 22, 2021, foster youths will be honored and recognized for their educational achievement against all odds. Our charity will provide the individuals with scholarship funds, laptops, educational materials and personal items that will serve them while attending college. We hope to have the financial support of you and/or your company in order to serve all 32 graduates! we budget $500 for each graduate.
Thank you for considering our request.
Program: MAKOM: Covid Food Packages in Israel
Amount Requested: $1,000-20,000
Israel has now entered a third wave of COVID-19 that has proven to be more serious than the first two. As a result, Israel has imposed a third, prolonged lockdown. This has created an extremely difficult reality for the people of Israel. Almost 1 million people have lost their jobs or have been furloughed, and THOUSANDS OF INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES are unable to put food on their tables on a daily basis. Unfortunately, Israel does not have a national program to make sure no one goes hungry, and with resources getting tighter and more limited as the need continues to grow, MAKOM communities has made the decision to step up and respond to this immediate need. MAKOM operates community food pantries from which they hand out packages of food.
Each of MAKOM’s food packages includes: oil, cans of tuna, 2 kinds of pasta, rice, coffee, ketchup, sugar, flour, powdered chocolate milk, tomato sauce, a can of corn, chocolate spread, bread, cornflakes, powdered soup mix, chocolate, potato chips, one type of fruit, 5 different vegetables and one chicken. Food is being delivered throughout the country. A donation of $1000 would purchase the items for 25 food packages.
Your gift will help ensure that MAKOM can continue to provide for those in need of food.
Program: West Dallas Initiative - Elementary Literacy Support
Amount Requested: $15,000
In 2016 NCJW began engaging in the West Dallas Community. This neighborhood is 11 1/2 sq. miles with a population of approximately 30,000. 63% are non-white. 30% of the households have income falling below the poverty level. This community has many unmet needs, ranging from food insecurity to under-resourced schools. By working with the West Dallas Multipurpose Center and four elementary schools, we attempt to fill some of those needs.
The four elementary schools we work with are: Stevens Park, Arcadia Park, Gabe Allen, and Eladio Martinez. Our partnership includes providing necessities for school success: 550 backpacks, 348 binders, 3492 uniforms, 3411 pairs of underwear and socks, 345 pairs of shoes were distributed in August 2020. Jackets, scarves and hats were distributed to schools this winter. The schools also received 18 Chromebooks with the required software.
Pandemic-related learning loss threatens to further increase the learning gap for West Dallas students. Our in-person tutoring came to a halt last spring; however, we are partnering with school leaders to resume tutoring virtually. Online and additional hardware resources are required for the success of this partnership.
The annual budget for the West Dallas Initiative is $70,000 for 2020-21. Broken down as follows: Uniforms and shoes $46,000; School supplies $6800; Chromebooks and software $5700; Turkeys $7500; Underwear, socks and jackets $4000.00. We are seeking to increase funding specifically for the schools’ academic needs.
Program: DHFLA Angel Fund
Amount Requested: $1,000 or more
The Dallas Hebrew Free Loan Association (DHFLA) is the only organization in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis and Rockwall counties that provides interest-free loans to members of the Jewish community. From loans for adoption and fertility treatments, emergencies and general needs, to healthcare, higher education, Jewish experiences, small business expenses and special needs, DHFLA helps the Greater Dallas Jewish community navigate economic challenges and affordably pursue dreams.
The biggest barrier preventing Jewish community members in need from applying for or qualifying for a loan is not having two qualified guarantors. Potential borrowers either can’t find one guarantor who lives in Greater Dallas or can’t find two qualifying individuals. To ensure more qualified borrowers receive the assistance they need, DHFLA has established the Angel Fund, a fund that can be used to guarantee loans for worthy applicants in need of one guarantor.
Gifts of $1,000 or more can be designated for the Angel Fund. These contributions will enable DHFLA to make interest-free loans to applicants who need one guarantor to meet application requirements. Donors who want their gifts of $1,000 or more to go towards the Angel Fund must designate the Angel Fund on their contribution. Undesignated donations will be directed to our loan programs.
We appreciate the support of DJCF fundholders who are inspired to help DHFLA provide affordable financial assistance to the greatest number of North Texas Jewish community members.
Program: COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Fund
Amount Requested: $60,000
When the world came to a standstill in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ann & Nate Levine Academy was forced to make some difficult decisions. In an effort to keep our students, our faculty, and the community safe, the school shifted to an online, distance learning experience for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This pivot required Levine Academy to invest in new technologies such as laptops, cameras, and distance learning tools to ensure teaching and learning could continue.
When Levine Academy reopened for our summer programs in June 2020 and for the start of school in August of 2020, it incurred even more unexpected expenses. Investing in desk shields, masks, additional cleaning supplies, sanitizer stations, thermometers, outdoor classrooms, teacher training, and much more. These investments were necessary to keep the students and faculty safe at school, but chipped away at our already tight, non-profit budget.
This fund will not only help the school continue to keep our community's health and safety as a top priority, but will also help Levine Academy...
• Proactively prepare for this coming year and stay ahead of the curve in response to unexpected closures and needs to pivot in response to any situation
• Support an environment of comfort, support and familiar routine among our students
• Keep the school program moving in the right direction and continuing to implement our top-notch curriculum
• Foster a community that cares for one another's health and well-being
Program: Burial - Not Cremation
Amount Requested: $36,000
The Chevra is Dallas' orthodox burial society, but cares for Jews regardless of affiliation, and serves funeral homes across North Texas. Unfortunately, increasingly in recent years, economics have dictated the choice of cremation over burial. Abraham's caring for Sarah established a fundamental Jewish principle: that burial preserves the dignity of the deceased. The Chevra is establishing a fund to be able to assist families in an emotionally and financially challenging time.
The Chevra plans to supplement what a family would pay for a cremation, and pay the difference between cremation and burial. Additionally, the Chevra's burial fund would be able to front funeral costs until an insurance reimbursement is received. The Chevra's goal is to eliminate the economic barrier to burial, so that all Jews can emulate our forefather Abraham's example.
Program: BBYO Summer Program Leadership Scholarships
Amount Requested: $10,000
BBYO is seeking additional funding opportunities to send local teen leaders on BBYO Summer Programs to receive premier, hands on leadership training. We currently offer limited needs-based scholarship, and with additional funds available, would ensure every teen in our community could attend a summer program without financial constraints standing in the way.
There are opportunities to award AZA (fraternity) scholarships for Alephs who strive to be excellent leaders in their chapters, regions, and communities. This scholarship would aim to fulfill key objectives of AZA in providing Alephs with the opportunity to learn leadership skills, fully develop their leadership otential, and encourage the development of friends with other Jewish teens throughout summer. In addition, we hope to offer a partnering B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG / sorority) scholarship to help grow young women into confident, passionate, and wonderful leaders.
The unique BBG summer experience offers teens opportunities to find and express their Jewish identities, while making lifelong friends. Extra scholarship opportunities strengthens our local community by advancing the leadership and Jewish identity of the younger generation.
Program: COVID-19 Assistance
Amount Requested: $5,000
The Aaron Family Jewish Community Center (AJFCC) of Dallas seeks funding to assist with operations in the areas of camp, preschool, membership, after care for children, and senior meals. Our agency serves as a meeting place for educational institutions and promotes the interest and welfare of the community at a center where all are welcome, regardless of race, age, or religious denomination.
During this unprecedented time surrounding COVID-19, the AFJCC had to shut down for more than three months and as a result experienced significantly lower enrollment in camp and preschool and the loss of more than 750 members.
Currently, we are serving approximately 55-75 seniors twelve frozen meals each per week. With the rising cost of Kosher food, increasing number of seniors who will take advantage of the meal program, and the added expense of adding mandated health and safety protocols surrounding COVID-19, it is necessary to find the resources to help subsidize these costs.
Many after school programs have closed or are serving in a limited capacity in order to make social distancing requirements, so parents are looking for safe places for their children. In order to ensure that children from different schools do not mix and to maintain social distancing, we had to form two groups and add more staff thereby causing a deficit in the program.
These grant funds will allow the AFJCC to continue its mission-driven programs as well as continue to offer services to sustain the community during this difficult time.
Program: Community Garden
Amount Requested: $500
Our students are wanting to create a community garden that we can use the fruits of their labor when we cook Shabbat dinners. They want an herb and vegetable garden. Eventually adding a flower garden so we can use the flowers for our Shabbat tables.
Program: JTribe Student to Student Engagement
Amount Requested: $20,000
JTribe Student to Student Engagement is taking off WITH YOUR HELP even more so during Corona!
Many Jewish students at UT and surrounding universities are unaffiliated, not interested or disconnected from Jewish life. They are not being reached by any of the Jewish programming in and around campus. How do we get the unaffiliated, not interested or those estranged from the community to connect to Jewish communal life? This huge void needs to be filled.
JTRIBE is a grassroots movement of diverse Jewish students who come together for social events, social action, Jewish education, cultural awareness and mentoring events: a unique mix of peer-to-peer Jewish programming, mentorship, community service, leadership development and social fun. JTribe sets up a road to discovery, connecting to their Jewish roots and heritage and building strong relationships with the Jewish community which will continue after graduation. Jewish social and cultural events are run by the students: speakers, music, socializing, Shabbat and holidays.
Friends reach out to friends and acquaintances and are engaging them in Jewish programming. Close-knit networks are built in a social setting. JTribe’s program empowers our lead interns to engage fellow Jewish students on a peer-to-peer level: Many are unaffiliated and on the fringes of the Jewish community and are outside Greek life. The program works by creating organic social networks based on shared identity and social values. Social and educational Jewish activities are planned outside of our center, on campus and the surrounding environs.
Program: Disaster Relief Emergency Aid Matching Program
Amount Requested: $10,000
JCRS has created the D.R.E.A.M. Program: Disaster Relief Emergency Aid Matching Program to assist families experiencing financial challenges due to COVID and other circumstances such as hurricanes and flooding. A generous donor has agreed to match our fundraising efforts up to $18,000 in Texas.
JCRS's goal is to create a minimum $100,000 restricted fund to provide aid relief to Jewish children and families in Texas experiencing hardship during periods of extreme economic challenges, unemployment, natural disasters, and social isolation.
DREAM Program dollars would be expended to Jewish families with minor children in the form of direct monetary grants, reimbursement for extraordinary expenses in relation to the crisis, or in the form of gift cards. We have surveyed our clients and 30-40% have been impacted financially by the pandemic. We anticipate that we could reach over 100 families (400+ Jewish individuals from across our seven-state region) and provide financial assistance to them for a period of 6+ months.
Some families will be helped fewer months while others may be longer. Longer assistance would require a resubmission of need. We will promote the Program to Jewish families, congregations, JFS organizations, and Jewish day schools across Dallas and region. Families will have to provide their financials before receiving aid and will be considered on a rolling case by case basis.
Time-limited funds will be paid out monthly. For example: a family of four might receive a maximum of $360 per month for a period of six months.
Program: Leket-Garden for Good
Amount Requested: $25,000
Congregation Anshai Torah seeks to create a Leket-Garden for Good. The garden will be used to educate our children and adults about tzedakah. The garden will be a tangible opportunity to learn about helping others. Using the farming laws in the Torah, our community will understand the need to donate a tenth of the produce grown in the garden to individuals in need.
Families in need will receive fresh produce from the garden. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden “to till it and tend it.” This is the first commandment given to humanity and serves as the foundation for our Jewish responsibly to care for the world. Through the garden, our children and adults will understand the sacredness of the earth, the fragility of the environment, and our Jewish obligation to protect the earth for future generations.
Groups of adults, families, and local houses of worship will be invited to adopt a bed in the garden. Every group will be responsible for caring for their section. The goal is that the garden will serve as a meeting place for our greater community. The garden can strengthen our greater community by bringing people together and fostering new relationships. We know that hatred diminishes once people interact with others they do not know. We hope that the garden can help reduce hatred, racism, and anti-Semitism.
The Anshai Torah catering department will use the produce daily, highlighting the importance of the garden and providing the foundation for its expansion.
Program: JFS Food Pantry Expansion Project
Amount Requested: $250,000
For over 70 years, the Jewish Family Service (JFS) Food Pantry program has provided nutritional and financial aid to economically-disadvantaged families from across North Texas. The goal of the program is to help clients establish security and self-sufficiency by offering support tailored to their unique circumstances. The JFS Food Pantry is based on a “client-choice” model, allowing for more diverse and healthier food options that meet most cultural and dietary needs.
Before the pandemic, the JFS Food Pantry served approximately 285 families per week; now, through a revamped drive-up distribution model that adheres to social distancing guidelines, the agency has expanded its impact to roughly 750 families per week. The existing two-story Food Pantry is insufficient to safely and effectively meet the growing demand for services. As a result, the agency has launched the Food Pantry Expansion Project, which seeks to significantly increase the pantry’s physical footprint.
With the new facility, JFS will be able to:
• Serve more families in need
• Provide clients with access to even more healthy-choice options
• Hire more case managers to provide clients with the benefits enrollment support
• Accept more food donations from community partners
• Improve how clients are served by creating an even more dignified and confidential experience
Funds raised will support the building of the new facility as well as the increased costs associated with running a larger space. This expansion will serve as the bridge for the next three to five years until JFS can complete a larger Capital Campaign.
Program: COVID-19 Relief
Amount Requested: Open
COVID-19 has negatively impacted our finances organization wide by $2.3 million in fiscal 2019-20 and by an estimated $1.7 million in fiscal 2020-21. Expenses include but are not limited to, clinical COVID hazard pay, COVID testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), visitor center staffing, resident screening services, dining disposables, and telehealth services for all team members.
The pandemic has been an especially vulnerable time for seniors. With health and safety our top priorities, The Legacy Willow Bend campus has been locked down since March. It has been emotionally tough for our residents and their families, but we have received support for our decisions. An Independent Living member’s daughter shared, “I wanted to express my sincere gratitude and thanks for the care and services you’re providing for my dad. Legacy has adopted measures swiftly and modified them as necessary given the changing situation and its increasing danger. I thought I could not be happier with my dad’s decision to move to the Legacy, but your response in this crisis has proven me wrong… I know that you all are working long hours and are putting yourselves at risk just by doing your jobs and I am thankful for each of you for helping my dad, especially when I cannot...”
Supporting The Legacy will offset the additional expenses we have experienced to date and are projecting for the current year. This financial impact cannot be borne by our residents, clients, and patients - join us in the fight against COVID-19!
Program: Student Admission; Exhibition “The Book Smugglers”
Amount Requested: $10 or more
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum’s (DHHRM) primary goal is to positively influence behavior through education. Every person who visits DHHRM learns the history of the Holocaust and what happens when antisemitism, racism, and hatred go unchecked.
DHHRM provides scholarships for Title 1 students to experience in-person field trips to DHHRM, and recently started providing virtual education programs and virtual students field trips and offer scholarships to cover the cost of these programs, too. DHHRM requests support of these student scholarships: $10.00 provides a scholarship for one student to experience a virtual field trip, $13.50 provides a scholarship for one student to experience an in-person field trip to the Museum.
From June 2021 to January 2022, DHHRM will host the special exhibition, “The Book Smugglers.” DHHRM respectfully requests any amount to support The Book Smugglers special exhibition. The exhibition, curated by the Holocaust Museum Houston, shares the nearly unbelievable true story of ghetto residents who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts by hiding them on their persons, burying them in bunkers, and smuggling them across borders.
Based on the book, “The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis,” by David E. Fischman, this special exhibition is set in Vilna, Lithuania, also known as the “Jerusalem of Lithuania.” Vilna was home to robust Jewish culture rich with art, music, literature, poetry, theater, and opera, and inspired a small group of partisans and poets to risk everything to save Jewish cultural treasures.
Program: The Sh’ma Project
Amount Requested: $20,000
The Sh’ma Project is a movement against hate designed to reach young adults. Combining live performances with interpretive workshops, it addresses the international resurgence of fascism and anti-Semitism, honoring the many peoples who have been “Othered,” displaced, detained, and deported during and since the Holocaust.
The Sh’ma Project weaves dance, film, text, live performance, and audience engagement into a cohesive whole for Texas college and high school students. Onstage, Sh’ma tells the story of choreographer Suki John's family during the Holocaust. This personal, artistic approach brings history to life, creating empathy and immediacy for young viewers. The Sh’ma Project unites artists and educators with students across Texas for performances and workshops that foster diversity, equity and inclusion. In pre- and post-performance “Upstander Workshops,” students move beyond their role as audience members to creatively address issues of "Othering.”
Combining movement, theater, film, writing, and dialogue, these workshops allow young people to create their own expressive responses to difficult material. Through this varied approach, we hope to impact young people and their perceptions, while tracking and improving the effectiveness of the project. The Sh’ma Project is more than an artistic/educational event; it is a movement to replace hate with empathy. TJAA is seeking funding to pay performers for their significant investment of rehearsal and performance time.
The ultimate budget for this project is $56,000. We have received seed money and continue to fundraise to make this timely and historic project a reality.