Funders File, Spring 2022 Edition

Our Spring 2022 edition of Funders File, a publication of special programs in our community which are in need of support, is listed below!

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 Mona Allen at mallen@djcf.org.

*Submissions are posted without edits.

 

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: JTribe Student to Student Peer Engagement
Amount Requested: $20,000 but any support helps!

JTribe Student to Student Engagement is taking off WITH YOUR HELP!

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 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.

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.

An increase in anti-Semitism and a decrease in student participation makes it imperative to reach out and engage young Jews on campus.

The JTribe program makes the difference! YOU make the difference!

 

Program: Ramp up to Bimah
Amount Requested: $3,500

In talking with the student board during this month of Disability Awareness, they would really like our sanctuary to be accessible to everyone. Currently, there are 2 fairly deep steps up to the bimah.

Anyone with mobility issues cannot access the bimah. The students feel strongly that a ramp should be built so everyone can participate in leading services.

 

Program: Security Initiatives
Amount Requested: $10,000

In light of recent hate incidents occurring at Jewish institutions, the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center (AFJCC) of Dallas is closely monitoring our security measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our members, program participants, guests, and staff. Up to 3,000 individuals (including infants, toddlers, families, seniors, and staff) enter the AFJCC every day. Securing all of those who enter our campus and creating systems for our most vulnerable groups remains our highest priority.

Technology is always evolving and our AFJCC Security Committee is staying abreast of all the latest developments and enhancements, so all of our patrons continue to feel safe. The cost to secure the campus has increased exponentially. Your support for this necessary expense will allow the J to use other funds to meet our mission.

For more information, contact Adam Olivares, JCC Chief Director of Facilities at 214.239.7178 or email aolivares@jccdallas.org.

 

Program: Tuition Assistance for Families in Need
Amount Requested: $4,000+

Torah Day School of Dallas is one of the fastest-growing Orthodox Jewish day schools in this part of the country. There are now more than 400 students enrolled in grades Pre-K through Eight with more than 85% of families receiving some sort of tuition assistance. $4,000 covers the average gap between what a family can pay in tuition per child and the actual cost for that student to attend. Tuition at TDSD is as affordable as possible for the hard-working families committed to providing a traditional Jewish education for their children, and is significantly lower than peer Jewish day schools or private schools in the area.

Open enrollment for TDSD begins February 7, 2022 and goes through the spring semester. $4,000 sponsors tuition assistance for one of the more than 150 families receiving some level of tuition support. There is no limit to the number of sponsorships available at this time. The need is greater than the capacity to raise the funds.

If you care about Jewish continuity, please consider supporting the families of Torah Day School of Dallas. TDSD instills in children a lifelong passion for learning, in a warm and nurturing community, steeped in Jewish traditions and Torah values.

 

Program: Museum Experience Fund
Amount Requested: $10,000

The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum’s primary goal is to positively influence behavior through education. Every person who visits the Museum learns about the history of the Holocaust and what happens when antisemitism, racism, and hatred go unchecked.

The Museum Experience Fund (MEF) was established in 2013 when only a few hundred students from Title 1 or other economically disadvantaged schools were visiting the Museum each year due to financial barriers. Thanks to generous donations from individuals, families, foundations, and corporations to the Museum Experience Fund, more than 36,000 students can visit each year for free through scholarships provided by MEF.

The goal is to ensure that everyone—regardless of financial circumstance—can learn the history of the Holocaust and the importance of being “Upstanders” against bigotry, injustice, and indifference.

Providing these lessons to low-income students is key to the Museum’s mission. The cost of admission, transportation, and curriculum support is a barrier or completely impossible for many economically challenged students and schools. MEF scholarships bridge that gap.

Gifts of all amounts are appreciated toward the annual total MEF program cost of $500,000.

Recent local events have illustrated the prevalent antisemitism that the Museum works to combat. The Museum Experience Fund is vital for teaching all students in our community about the dangers of letting hatred go unchecked, so that they will stand up for others to prevent future atrocities.

 

Program: Kosher Dining
Amount Requested: $40,000

The Legacy Midtown Park is excited to introduce our on-site Kosher dining program! This is an important service The Legacy has been anxious to add as a commitment to be inclusive of the entire Jewish community.

The Legacy Midtown Park opened its kosher kitchens, one for meat and one for dairy, alongside a certified chef and mashgiach (kosher supervisor) under the auspices of Dallas Kosher. The Legacy Midtown Park’s executive chef welcomed the new partner, who currently also provides support to the overall dining program.

Together, the two have begun working on new kosher menus, to ensure consistency in variety and quality to the general menu. In the near future, a more complete kosher program will also reach the tables at The Legacy Willow Bend. The Legacy is eager to grow the Kosher dining program and become more deeply connected with those who observe traditional Jewish customs. Donations will cover the initial additional expenses this service costs, so the expense is not passed on to our Kosher residents.

 

Program: Special in Uniform
Amount Requested: $180 -$36,000

As part of our focus on improving quality of life in Israel, Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) is dedicated to ensuring that no member of Israeli society is left behind. Through a variety of initiatives, JNF-USA provides cutting-edge rehabilitative services, special education, and medical care for people with special needs.

Special in Uniform (SIU) is a groundbreaking program that integrates special-needs youth into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The program aims to prepare youth with disabilities for careers that use their full potential and to promote a more inclusive society. This vision is founded in the belief that every person, regardless of his or her disabilities, has the right to reach his or her maximum potential, to live an independent life, and integrate into society.

In Israel, service in the Army is a gateway to a successful career, however, young adults with disabilities have historically been excluded from Israel’s enlistment. SIU focuses on the unique talents of each individual participant to help them find a job within the IDF that is a perfect fit.

SIU focuses on the ability, not the disability, of everyone, encouraging transformation, and independence.

SIU is the only unit of its kind. There is no other way for special needs individuals to serve alongside their peers in the IDF. Israeli society is moving towards a greater acceptance of individuals with physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities but it is a long road in a culture that has traditionally valued physical strength and looked down upon perceived weakness.

 

Program: Were You A Jew At SMU?
Amount Requested: $5,000

Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS) and SMU Jewish Studies

(SMUJS) propose a new partner initiative to gather oral histories and data about Jewish alumni of SMU, with a particular focus on their experiences at SMU, their interaction with the Dallas Jewish community, and how those experiences influenced their subsequent lives. SMUJS will recruit students to enroll in a course on Jewish archival research and ethnography with program director Dr. Shira Lander, assisted by guest speakers from the department of anthropology on ethnographic research methods. The course will teach students how to navigate the IRB process that protects the rights and welfare of research participants. DJHS will instruct students how to conduct oral history interviews with members of the Jewish community, providing standardized questions & interview format. Students and interviewees will have the option to meet in person or by videoconferencing, which enables students to interview alumni who reside outside the DFW area. All interviews will be recorded and transcribed.

Students will learn how to use the archives at the Dallas Jewish Historical Society and SMU’s DeGolyer library to research and identify interviewees.

Each student will contact and interview 5 alumni over several sessions for a total of 2-4 hours per interviewee. Digital copies of all materials will be stored and co-owned by both SMU and DJHS. Materials will serve as the foundation for a book entitled Jews of SMU and will enhance DJHS’ current Morton Rachofsky Oral History Project and be accessible on the DJHS website.

 

Program: Community Security Initiative - Shabbat Push Notification System
Amount Requested: $65,000

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Community Security Initiative coordinates with local and national law enforcement and security organizations like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center to ensure the safety and security of the Dallas Jewish Community.

When Hostages were taken at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, the Community Security Initiative (CSI) sprang into action, assisting onsite and coordinating with law enforcement to increase presence at Dallas area Jewish institutions. As part of the response, the CSI alert system was activated, notifying agency security contacts of the situation, and providing concrete instructions to maintain safety.

Because intelligence indicated there was no imminent threat to other congregations, a decision was made by our Security Director not to disrupt Shabbat services in congregations where, due to personal Shabbat observance, congregational leadership would not be carrying cellphones to receive the CSI alerts.

During after-action conversations, we learned that most congregations deeply appreciated that decision. We also learned that most, including our Security Director, believe that Security and Communication would be drastically improved through a passive alert system installed discreetly within synagogue sanctuaries allowing them to receive and read CSI alerts in real time on Shabbat without requiring user interaction.

We seek funds to purchase and install appropriate devices at key locations within all area Jewish facilities with occupancy on Shabbat who benefit from Sabbath compliant notification systems. The net effect will be a safer envelope of protection for our entire Jewish community.

 

Program: Friendship Circle - Friendship Bakery
Amount Requested: $15,000

The Friendship Circle of Dallas is piloting a new project called the Friendship Bakery. Our goal is to provide a place that will employ adult with special needs and disabilities; something that is typically difficult to find. We are starting with a twice a month Bakery that will be open to the public. We will provide training and life skills.

Our goal is that with this experience and expected success we will be able to open a full-time bakery! The funds contributed will go towards bakery equipment, a pastry chef, and an employee advocate who will assist in training our unique employees.

Submissions to Funders File are posted without edits.

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Dallas Jewish Community Foundation
Byrna & Joe Funk Family
Philanthropy Center
12700 Hillcrest Road, Suite 201
Dallas, Texas 75230

E-mail: info@djcf.org
Phone: (214) 615-9351
Fax: (214) 363-5942