Federation Leadership Briefing: September-October 2021

At Federation, our goal of building, sustaining, and growing vibrant Jewish life is multifaceted, and includes expanding access to Jewish life to every member of our community. Your support and leadership continue to help Federation meet evolving local needs and invest in opportunities to shape our Jewish community for the long-term.

Below, you’ll find an update on some of our recent accomplishments. I’m also pleased to share our recently released 2021 Annual Report—this year, in an all new, digital format. We are honored to tell our community’s story and share what we have achieved together in this exciting and meaningful way. I hope you’ll feel just as proud of our shared accomplishments.

Together, we are poised to take on the challenges ahead and make a lasting impact for our community. Thank you for all you do to create vibrant Jewish life across Greater Washington. As always, if you have any questions or would like to connect directly, I’d love to hear from you.


FEDERATION FOCUS: September-October 2021

In Summer 2020, Federation’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors approved $1.2 million for Jewish camping, early childhood education, and day school scholarships. The first funds approved and distributed were $379,400 in Jewish camping scholarships, just in time for summer 2021. Coupled with our annual camp allocations and a matching grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camps, our support for Jewish camping totaled $606,400. In turn, this communal investment generated approximately $875,000 in revenue for the camps—funding that will help sustain these crucial organizations for the future.

While the dollars tell a powerful story, the true impact comes in the number of families who benefitted from our community’s investment. Thanks to these scholarships, nearly 600 campers across 48 local zip codes were able to attend Jewish camp. Approximately 2/3 of the recipients reported that the funds influenced their decision to attend a Jewish summer camp. And tellingly, 83% of families intend to send their child(ren) back to camp next year. As a result, the current year investment will continue to yield significant financial returns to the camps for year to come. Moreover, our community is ensuring that, in spite of the pandemic and a far-reaching economic crisis, our future leaders will continue to benefit from incomparable identity-building experiences.
JFamily Ambassadors (JFA), a collaboration of Federation and our local JCCs, began five years ago with the Pozez JCC in Northern Virginia (NOVA). Its success has led to replication and expansion across our wider community, and today, the program also serves families in DC and throughout Montgomery County. This past year, despite the pandemic, 15 JFAs helped hundreds of parents deepen their connections to each other and Jewish life.

We were grateful to recently secure a PJ Library® grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to expand these efforts. By powering REFUEL, a unique partnership with Gather, Inc. to help the JFAs enhance their relationship-building skills, this funding will allow us to engage an estimated 4,300 families more deeply in Jewish life.

On September 30th, we had the wonderful opportunity to gather in person for Cornerstone with 200 members of our community, including many of you. In addition to toasting the contributions of the real estate industry, it was an honor to recognize Robert P. Kogod with Federation’s inaugural recipient of our Community Builder Award. I highly recommend watching our Cornerstone videos to learn more about Bob’s inspiring leadership, impact, and guidance for our community.

A Video Tribute to Robert P. Kogod  

Robert P. Kogod in conversation with Joshua Bernstein

Thanks to our generous sponsors, Cornerstone raised $1.25 million for our efforts to reduce poverty and economic insecurity in the Jewish community. Informed in part by insights from 703-J-CARING: the Jewish Community Support Line, our anti-poverty initiative is focused on food and housing insecurity, job training and placement, and mental health and domestic abuse, and guided by local professional and lay experts. The funds raised through Cornerstone will vitally enhance our ability to provide integrated and comprehensive care for community members in need during these challenging times.

We are humbled and inspired by your generosity. With serious challenges and opportunities along the road ahead, your dedication is strengthening our community. If you have already made your 2021 Annual Campaign gift, thank you for ensuring that our work will continue into the future. If you would like to make a 2021 gift, you may do so at shalomdc.org/donate or by calling our donor relations team at 301-230-7239. We are proud and grateful to be your partners in philanthropy.

Join Federation for Israel YOUR Way, May 16-21, 2022. Connect with Israel’s beauty and complexity while building community with fellow passionate Washingtonians. Immerse yourself in one of three journeys to inspire your heart, mind, and soul. Plus, enhance your experience with a truly unique, optional pre-trip to the United Arab Emirates. Learn more at shalomdc.org/Israel-your-way.