Your Choice. Your Impact. Federation’s October Challenge
Deepening Jewish Identity for Families with Young Children
Together, we are ensuring more families with young children can access transformational Jewish education, programming, summer camp, and more.
Through a significant investment in scholarships and financial aid, The Jewish Federation and our generous donors are addressing pandemic-induced financial barriers to Jewish life. Together, we are working to increase participation in Jewish early childhood education, day schools, and summer camps—proven and irreplaceable identity-building experiences for Jewish children.
We estimate this funding will help nearly 800 families this year. By ensuring more families can opt into Jewish experiences for their children—opportunities otherwise financially out-of-reach—we are building vibrant Jewish life in the short-term and investing in the future leadership of our community.
In addition, many families are eager to engage with one another and with Jewish life as family units throughout the year—from holiday celebrations to hikes and playdates framed through the lens of Jewish values. As demand for these programs grows, Federation and our communal partners are innovating to continue building an inclusive and robust array of opportunities to explore and deepen Jewish identity throughout Greater Washington.
This past summer, we invested more than $1.2 million to lower financial barriers for families with young children.
$379,000+ in scholarships and financial aid is empowering more children to attend day camps, overnight camps, and deepened the grant pool for Federation’s One Happy Camper program.
$235,800+ ensured more families could send their children to one of our community’s 39 local Jewish early childhood education centers, with a goal of increasing enrollment following a nearly 50% decline in those numbers due to the pandemic.
$585,000+ to help more families send their children to one of our region’s six Jewish day schools.
In addition to furthering access to Jewish preschool, day school, and summer camp, our donors make incredible programs like PJ Library® possible in Greater Washington. Supported and managed locally by Federation, PJ Library and our many partner organizations have built incredible trust and relationships with thousands of local families through years of innovative community programming.
And across DC, MD, and Northern VA, more than 750 families with children ages 0-3 have connected with Jewish life—and each other—through JFamily Ambassadors. This program, powered by Federation in partnership with our three local JCCs, ensures that families across all parts of our region can build relationships with community ambassadors, meet other Jewish community members, and engage in Jewish programming designed especially for them, from story times to Tot Shabbats, holiday celebrations to cooking classes, and more.
Why invest in families with young children?
Community thrives on connection—and the future of our Jewish community depends on how we engage our next generation. When you choose to support families with young children in our Jewish community, you ensure they can continue to embrace and engage with Jewish life in a warm, inclusive, and welcoming environment.
“Coming out of a year of COVID-19, some of our families have lost jobs and businesses. Your funds will enable our scholarship committee to help families send their kids, who need camp so much. We gratefully appreciate your partnership in creating a bold, strong Jewish future.”
– Rosanne S.
Securing our Jewish Community
Together, we are keeping our Jewish communal institutions—and the people they serve— safe and secure.
American Jews today are actively avoiding certain situations, places, or events out of concern for their safety and comfort. In a recent report, The Pew Research Center shared several disturbing trends about antisemitism in the United States.
- 75% of respondents said there is more antisemitism now than there was five years ago.
- More than seven in 10 U.S. Jews said that they read about or heard the sentiment: “the Holocaust did not happen or its severity has been exaggerated.”
- 33% of U.S. Jews shared they recently heard an antisemitic trope in their presence.
Every member of our community deserves to engage and participate safely in Jewish communal life. Through our partnership with Secure Community Network (SCN), and with the generous support of our donors, Federation is prioritizing and enhancing Jewish Greater Washington’s safety, security, and preparedness to keep Jewish community members safe.
Your dollars make a difference:
$3.5 million in federal security funding has been infused into our community’s synagogues, day schools, JCCs, and partner agencies as a direct result of our security team’s efforts, an increase of more than 70% compared to 2020.
$515,000 in security funding was distributed to local college and university campuses and day schools in 2020-21.
$9 million+ in government funding has been secured in partnership with Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) for our agencies and schools, social services, and institutions at risk for hate crimes.
Your support today will protect Jewish people, synagogues, schools, and institutions.
Your donation helps Federation and SCN provide our community with vital security services—including a dedicated regional security team. Our regional security advisors host weekly security training conversations for community and agency leaders on a variety of topics, including community safety, best practices, techniques to partner with law enforcement, planning and preparation for active threat events, and crisis management planning.
Why invest in securing our Jewish community?
These sessions help our community leaders strengthen their own understanding of how to secure their institutions—from synagogues to schools to other agencies. Community members like you ensure this vital work can continue to keep us all safe.
“The work our synagogue has done with Federation and SCN, including security assessments for grants, has helped build an important relationship for the congregation and made our organization safer.”
Empowering Future Jewish Leaders
Together, we are engaging and educating the next generation of Jewish community builders.
Jewish communal life continues to change in ways large and small. It is vital that we continue to identify, convene, and develop the next generation of leaders who can address the most pressing issues—even and especially amidst unprecedented challenges. Together with our partners and generous donors, Federation offers a multitude of opportunities for current and rising leaders to build vibrant Jewish life today and for the future, and to help them discover how they can infuse their lives with Jewish meaning.
Your support is shaping the next generation of Jewish leaders, and connecting them to meaningful experiences.
Enhancing leadership skills
Federation’s NEXUS helps young Jewish individuals (20s and 30s) enrich their leadership abilities. The 2021 cohort met with leaders from organizations including Repair the World, World Central Kitchen, GatherDC, and Moishe House, on topics including tzedakah (charity), tikkun olam (repairing the world), diversity and inclusion, relationship building, and more. Today, these NEXUS alumni are poised to take on leadership roles and help our community build a more vibrant Jewish future.
- 29 individuals were selected for the NEXUS program
- 8 sessions were held in partnership with different leading organizations
- 6 graduates are serving on Federation’s Young Leadership board
Deepening Connections between “Next Gen” Leaders
Many in the Jewish community are still feeling the effects of extended social distancing. With studies showing that it is harder to make friends as adults hit their 30s, it is even more challenging to meet new people during the pandemic. GatherDC, with significant investment from Federation and our donors, is responding to the need for community by offering virtual gatherings specifically for young Jewish adults in their 30s, ranging from happy hours to book clubs and film discussion groups.
- 200 unique attendees participated at GatherDC events
- 120 one-to-one relationships were formed
- 6 partnerships with other organizations helped to facilitate these meaningful connections
Helping graduates find their place
For Jewish college graduates, the broader Jewish community can feel hard to navigate after leaving campus. The DMV Hillel Pipeline Project, supported by Federation, works to build a more interconnected DMV Jewish community, enabling graduates to plug into relational Jewish spaces beyond their college years.
- 330 Jewish alumni have engaged more deeply in Jewish community
- 200 individuals have attended a Pipeline event
- 40 mentors were assigned to graduating students
Why invest in future Jewish leaders?
Thanks to you, the next generation of Jewish leaders are connecting to Jewish life, enhancing their leadership skills, and beginning to serve as the community builders of the future.