The Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor is proud to announce the completion of a successful effort to raise $210,000 to address COVID-related social service needs in the Washtenaw County Jewish Community. Thanks to a 50% match from the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) Human Services Relief Matching Fund, the $140,000 contributed by generous local donors brought $70,000 in additional resources to the community. Federation collaborated closely with Jewish Family Services (JFS) to reach this important financial goal.
Funds raised through the Human Services Relief Matching Fund (HSRMF) will be directed to JFS and local synagogues for social services such as emergency financial aid, food assistance, mental health and community stability.
As the COVID pandemic extended beyond last spring and summer, it became apparent the disastrous economic impact would continue into 2021. JFNA established the HSRMF, in partnership with seven national foundations, to offer an $18 million match to the Federation system to foster increased philanthropy to assist those in our community facing economic, social and mental distress.
The project began this fall, just at the outset of the Federation’s Annual Community Campaign, and the $210,000 raised is in addition to the almost $900,000 raised thus far to support and nurture Jewish communal life in Ann Arbor, in Israel and around the world. This represents 60% of the Annual Community Campaign goal of $1.5million.
This initiative was effective largely due to the strategic partnership between Federation and Jewish Family Services. Together, they identified Jewish communal needs, developed a clear fundraising plan, and worked closely to achieve the initial goal of $120,000. They requested from JFNA an opportunity to raise an additional $20,000 which, with the match, resulted in an extra $30,000 for the community.
“We were seeing a growing need for our services as a result of the pandemic, including increased distress among those in our Jewish community,” said Anya Abramzon, Executive Director of JFS. “Federation’s tenacity in reaching – and exceeding – the match goal means we will be able to do so much more to meet the crucial needs of the expanding number of clients we serve.”
Federation and JFS will continue to partner to determine how best to utilize the funds to address pressing needs of the community. This may include support for kosher and kosher-style meals to an increasing number of JFS clients who request this service, congregational social work services provided via Beth Israel Congregation and Temple Beth Emeth, emergency cash assistance for those facing financial hardship, and a range of services for older adult survivors and refugees from the former Soviet Union. A portion of the funds will be set aside in the community’s COVID Emergency Fund for local rabbis to assist congregants requiring economic assistance for basic needs.
For more information about the Human Services Relief Matching Fund or the Federation’s Annual Community Campaign, contact Eileen Freed (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.jewishannarbor.org.