On June 15, the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor’s Board of Directors approved Federation’s 2020 allocations for local and Israel/Overseas (I/O) organizations. These allocations, funded through the over $1.34 million raised by the 2020 Annual Community Campaign, support local and I/O agencies in countless ways including subsidizing programming and providing essential infrastructure support. Similar to the Annual Community Campaign, the Federation’s allocation process is community-driven, with recommendations made by an allocations committee, comprised of community members representing different interests and backgrounds. Chaired by Federation board member Murray Rebner, the committee met throughout the year to discuss the application process, community needs, and to determine the final recommendations. Andrew Tankanow, committee member and recently installed Federation board member shared that “while COVID-19 presented unforeseen challenges to the standard allocations process, the committee effectively worked together to ensure regular and emerging communal needs were being addressed through our recommendations. My work as a committee member has reinforced how special the greater Ann Arbor Jewish community is in terms of its diverse offerings and strong communal institutions.”

Local allocations

This year’s allocations provided nine greater Ann Arbor organizations, including the Federation and Jewish Community Foundation, with funding for the upcoming year. Highlights include providing operating support to Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Services, and Hebrew Day School. Longtime partner organizations of the Federation. David Stone, Executive Director of the JCC commented on the impact of this partnership– “the Federation has long been the JCC’s most significant partner and the support provided through the Annual Community Campaign aids us in continuing to provide high-quality experiences for our participants along with maintaining a welcoming and versatile space.” Additionally, allocations went toward targeted initiatives including Federation’s Jewish Summer Camp Scholarship and Emergency Cash Assistance Funds, administered through Jewish Family Services. These funds help local families and individuals with costs associated with day and overnight Jewish camp and assistance with basic needs.

Services like the Ann Arbor Eruv and Mikvah Israel, which aid in making greater Ann Arbor inclusive for all levels of observance, also received support. Ben Rosen, president of the Ann Arbor Eruv Organization remarked, “this allocation allows the eruv to be operational, providing local and visiting Jews with an inclusive community for traditionally Shabbat observant Jews. The Federation’s support is deeply appreciated and highlights the welcoming nature of the greater Ann Arbor Jewish community.” Through these local allocations, Federation, in partnership with its partner organizations, build and sustain the local Jewish community through programming, initiatives, and social services that serve those in need and foster vibrant Jewish life, locally.

Israel/Overseas allocations

The Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) has long recognized the unique connection and essential need for North American Jewry to support and have an active voice in both Israel and Jewish overseas communities. The greater Ann Arbor Jewish community has a sustained history of ensuring its communal values and voices are reflected through the annual allocations made to Israel/Overseas (I/O) partners. Twenty percent of the 2020 Annual Community Campaign will go toward I/O organizations, helping them accomplish work related to religious pluralism, serving disadvantaged populations, and fostering coexistence among Jewish and Arab Israelis. The Israel/Overseas subcommittee, chaired by Federation board member Hanna Goodstein, work closely in selecting I/O organizations representative of the aforementioned values.

This year’s I/O allocations provided seven I/O organizations with funding including continuing support for Hand in Hand Schools, a network of bilingual schools for both Jewish and Arab Israeli children, and Krembo Wings, a national program serving Israeli children of all abilities. Merav Grindlinger, International Partnerships Coordinator for Krembo Wings expressed that “with the increased need due to the coronavirus pandemic, greater Ann Arbor’s renewed commitment means even more and furthermore, provides the children of Nof HaGalil with the gift of friendship, inclusion, equality, regardless of their ability status.” A core allocation also went toward vital operating support for the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and World ORT, the three central agencies representing world Jewry’s interests and needs. This funding helps services for vulnerable populations, educational initiatives, the resettling and absorbing of Jews from around the world, and so much more.

The power of community

From the money raised to its distribution, the impact made by Federation is only possible through community support. Federation Executive Director Eileen Freed shares that “as the Federation concludes its 2020 allocations process, we thank all of the generous donors that gave to the 2020 Annual Community Campaign. We are only able to make this impact on our community because of you. Thank you! As we plan for the 2021 Annual Community Campaign, I look forward to being able to grow our support of our vibrant, welcoming, and sustainable Jewish community, both locally and abroad.”

The forthcoming 2019-2020 Community Impact Report will provide a full list of the 2020 allocations. For more information on how you can support the community through a gift, please visit www.jewishannarbor.org/ways-to-give