In addition to JCF’s $2 million annual gift to UJA-Federation of NY, the JCF Special Gifts Fund supports kosher food banks, an adaptive playground for those with special needs, programs for Holocaust survivors with dementia, and more.

(Courtesy of JCF) Jewish Communal Fund (JCF), the largest and most active Jewish donor-advised fund in the country, approved grants totaling $985,000 to local Jewish charities in the New York area through its endowment, the JCF Special Gifts Fund. Since 1999, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Communal Fund has granted more than $18 million to support programs that promote the welfare and security of the Jewish community at home and abroad. These charities are selected with the assistance of UJA-Federation of New York.

“We are honored to provide vital support to local Jewish charities that focus on helping those who are most vulnerable—the poor, the elderly, persons with special needs and Holocaust survivors,” said Daniel Blaser, chair of Jewish Communal Fund’s Charitable Distribution/Special Gifts Fund Committee. “We are grateful to our community of fundholders who, in giving through JCF, enable JCF to make significant grants from its endowment to support a number of Jewish charitable institutions doing important work on the ground.”

This year’s JCF Special Gifts Fund grantees include:

$275,000 to the Sid Jacobson JCC to provide a food bank staffed largely by individuals with special needs

Approximately 76,000 people in Nassau County are food insecure. Thanks to JCF’s support, the Sid Jacobson JCC will open a new food bank that will serve as a collection and distribution center for food pantries across Nassau County. The food bank will be staffed largely by individuals with special needs from the JCC’s vocational program, VTEC. The VTEC interns receive a stipend and work with coaches, fostering an increased sense of self-confidence, skills and ability.

$250,000 for the Henry Kaufmann Campground at Pearl River to renovate swimming pools

Currently, campers at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Pearl River, Rockland County, have extremely limited access to the pools. JCF’s support will help renovate existing swimming pools and build new ones to benefit campers from four camps located on that site—Bronx House, Twelve Trails, the 92nd Street Y, and Sunrise Day Camp, for children with cancer and their siblings. This project is being conducted in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York’s Jewish Day Camp Initiative.

$120,000 to the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst to expand a support program for Holocaust survivors with dementia

As part of JCF’s longstanding commitment to supporting Holocaust survivors, it is helping to underwrite the expansion of a therapeutic and socialization program for Holocaust survivors with dementia. The program, which was successfully launched last year at the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC, will be brought to the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, which serves a large population of Holocaust survivors.

$130,000 to support Met Council to increase its capacity to provide food to those in need

Met Council’s Kosher Food Network provides more than 7 million pounds of food each year to more than 755,000 families in need through a network of nearly 40 food pantries across the five boroughs of New York. The organization’s 11,000-square-foot warehouse in Brooklyn cannot currently meet the needs of 30,000 additional low-income households. JCF’s grant will help Met Council renovate its warehouse and purchase new equipment, such as a forklift and freezers, to help it increase its capacity to acquire, store and distribute more kosher food to those in need.

$100,000 to UJA-Federation of New York’s Single Parent Initiative to provide scholarships for day camp, day care and afterschool programs

UJA’s Single Parent Initiative provides targeted services to poor and near-poor single-parent families to promote stability and self-sufficiency, and help these families feel embraced by the community. JCF will fund scholarships for children of low-income single-parent families to attend afterschool enrichment activities, daycare, and day camp at three community centers: The Samuel Field YM-YWHA, the Edith & Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, and the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC of the Greater Five Towns.

$110,000 to Mishkon to provide an adaptive playground, a pool lift and increased lighting and security features

Mishkon provides residential, medical and therapeutic care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Orthodox and chasidic communities in and around Boro Park, Brooklyn. JCF’s grant will help fund the building of an adaptive playground to be used by all residents, regardless of physical limitations, as well as an electronic pool lift to make the swimming pool accessible to those with severe physical limitations. The grant will also help fund increased lighting and other security enhancements.