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Posted by: In: Uncategorized 28 Nov 2017 Comments: 0 Tags:


We can be very proud of our Teen Philanthropists!

Under the direction of the Teen Funder Co-ordinator, Jeffrey Scheer, the group met in twice in the past year to consider grant requests to charities from a Pooled Fund. Over the past years, the Teen Funders have made grants of over $47,000. After much consideration & negotiation, they distributed a total of $6,440 to the following 11 programs:

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection.- $700 The mission of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC) is to help at-risk middle school and high school students (boys and girls) stay in school and earn their high school diplomas, while providing invaluable part-time work experience and job skills to help prepare them for life after graduation.

Syracuse Jewish Family Service – $400Planning to FLOURISH: Lunchtime Conversations About Aging Well, which brings SJFS’s experts in aging to area businesses to offer advice, information and support on eldercare-giving to all those Moms and Dads who work there. They go to the workplace because these super-busy people just can’t find the extra time to go somewhere else to get help.

Menorah Park of Central New York – $200 Menorah Park has just installed Sodexo’s Connected Living Program, a free, downloadable application for smartphones, tablet, i-phone, or e-device to view menus, calendars, special events, and photos at Menorah Park. The program  empowers the residents to be able to use these devices as well as to be able to take advantage of all Connected Living is able to offer to them. This program will have afternoon sessions for students to work with the residents on various platforms.    

 Syracuse City Ballet, Inc. – $350 Syracuse Ballet will be having its first ever sensory friendly performance this year. Its aim is that each child will be well prepared to enjoy the experience in his or her own unique way in an environment that will be welcoming and totally non-judgmental. The funds will go towards ticket purchases for sensory-challenged children so they can attend regardless of their family’s economic circumstances.

Friends of AKIM USA, Inc.- $490 To support its “Equal in Uniform Program”– a national 2-year inclusive training and service program that integrates young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). This grant will help AKIM Israel improve the pre-military training level to have more hours of training and staff.

 Fayetteville-Manlius A Better Chance Program, Inc. – $500 Gives talented young women a “better chance” to succeed and meet their highest potential by providing a highly structured program with weekly chores, required hours of study and academic standards to meet. The FM Better Chance house, in the village of Manlius, provides a home for 6 girls, from outside our community, to live while they attend the FM high school. Since its inception, seventy-nine girls have graduated.

MOST (Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology) – $500 To support the Science Learning Partnership program with the Syracuse City School District to provide science, technology, engineering and math education in a fun and engaging way for children of all ages through hands-on experiments and workshops.

Arise, Inc. – $700 To support Adventure Based Counseling, their innovative approach to group counseling. Children with ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders will go to Highland Forest for adventure-based experiences with transportation, food and activities provided with therapists.

On Point for College – $800 To purchase college essentials for 10 new college students. On Point helps with college applications, provides a summer orientation to help ensure that students will be successful, provides a full suite of college supplies, including dorm room bedding, backpacks, notebooks, thumb drives, towels, shampoo, etc.,

Vera House – $800 Works to end domestic and sexual violence and elder abuse within Onondaga County. This is to support the creation of a Children’s Waiting Area to provide a safe space for children to begin their healing journey.

American Friends of Leket Israel – $1,000 This organization is a food program in Israel. This will specifically enable the collection and redelivery of 7,000 lbs. of wholesome food directly to disadvantaged children and youth at-risk.



Posted by: In: Uncategorized 08 Feb 2013 Comments: 0 Tags:

Posted on: December 5th, 2013

Leonid’s childhood was far from easy. Growing up in Kherson, Ukraine, he constantly had to search for food and shelter after his mother was banished, and ultimately he was put in a camp under the Nazi occupation.


A homebound woman in her 90s in the former Soviet Union who received help from a homecare worker with obtaining food and medicine. Photo: Sarah Levin

Still in Kherson to this day, Leonid lives alone, homebound by numerous illnesses and poor vision. More than 150,000 elderly Jews like Leonid in the former Soviet Union are surviving only with the help of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a UJA-Federation of New York beneficiary agency.

“Here in New York, there are things like community centers and daycare centers,” says Marcia Eppler Colvin, chair of UJA-Federation’s Taskforce on Aging. “Those don’t exist in the same way in the former Soviet Union.”

“Basically, as a result of the fall of communism, the first thing that collapsed was the social welfare system; the state wasn’t able to provide for its own citizens,” explains Rina Edelstein, director of strategic partnerships at JDC. “During the 20 or so years since the fall, slowly social services have come back to a small extent in the big cities, less so in [smaller] cities,” she adds.


A woman in her 70s in her Ukraine apartment where she received help from Hesed. Photo: James Nubile

Over the past decades, JDC, with extensive support from UJA-Federation, has built a network of 126 Hesed welfare agencies that serve these elderly Jews in need spread out across 11 time zones.

Leonid’s nearest Hesed center sends a homecare worker to his house for 25 hours each week. The aide helps Leonid with his hygiene, shopping, and food preparation needs, and Leonid also receives a food card and medical assistance from Hesed.

A Subtle Form of Anti-Semitism

It’s not unusual in many parts of the former Soviet Union to find elderly Jews living in apartments without heat or running water, but the greatest need of all is home care, Edelstein says. Without it, many Jewish seniors wouldn’t be able to access food, medicine, or the warm clothes and fuel to endure the brutal winters.

Additionally, many of the elderly Jews that JDC serves in this area live in fifth and sixth floor walkups with no elevators. It was a subtle form of anti-Semitism over the years to rent the worst apartments to Jews and now, Edelstein says, “It’s not unusual for us to find many elderly who haven’t left their apartment in years because they have no way of getting down the stairs.”

But there has been a great deal of progress in the past two decades. “From Siberia in the east to Belarus in the west in the former Soviet Union, an elderly Jew will know what Hesed is and know that that’s a place that they can go for help and assistance,” says Edelstein.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 07 Feb 2013 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

What Are Active Endowment Funds?

Establish an Endowment Fund in your name with a current or deferred gift:

The fund can be restricted to benefit any single synagogue, agency or organization you select, or it can be part of our General Endowment Fund for disbursement to wherever the needs are greatest for the future Jewish community.

With endowed funds, only the income is dispersed annually to the donor’s designated charity, the principal being left intact and invested for growth. These permanent funds are the safekeeping our Jewish community needs to ensure its future.

ACTIVE ENDOWMENT FUNDS- Require a minimum gift of $10,000. These funds are invested for growth to protect the financial security of our future Jewish community. There are currently 57 active and funded Endowment Funds, which benefit agencies, organizations and synagogues throughout the community.