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Shelley Rood

AJFCA Washington Director

                           Thursday, February 9, 2012 

Jewish Disability Advocacy Day Makes Powerful Impact

On February 7th, leadership from Jewish communities across America traveled to Washington to inform their Members of Congress about the critical work of Jewish organizations and social service agencies on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families, as well as to express how vitally important Medicaid is to people in the disability community. jdam 2012 logo  


The day began with a briefing from Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus), Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI, co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus), Judith Solomon (Vice President for Health Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities), and Liz Weintraub (Self Advocacy Specialist, Association of University Centers on Disabilities.) This briefing attracted a full room of advocates and Capitol Hill staff and helped inform our advocacy meetings later that day. In the afternoon, we visited 30 Congressional offices in the House and Senate and discussed the importance of Medicaid to people with disabilities and the agencies that serve them.  


During the month of February, the Jewish community observes Jewish Disability Awareness Month. This is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of the needs, strengths, opportunities and challenges of individuals with disabilities in our communities and to ensure we are building more inclusive communities that celebrate all of our neighbors. February 2012 is the fourth annual Jewish Disability Awareness Month, presenting congregations and other Jewish community organizations with an opportunity to become truly welcoming. Shelly Christensen from the Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis demonstrated her leadership in helping to inspire Jewish Disability Advocacy Month. Please consult the Jewish Federation of North America's resource guide and the Union for Reform Judaism's Disabilities page to help recognize Jewish Disability Awareness Month. Please contact Shelley Rood  if you have any questions.

Journalists Weigh in on Jewish Impact of 2012 Presidential Race

The 2012 Presidential race will be one of critical importance to the Jewish community, with key issues including Medicare, Mideast policy and the economy, according to press experts.


In the wake of the State of the Union address, and the results of the Florida Republican primary, The Jewish Federations of North America called upon Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief at the Chicago-Sun Times and Ron Kampeas, Washington bureau chief at the JTA news service, to examine issues critical to Jewish voters in the 2012 presidential race.


Nearly 200 participants joined the call, moderated by William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of JFNA, to hear the journalists' perspectives on the Republican primaries, the Democratic campaign strategy and themes voters will hear leading up to the November election.


"What happens in the 2012 elections, both on a congressional level and the presidential level, could have a tremendous impact on where we stand as a Jewish community," said Daroff. JFNA, which represents a broad community and many viewpoints, is not a political advocacy organization and does not take partisan positions on elections.


More information about the elections teleconference as well as a full recording are available here.

Washington Grants Bulletin


This edition of the Grants Bulletin includes opportunities for programs addressing children's health, older adults and workforce development, refugees, adult literacy programs, and ex-offender programs, among others. Please let Shelley know if you intend to apply for any of these grants.


Government Funding  

Program:  State Implementation Grants for Systems of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Deadline: March 1, 2012

Funding: Approximately $1.8 million is expected to be available annually to fund six grantees. Applicants may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $300,000 per year.

Eligibility: Any public or private entity, including faith-based or community-based organizations. Applicants must demonstrate previous experience working with state and family partners to develop services for children and youth with special health care needs and their families.

Description: The State Implementation Grants for Systems of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program provides support for projects designed to improve access to a quality, comprehensive and coordinated community-based system of services for children and youth with special health care needs and their families.

Proposed activities should:

  • Build, enhance and maximize partnerships; engage family and youth as partners, leaders and agents of change;
  • Use continuous quality improvement;
  • Use data to build capacity and measure impact; provide technical assistance, resources and support; and
  • Promote policy and legislative changes.

Click here for grant guidance.

Contact InformationLynda Honberg, Project Director, Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs, 301-443-6314

May be of interest to Jewish Family Service Agencies


U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration

Program: Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Adult Generation

Funding: $20.6 million for 17 awards of up to $1.2 million each (these are 27-month awards, with up to three months allowed for planning)

Eligibility: 501(c)(3) nonprofits

Deadline: March 13, 2012

Description: The Reintegration of Ex-Offenders - Adult (RExO - Adult) program is designed to strengthen the communities to which the majority of ex-offenders return through an employment-centered program that focuses on job opportunities and training that leads to credentials in demand industries. Grantees must provide comprehensive and coordinated services to ex-offenders in each of the following components:

  • Employment opportunities to reduce recidivism;
  • Vocational training and educational interventions designed to improve the career pathways and earning potential of ex-offenders;
  • Mentoring of ex-offenders to support reintegration

In addition to partnering with employers and education providers, grantees are required to partner with Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) and One-Stop Career Centers. Grantees must also partner with state or local correctional agencies, which may include state Departments of Correction, county and city jails, and probation/parole offices, to provide referrals of prisoners being released or recently released into the communities, as well as to provide access to state prisons and county or city jails to serve offenders within three months of release. Grant funds cannot be used to provide housing, substance abuse or mental health services.


Click here for grant guidance.

Contact Information: Brinda Ruggles, 202-693-3437

May be of interest to Jewish Vocational Service Agencies and/or Jewish Family Service Agencies


National Endowment for the Humanities

Program: Preservation Assistance Grants

Deadline: May 1, 2012

Funding: Grants of up to $6,000 will be awarded

Eligibility: U.S. nonprofit organizations are eligible, as are state and local governmental agencies and federally recognized Indian tribal governments. Individuals are not eligible to apply. Small and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant are especially encouraged to apply.

Description: Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions-such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities-improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects and digital materials

Preservation Assistance Grants may be used for purposes like:

  • General preservation assessments;
  • Consultations with professionals to address a specific preservation issue, need or problem;
  • Purchase of storage furniture and preservation supplies;
  • Purchase of environmental monitoring equipment for humanities collections;
  • Education and training

Applicants may combine two or more elements of the project types listed above in a single application.

Click here for grant guidance.

Contact InformationPreservation Assistance Grant Questions, 202-606-8570

May be of interest to Jewish libraries and museums

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration


Foundation Funding  

Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Foundation 

Programs: Older Adult & Workforce Development Grants

Deadline: Letters of inquiry are accepted on a rolling basis

Funding: Multiple awards of varying sizes

Eligibility: 501 (c)(3) nonprofits that principally serve lower-income individuals in the communities in which they reside

Description: The foundation focuses funding on programs for low-income families and individuals. It has two programs that provide funding nationally (Older Adults & Workforce Development Grants), and a bevy of other programs that focus solely on Maryland.

Older adult grants focus on ensuring seniors live dignified, meaningful and engaged lives in the community and maintain their independence for as long as possible. Funds are available for residential care facilities, housing construction and repair and community-based facilities. The Foundation allocates the largest portion of its grants budget to the support of older adults.

Workforce development grants focus on job-readiness, financial literacy and adult entrepreneurship. The Foundation funds programs that provide the "life-tools" for clients to lift themselves from poverty into solid self-support. 


Contact Information:
Older Adults, Michael Marcus,  410-654-8500, ext. 244

Workforce Development, Marci Hunn, 410-654-8500, ext. 261

May be of interest to Jewish Family Service Agencies and Jewish Vocational Service Agencies


Frankel Family Foundation

Programs: Jewish and Israel Program and Refugee and Displaced Persons Program

Deadline:  The Frankel Family Foundation only accepts invited proposals. Applicants are advised to submit Letters of Inquiry between February and April of 2012.

Funding: The Foundation funds grants ranging from $5,000 - $50,000. Multi-year requests will be considered when rationale is provided

Eligibility: Tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code or that have a fiscal sponsor that has 501(c)(3) status and provides written authorization confirming its willingness to act as the fiscal sponsor.

Description: The Frankel Family Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that engage in the work of improving the world and addressing injustice.

Through the Jewish and Israel program, the Foundation focuses on:

Coexistence between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, including:

  • Ensuring equal access to education, healthcare, information and overall services and opportunities
  • Strengthening Israeli government accountability to its Arab citizens
  • Providing opportunities for Jews and Arabs to come together in meaningful ways

Anti-Semitism, including:

  • Programs that bring people of different faiths and backgrounds together in pursuit of a common goal
  • Activities that address anti-Semitism connected to anti-Zionism

Because the Foundation recognizes the importance of and critical need for evaluation related to anti-Semitism programming, it is particularly interested in supporting work that includes an evaluation component.

The Refugees and Displaced Persons program seeks to support efforts that both directly improve the lives of refugees/displaced people who are waiting to return home or to settle in another country as well as promote improvements in refugee policy and practice.

The Foundation supports advocacy as well as innovative and successful programs related to:

  • Livelihoods
  • Psychosocial support
  • Education and training
  • Leadership development

The Foundation is particularly interested in programs that integrate a larger reform agenda into their work, using their knowledge on the ground to influence broader policy and practice.

Because the Foundation recognizes that a majority of the world's refugee population is women and children, it is particularly interested in work that ensures that their unique needs are being addressed.


 Click here for a list of past grantees.

Contact InformationFrankel Family Foundation, 773-360-5412

May be of interest to Federations and Jewish Family Service Agencies


National Gardening Association's KidsGardening and Jamba Juice

Program: It's All Fruits and Veggies Grant Program

Deadline: February 15, 2012

Funding: The program will award 20 grant recipients with a check for $150 to be used to purchase soil amendments and fruit and vegetable plantings, and $350 in gardening supplies, including composter, planters, tools and a curriculum guide.

Eligibility: Schools, community organizations and nonprofit programs in the U.S. that have gardening programs with at least 15 children between the ages of three and 18. Schools must be located within a 50-mile radius of a Jamba Juice store.

Description: Jamba Juice and the National Gardening Association's KidsGardening are offering the It's All About the Fruits and Veggies grant program to provide gardening programs with supplies, curriculum materials and plants to help create engaging nutrition and gardening experiences. The program is designed to provide students with opportunities to observe and explore fruit and vegetable production, and obtain a deeper understanding and appreciation for these foods in their diet.


May be of interest to Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Day Schools


Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Programs: Adult Literacy, Family Literacy and Summer Reading Grants

Deadline: February 28, 2012

Funding: Maximum grant amount is $15,000 for adult and family literacy grants, $3,000 for summer reading grants

Eligibility: For adult and family literacy grants, 501(c)(3) organizations, K-12 private or public schools, colleges and universities, and public libraries are eligible to apply and must be listed in the National Literacy Directory. For summer reading grants, 501(c)(3) organizations and public libraries are eligible to apply. For all grant types, organizations must be located within 20 miles of a Dollar General store.

Description: The Dollar General Literacy Foundation works to improve the functional literacy of adults, families and youth by providing grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to the advancement of literacy in the company's 35-state market area.

The foundation is accepting applications for the following grant programs:

The Adult Literacy Grants program awards funding to nonprofit organizations that provide direct service to adults in need of literacy assistance. Applicant organizations must provide help in at least one of the following instructional areas:

  • Adult basic education;
  • General Education Diploma preparation; or
  • English language acquisition

The Family Literacy Grants program  provides funding to family literacy service providers. The foundation uses the federal government's definition of family literacy when reviewing grant applications. Applicant organizations must offer the following:

  • Adult education instruction;
  • children's education;
  • parent and child together time (PACT); and
  • Parenting classes

The Summer Reading Grants program provides funding to local nonprofit organizations and libraries working to implement or expand summer reading programs. Programs must provide direct literacy-based services for:

  • Pre-K through 12th-grade students who are new readers;
  • Below grade-level readers; or
  • Readers with learning disabilities

May be of interest to Jewish Day Schools, agencies and libraries providing literacy services


Aetna Foundation

Programs: Obesity, Racial and Ethnic Health Care Equity, and Integrated Health Care Programs

Deadlines: February 15, May 15, August 15 and November 15, 2012. Letters of Inquiry for the national program are accepted on a rolling basis and can be submitted at any time. Submission of national proposals without a preliminary Letter of Inquiry is strongly discouraged.

Funding: National grants of up to $250,000 are awarded; regional grants generally range from $25,000 to $50,000, with a limited number of grants of up to $150,000

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations with evidence of IRS 501(c)(3) designation
or de facto tax-exempt status.

Description: The Aetna Foundation is dedicated to promoting wellness, health and access to high-quality health care for everyone, while supporting the communities the company serves. The Foundation funds proposals having national impact and relevance, as well as regional proposals that impact specific regions, states or communities.

The Foundation provides grants through the following program areas:

  • The Obesity program focuses on addressing the rising rate of obesity among U.S. adults and children; understanding the contributors to obesity, particularly among minority populations and what supports and sustains better choices that can stave off overeating and reduce inactivity. Grant-making in this area focuses on initiatives that create a better understanding of the root causes of the obesity epidemic
  • The Racial and Ethnic Health Care Equity program  promotes equity in health care for common chronic conditions and infant mortality, understanding the connections between where people live and receive health care and the quality and equity of the care they receive.  The Aetna Foundation also is interested in how to improve health and health care among the nation's Medicaid population, particularly in settings with large numbers of minority patients.
  • The Integrated Health Care program  aims to advance high-quality health care by improving care coordination among health care professionals, creating informed patients and promoting affordable care. The Foundation seeks to support projects that promote evidence-based models of care coordination that can lead to high-quality, patient-centered health care services, improve health outcomes and lower costs with the goal of demonstrating the key components, best practices and benefits of care coordination that is centered on strong primary care.

Within the three program areas, the Foundation will award the following types of grants:

  • Research:  grants that will generate new knowledge, making use of either quantitative or qualitative techniques
  • Projects:  grants that will investigate or disseminate new practices; or evaluate programs designed to improve health and health care
  • Policy:  grants that analyze and promote policies to ensure that programs and practices to improve health and health care can be replicated and disseminated broadly

Additionally, the Foundation will consider applications for sponsorship of fundraising events such as galas and walks; outreach activities (e.g., health fairs) and other community-based health and wellness initiatives that are aligned with its priorities.


Click here to view past grant recipients.

Of the three programs listed above, the Integrated Health Care program might be of most interest to Jewish Family Service Agencies and hospitals


Migration Policy Institute

Program: E Pluribus Unum Prizes

Deadline: March 15, 2012

Funding: Three prizes of $50,000

Eligibility: Individuals, nonprofit and community organizations, businesses, religious groups and government entities, agencies and officials operating in the U.S.

Description: The 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes provide support to exceptionally successful immigrant integration initiatives. The program is designed to highlight and reward outstanding efforts that help immigrants and their children join the mainstream of U.S. society or that bring immigrants and native-born Americans together to build stronger, more cohesive communities.

Awards are given for existing initiatives that can be evaluated according to the award selection criteria (significance, impact and influence) based on their operations to date. The awards are not intended to support the launch of new initiatives. Prize money must be used by each awardee to advance their integration initiative.

Contact InformationE Pluribus Unum Questions

May be of interest to Jewish Family Service Agencies and Jewish Vocational Service Agencies



Program: Corporate Contribution Program

Deadline: Rolling

Funding: Not specified

Eligibility: Nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

Description: The Walgreens Corporate Contribution Program supports nonprofit organizations in local Walgreens communities  throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Walgreens provides grants to organizations that focus on access to health and wellness in their communities, pharmacy education programs and mentoring initiatives, civic and community outreach, and emergency and disaster relief. Health is the company's major area of focus, with priority given to programs that address the health needs of community residents. The company also accepts sponsorship or promotional marketing requests.

For grant consideration, eligible nonprofits must apply online. The following information is required:

  • Organization and contact name and address and 501(c)(3) documentation
  • Statement of your group's history and purpose
  • Amount requested
  • Purpose of contribution
  • Budget for organization and specific project
  • Copy of most recent audited financial statement
  • List of Board Members
  • List of other corporate and foundation contributors
  • Demographic of group(s) served
  • Plan detailing how Walgreens will be acknowledged
  • Names, if any, of Walgreen employees connected to this project
  • List of accrediting agencies, if applicable

May be of interest to Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Family Service Agencies