Jewish Long Beach makes impact with Grants

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Livie Hagege enjoys a virtual happy Friday assembly with the Hebrew Academy’s Assistant Principal Rabbi Popack. Photo courtesy of Seagal Hagege.

Jewish Long Beach Impact Grants and COVID-19 Relief Grants totaling close to $600,000 are fueling collaborative programs that are building community and addressing immediate needs of vulnerable populations.

The organization’s two-pronged approach to grant giving this year provided both ongoing funding through its annual Impact Grants and immediate funding for urgent necessities through its newly created COVID-19 Relief Grants.

“This year has posed unusual and varied challenges, and that is certainly reflected in how we have carried out our grant programs,” said Jewish Long Beach’s CEO, Zach Benjamin. “The $500,000 we recently awarded in Impact Grants more than doubles the amount we have traditionally been able to grant annually, thanks in large part to our sale last year of the HUD property adjacent to our Weinberg Jewish Long Beach Campus.”

Nearly $500,000 was granted to agencies, congregations, and organizations throughout Long Beach, West Orange County, and in Israel for collaborative programs designed to create opportunities for Jewish engagement and the building of community that would otherwise not be possible. Grants were awarded to an unprecedented diversity of congregations and other organizations.

Benjamin added, “The capacity of Jewish Long Beach to serve its mission was put to the test sooner and in more dramatic fashion than anyone could have imagined.”

The organization quickly responded to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March by establishing a COVID-19 Relief Fund to reach hundreds of the most isolated and vulnerable members of the Jewish and broader communities. Emergency grants totaling over $70,000 helped provide access to food, medication, basic supplies, distance learning materials, counseling, medication, rent and utility assistance, and other critically important goods and services via agencies across the spectrum of Jewish and general community orientation. COVID-19 relief grants were also made to nonprofits serving frontline medical workers, as well as to needy communities in Israel and India. Through these grants, Chabad of Los Alamitos was able to provide 50 individuals in the community with Seder meals making it possible for families to celebrate Passover despite difficult circumstances. Forty laptops and tablets were distributed to families and educators at The Hebrew Academy to provide better access to distance learning. Early Childhood Education at Alpert Jewish Community Center used the grant to distribute hundreds of care packages to families.

“The collaborative spirit with which the various agencies and congregations worked with us to distribute these funds was remarkable,” Benjamin said. “We were honored to direct these dollars to support our partner organizations in serving the most vulnerable among us.”

Interested area nonprofit organizations should contact info@jewishlongbeach.org to join our contact list and learn about funding and engagement opportunities.

Formerly the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Long Beach and West Orange County, Jewish Long Beach serves the Jewish and broader communities through strategic grant-making, development of emerging leaders, advocacy, and management of the community’s philanthropic funds. The organization awards more than $500,000 in grants annually to nonprofit organizations throughout Long Beach and West Orange County. It also manages approximately $30 million in assets and owns and operates the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Jewish Long Beach Campus, which houses the Alpert Jewish Community Center and other independent Jewishly-focused community organizations.