Jewish Federation Gives $22 Million to Benefit Human Services, Community Programs and Planning

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will provide more than $22 million in allocations and grants to human services and community-building programs in 2016. The allocations, announced by the Federation’s Board of Directors, will support programs in Pittsburgh and in Jewish communities around the world.

The allocations and grants consist of resources from the Federation’s Annual Campaign, the Jewish Community Foundation, supplemental donor gifts, government grants secured with Federation assistance, and a $900,000 human services block grant from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

Funding decisions are the result of a year-long process that engages volunteers and professionals with diverse expertise, backgrounds and affiliations.

“The Federation allocation and grantmaking process allows big-picture planning to use resources wisely and helps ensure that no segment of the community is left out,” explained Cynthia Shapira, chair of the Federation’s Board of Directors.

Central to this process is a philosophy of providing core operating support to nine local beneficiary agencies and two overseas partners.

“Federation allocations help each partner agency sustain a strong infrastructure,” Ms. Shapira continued. “Strong agencies can weather economic downturns, adapt to change and grow to meet new challenges. The agencies and affiliates can be lifelines to the people they serve and to the continuing health of the Jewish community. ”

A large portion of Federation allocations in 2016 will address aging and human needs in Pittsburgh. In addition to aiding some of Pittsburgh’s most vulnerable, in 2016 the Federation will continue to invest substantial dollars to address Jewish continuity by providing allocations to support Israel travel, Jewish preschool, and overnight Jewish camping.

The 2016 allocations included a significant grant from the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation to conduct a demographic study of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. The study will be the first of its kind in Pittsburgh since 2002. Jeffrey Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, explained the significance of the study: “This study will provide information about the size of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, the composition of our families and how Pittsburghers engage Jewishly. This information is crucial to identifying the community’s strengths and needs, and it’s crucial to planning to reach our potential.”

Other disbursements from the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation include, for example, grants to Repair the World, the Jewish Community Legacy Project, Classrooms Without Borders, and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Center for Women.

The 2016 allocations from the Federation will enable an expansion of the Diller Teen Fellows program as it is conducted in Pittsburgh. Each year since 2009, 20 Diller Teen Fellows from Pittsburgh and 20 teens from Karmiel-Misgav, in Israel, participate in leadership-development and Jewish peoplehood activities. The 2016 allocation will provide outreach and programing to Diller alumni and to the parents of currently enrolled Pittsburgh teens.

In Pittsburgh, the Diller Teen Fellows program is administered by Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Partnership2Gether program and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Additional funding for Diller Teen Fellows in Pittsburgh and worldwide comes from the Helen Diller Family Foundation.

The nine local beneficiary agencies that receive Federation allocations are

  • The Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center
  • Community Day School
  • Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Association on Aging
  • Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Family & Children’s Service
  • Jewish Residential Services
  • Riverview Towers
  • Yeshiva Schools

The two overseas affiliates are the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

More information about Federation allocations and grantmaking is available from Adam Hertzman, director of marketing, at 412.992.5225 or

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