Three Organizations Will Recieve $13,875 in Fourth-Round Funding from Jewish Federation's SteelTree Fund

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s SteelTree Fund will give three organizations a total of $13,875 in fourth-round 2015–16 funding: Community Day School (CDS), The Friendship Circle and Chabad of Pittsburgh.

The grant to CDS will fund a new program called Shabbat-in-a-Box. The goal of the program is to engage families with CDS through participation with CDS-involved families at Shabbat dinners. A grant to The Friendship Circle will help the organization fund a rooftop gardening club that will use new space to build client-volunteer relationships. The grant to Chabad of Pittsburgh will support Chabad’s second year of the very popular Love and Knaidels program. A women’s cooking program, Love and Knaidels offers participants the fun of cooking together and the joy of giving food to others.

“It was very difficult to pick three grant proposals out of ten overall applications. But there’s so much creativity here in Pittsburgh, it’s a great problem to have,” said Aaron Morgenstern, the incoming SteelTree Board chair. “We’re excited to see what the community puts forth next year.”

The SteelTree Fund, which combines support for the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign with support from the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation, enables SteelTree board members to make a collective impact by designating micro-grants to local organizations and agencies.

SteelTree is actively recruiting new board members. Board members are young adults ages 22–45 who have a desire to make a difference in the Jewish community and a passion for venture philanthropy.

Over the past two years, the SteelTree board has created a vision, a set of values, a detailed scorecard and an evaluation process that help ensure the selection of deserving fundable projects. Grant proposals are measured on their potential impact on the community, degree of innovation and the extent to which the project would benefit local Jewish youth, teens and young adults.

In 2015–16, the SteelTree Fund distributed $45,000 to support innovative community projects. Examples include the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh’s Living Legacy Project, which enabled professionals to document local Holocaust survivor stories, and the distribution of Jewish rock music to teens by Rick Recht of Jewish Rock Radio.

In the next fiscal year, four rounds of funding will offer additional opportunities for organizations to apply for grants. Application deadlines for each round, respectively, are Aug. 15, 2016; Nov. 7, 2016; Jan. 30, 2017; and April 17, 2017. The contact for grant information is Jason Oppenheimer, Young Adult Division director, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh (412.992.5222 or joppenheimer@jfedpgh.org).

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