e-news april 10, 2019

The Weinberg Foundation has a lot of news to share! We hope you will take a few minutes to read our latest e-news. Also, we invite you to like the Weinberg Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!


Weinberg Foundation hosts national convening on Jewish poverty

A National Convening on Jewish Poverty

The Weinberg Foundation recently convened—for the first time in the Foundation’s 29-year history—a distinguished slate of national experts for a series of conversations focused on addressing Jewish poverty in the United States.

More than 200 people from 19 states and Washington, DC, as well as Israel and Canada, attended, including direct services professionals, funders, Jewish Federation leaders, researchers, government leaders, media representatives, and faith leaders.

“This Convening was only the beginning of an ongoing, action-oriented national dialogue that will result in collaboration among individuals, organizations, and communities,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President and CEO. “We are thrilled to share that representatives from more than 30 organizations have already committed to attend the inaugural meeting of The National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty, which will be held on June 11 in Chicago. This will be the first step in strengthening partnerships that will build knowledge, actionable data, and best practices in service delivery—all focused on combating poverty within Jewish communities nationally.”

A National Convening on Jewish Poverty

All of the Foundation’s board members, representing its priority communities across the US, were present at the Convening in San Francisco, including Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Board Chair; Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.), Trustee; Paula B. Pretlow, Trustee; and Gordon Berlin, Trustee, and President of MDRC—who led a keynote panel discussion as part of the program.

The keynote panel discussed the challenges of poverty in general throughout the US, as well as the unique aspects of Jewish poverty. The panel (listed below) also assessed the current research on low-income Jewish households and identified potential next steps related to national Jewish poverty.

  • Gordon Berlin, Trustee, Weinberg Foundation; President, MDRC; panel facilitator
  • Wes Moore, CEO, Robin Hood Foundation
  • Alan Cooperman, Director, Religion Research, Pew Research Center
  • Sarah Abramson, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Impact, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

In addition to the keynote panel, this event also included six interactive breakout sessions led by experts in their fields (who have each authored a concept paper) and three “bright spots” talks, which highlighted successful programs or ideas from Jewish communities across the country. 

If you were unable to attend the Convening, we hope you will take a few moments to view recordings of the Keynote Panel discussion, as well as the Bright Spots presentations.


16 Jewish camps awarded grants as part of $12 million Yashar Initiative to increase accessibility for campers and staff with disabilities

Foundation for Jewish Camp

This April, 16 Jewish camps across North America will be the first recipients of a groundbreaking grant to increase accessibility for campers and staff with disabilities through the Yashar Initiative.

The Hebrew word “Yashar” translates to both “level” and “integrity,” and like its namesake, the Yashar Initiative is intended to improve accessibility for campers and staff with disabilities on multiple levels by providing funds for capital improvements, professional development, staff training, research, and evaluation.

The $12 million Yashar Initiative, a program of Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) generously funded by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, will enable Jewish day and overnight camps to better welcome all members of the Jewish community.

The 16 day and overnight camps awarded this first round of Yashar grants represent a diverse range of affiliations:

  • Beber Camp, Wisconsin
  • B’nai Brith Camp, Oregon
  • Camp Keff, California
  • Camp Ramah, California
  • Camp Ramah Poconos, Pennsylvania
  • Camp Simcha, New York
  • Camp Solomon Schechter, Washington
  • Camp Tawonga, California
  • JCC Camp Ruach, New Jersey
  • JCC Camp Yachad, New Jersey
  • JCC Chicago Camp Chi, Wisconsin
  • JCC Chicago ‘Z’ Frank Apachi, Northbrook, IL
  • Mid Island Y JCC Camp, New York
  • Ramah Darom, Georgia
  • Ramah Day Camp, New York
  • URJ Camp Harlam, Pennsylvania

A past FJC-administered survey identified the need for greater accessibility for staff and campers with disabilities as a major barrier to participation in Jewish camps. The Yashar Initiative was designed to address the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, as well as people with intellectual, developmental, physical, and sensory disabilities.

Each camp will receive money for both capital improvements, as well as a program grant totaling $2.5 million for the first round of the initiative. The camps anticipate finishing their improvements by the summer of 2020.

Here are some examples of approved projects:

  • Building or renovating bunks to be more accessible for campers and staff
  • Developing sensory gardens, splash pools, and playgrounds to enhance services of campers with disabilities
  • Improving accessibility for campers with disabilities as part of construction or renovation of communal buildings, such as dining halls and infirmaries
  • Creating new housing to serve vocational training programs that allow campers with disabilities to grow into staff roles at camp

In keeping with the goals of the initiative to promote a greater culture of inclusion, each grant recipient has committed to increasing their total campers with disabilities to at least five percent of the total camper population. The Yashar Initiative will accept grant applications again this fall, as well as in the fall of 2020.


Baltimore Summer Funding Collaborative announces $3.4 million for children & youth programs

Summer Funding Collaborative

The Baltimore Summer Funding Collaborative (the Collaborative) has awarded $3.4 million in grants to support 88 high-quality summer programs for children and youth living in low-income families throughout Baltimore City. The Collaborative is a partnership between public, private, and nonprofit institutions that aims to create summer program options for families, including academic support to reduce summer learning loss, youth work opportunities, and a variety of enrichment activities.

Collaborative members—some of Baltimore’s largest public, private and nonprofit institutions—include the Abell Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Clayton Baker Trust, Constellation, Family League of Baltimore, France-Merrick Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Hinkey-Benson Family Fund, Lockhart Vaughan Foundation, Joseph & Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, Under Armour, and United Way of Central Maryland as funding partners.

While members of the Collaborative bring their own priorities to the table—including literacy, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), youth employment, environmental education, sports, and arts—they work together to make complementary funding decisions with the goal of supporting a diverse set of high-quality summer programs to reduce summer learning loss and ensure more youth have the chance to reach their full potential.

The following organizations will receive funding from the Summer Funding Collaborative:

  • 10:12 Sports
  • A Revolutionary Summer
  • Access Art
  • Adelante Latina!
  • Afrikan Youth Alchemy
  • The Arc Baltimore
  • Art with a Heart
  • Associated Catholic Charities
  • Baltimore City Community College Foundation
  • Baltimore City White Knight Track Club
  • Baltimore Curriculum Project
  • Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School
  • Baltimore SquashWise
  • Baltimore STEAM
  • Baltimore Urban Leadership Foundation
  • The Baltimore Youth Alliance
  • Banner Neighborhoods Community Corporation
  • Beat the Streets Baltimore
  • Believe in Music
  • BELL Foundation
  • Bon Secours Community Works
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore
  • Bridges Baltimore
  • BYKE Collective
  • Challenge 2 Change
  • City Neighbors Foundation
  • City Weeds
  • Civic Works
  • Code in the Schools
  • Community Law in Action
  • Curtis Bay Judy Center
  • Dent Education
  • Digital Harbor Foundation
  • The Downtown Sailing Center
  • Elev8 Baltimore
  • Enoch Pratt Free Library
  • From Prison Cells to PhD
  • Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
  • Greater Baltimore Urban League
  • Hampden Family Center
  • Harlem Lacrosse-Baltimore
  • The Institute for Integrative Health
  • The Intersection
  • Intersection of Change
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • KEYS Empowers
  • Lakeland Judy Center
  • Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center
  • Liberty Elementary School
  • Living Classrooms Foundation
  • Macedonia Life Community Development Corporation
  • Maryland Youth and the Law
  • Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens
  • Middle Grades Partnership
  • Mindful Mentors
  • MOMCares
  • National Aquarium
  • National Inventors Hall of Fame
  • New Lens
  • NEWfit
  • Next One Up
  • Open Works
  • Parks & People Foundation
  • Patterson Park Public Charter School
  • POP
  • Project Pneuma
  • Safe Alternative Foundation for Education
  • Sisters Circle
  • Soccer Without Borders
  • Springboard Collaborative
  • St. Francis Neighborhood Center Corporation
  • St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore
  • Unified Efforts
  • Village Learning Place
  • Wide Angle Youth Media
  • Women in Transition
  • Y in Central Maryland
  • You Make A Difference STEMMA Corporation
  • Young Audiences of Maryland
  • Youth As Resources

Baltimore’s Promise and Family League of Baltimore support the administrative work of the Collaborative.

This is the fifth year of summer youth funding provided by the Collaborative. Last summer, the Collaborative provided more than $3.1 million in funding to 84 organizations throughout Baltimore City and served more than 7,500 students.   


SummerREADS returns to Library Project schools!

SummerReadsThis summer, the Weinberg Foundation, in partnership with the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project, Baltimore City Public Schools, and Young Audiences, will host its sixth year of SummerREADS—a free, hands-on, drop-in program geared toward students, kindergarten through grade three (though all students are welcome to attend). Every Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) from July 1 through August 2, students will have the opportunity to check out books, earn prizes for reading, participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities, and interact with local enrichment partners at 11 Library Project schools. In addition, a healthy and well-balanced breakfast and lunch will be served daily.

This year’s program will operate at the following schools:

  • Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle
  • George Washington Elementary
  • Hampden Elementary/Middle
  • Henderson Hopkins
  • James McHenry Elementary/Middle
  • Moravia Park Elementary
  • Morrell Park Elementary/Middle
  • Southwest Baltimore Charter
  • Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle
  • Westport Academy Elementary/Middle
  • Windsor Hills Elementary/Middle

The goal of SummerREADS is to provide students with safe and welcoming spaces, in which they are able to continue developing their reading skills during the summer months. Research confirms that reading on grade level is an important indicator for future academic and life success. Students from kindergarten through grade three are especially susceptible to “Summer Slide”—learning loss over the summer months—and spend much of the following school year trying to recover lost reading skills.


Aloha from our Hawaiʻi office!

Hawaiʻi Office

The Weinberg Foundation operates as one organization with two offices: its headquarters location of Baltimore, Maryland and Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

In addition to Hawaiʻi, the Foundation’s priority communities—where most of the Foundation’s grants are distributed—include Baltimore, Chicago, Israel, New York City, Northeastern Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Rural Communities (primarily surrounding other priority communities). These areas represent personal ties to the life and legacy of Harry Weinberg, as well as cities where Weinberg Foundation trustees reside and provide leadership.

To strengthen our impact in Hawai‘i, the Foundation is improving the way it works in the Islands. This includes increasing our annual Hawai‘i grantmaking to $12 million, adding staff, and refining and optimizing the Foundation’s real estate portfolio to maximize grantmaking to nonprofits—not only in Hawai’i, but throughout the US and in Israel. In addition, we will now be sharing significant news from Hawai‘i as part of this Foundation e-news. We hope you will enjoy these occasional “alohas!”

The Foundation is also starting a separate e-news unique to Hawai‘i, with content tailored just for that community.
More than $9 million in additional new grants announced


Stable housing provides a foundation for individuals, children, and families to lead healthy and productive lives. Without housing, people are unable to focus on education, employment, health care, and meeting other basic needs.

Carrfour Supportive Housing
Miami, FL
$1,600,000 capital grant over two years ($800,000 per year) to support the development of 48 units of affordable housing, including 34 units of supportive housing for LGBTQ older adults with disabilities.

Nazareth Illit, Israel
$650,000 capital grant to support the renovation of a skilled-nursing residence to integrate two new “housing clusters” that follow the Green House model—a more individualized, home-like living environment—and to support the construction of an adjacent day care center that will provide intergenerational after-school programming.

Bridge Meadows
Portland, OR
$500,000 capital grant over two years ($250,000 per year) to support the development of an intergenerational affordable housing community for more than 70 foster youth, adoptive parents, and older adults.

Lincoln Park Community Services
Chicago, IL
$200,000 capital grant to support the construction of 20 permanent supportive housing units and to increase interim housing availability in the Old Town neighborhood.

Episcopal Housing Corporation
Baltimore County, MD
$100,000 Small Grant over two years ($50,000 per year) to support the Epiphany Community Center, previously the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, that provides eviction prevention and rapid re-housing programs.


Good health is essential to help people move and remain out of poverty. Poor physical or mental health can prevent or complicate the pursuit of education, employment, and other opportunities for economic mobility.

Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio
Saint Paul, MN
$750,000 capital grant to support the development of a new Latino Elder Care Center that will enable older adults to age in community through comprehensive supports and services.

Boulder Crest Retreat Foundation
Throughout the United States
$200,000 program grant over two years ($100,000 per year) to support Warrior PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes), an 18-month group program designed to cultivate and facilitate posttraumatic growth among combat veterans (and their families), as well as 18 months of follow-up support through a technology platform with regular phone and video conference calls.

The Institute for the Advancement of Education in Jaffa
Tel Aviv, Israel
$200,000 program grant over two years ($100,000 per year) to support a comprehensive program serving older adults, primarily Holocaust survivors, with the goal of helping them remain independent and maintain a high quality of life.

Ronald McDonald House of Scranton
Scranton, PA
$200,000 capital grant to support the renovation of this organization’s facility in order to increase energy efficiency, soundproof suites, and provide more comfortable care for families during their stay.

Code of Support
Rural Communities throughout the United States
$150,000 program grant over two years ($100,000/$50,000) to support a program that connects struggling military members, veterans, and family members with peer navigators who provide case management services based on their needs.

Bronx, NY
$130,000 program grant over two years ($65,000 per year) to support education services for Latino caregivers of relatives diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Mid-Shore Pro Bono
Eastern Shore, MD
$80,000 program grant to support this organization’s Elder Law Project that provides older adults with comprehensive case management, access to benefits, and legal services.

Northern Illinois Food Bank
Chicago, IL
$65,000 capital grant to support upgrades for this organization’s transportation network, including truck replacements and new routing software.


Employment provides the best opportunity for personal success and financial security. Quality training programs that lead to employment enable individuals and families to achieve economic stability.

Aspire of Illinois
Hillside, IL
$500,000 program grant over two years ($250,000 per year) to support the Weinberg Career Academy that serves adults with developmental disabilities by using simulated work environments and partnerships with key industry leaders to create an innovative, robust business model as a viable alternative to sheltered workshops.

Juma Ventures
San Francisco, CA
$200,000 program grant to support a program that connects participants with their next job, as well as an education pathway to develop the skills and credentials necessary for a long-term career.

EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute
Cleveland, OH
$180,000 capital grant to support this organization’s butcher shop and training center that provides formerly incarcerated individuals with training in the food service and hospitality industries while providing a support network necessary for successful re-entry.


Education can help break the cycle of poverty. Providing at-risk children and youth with academic opportunities helps prepare them for a stable and productive future. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting organizations that provide or supplement a high-quality education from kindergarten through high school.

Youth Villages
Throughout Israel
$1,078,000 in capital grants to support the renovation of dormitories at nine youth villages that house at-risk youth, as part of a national program in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Naor Foundation. The youth villages that received funding for renovations are listed below:

San Francisco, CA
$500,000 operating grant to support the general operations of this organization that provides free, residential STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programming for underrepresented students with the goal of eliminating barriers. https://www.smash.org/

Springboard Collaborative
Baltimore, MD
$200,000 program grant over two years ($100,000 per year) to support an after-school and summer program that works with students, pre-kindergarten through grade three, to improve literacy skills and actively engage parents and caregivers as reading coaches. https://www.springboardcollaborative.org/

Tirat Carmel, Israel
$200,000 capital grant to support the construction of an integrated early childhood center that will include an infant health center, a developmental treatment unit, a training hub for early childhood professionals, and a pre-school classroom. http://hapaotcenter.org.il/?CategoryID=239

The Literacy Lab
Baltimore, MD
$100,000 program grant to support this organization’s intensive literacy program that provides one-on-one daily tutoring to children, age four through grade three. https://theliteracylab.org/

Regis High School
New York, NY
$100,000 program grant to support a program that provides academic and leadership training for middle school students in order to better prepare them for high school and to help secure scholarships. https://www.regis.org/

Next One Up Foundation
Baltimore, MD
$100,000 Small Grant over two years ($50,000 per year) to support the general operations of this organization that provides middle and high school student athletes with long-term mentoring in the classroom while also supporting and advancing their athletic and social development. https://nextoneup.org/

Wide Angle Youth Media
Baltimore, MD
$100,000 Small Grant over two years ($50,000 per year) to support the general operations of this organization that employs youth and provides them with media arts education to tell their own stories and become engaged with their communities. https://www.wideanglemedia.org/

Community Services

The Weinberg Foundation recognizes that certain service providers operate multiple programs that meet a range of basic human needs and span many of the Foundation’s funding priorities. Organizations that provide services bridging the areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, and Education may be eligible for a Community Services grant. The Foundation is also engaged in select initiatives addressing Jewish poverty on a national scale, as well as strengthening the leadership of organizations that serve the Jewish community.

YMCA of Central Maryland
Baltimore, MD
$1,000,000 capital grant over two years ($500,000 per year) to support the capital needs of both The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Y and the Historic Druid Hill Y, in order to create spaces that better meet the City’s need for senior activities, youth development, wellness, and intergenerational program space. https://ymaryland.org/

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
$400,000 operating grant over two years ($200,000 per year) to support the general operations of this organization that offers programs and services in the areas of homelessness, supportive housing, workforce development, and child and family services. https://www.vincentbaltimore.org/

Franciscan Center
Baltimore, MD
$225,000 program grant over two years ($100,000/$125,000) to support this organization’s Responsive Services department, including a comprehensive case management system operated by social workers and housing and employment coordinators who will provide a deeper level of service coordination. http://www.fcbmore.org/

Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies
Throughout the United States
$100,000 Small Grant over two years ($50,000 per year) to support the general operations of this umbrella organization for 140 social service agencies serving Jewish communities. https://www.networkjhsa.org/

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