e-news June 26, 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!


Recap of inaugural meeting for National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty

National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty

In March at the National Convening on Jewish Poverty in San Francisco, the Weinberg Foundation announced a three-year grant to support an affinity group, led by the Jewish Funders Network (JFN), which would seek to build a community of learning and action focused on fighting poverty within the Jewish community.

This affinity group met for the first time on June 11 in Chicago. More than 65 leaders from across 21 US cities (and one from Canada) represented direct service agencies and other nonprofits, foundations, Jewish Federations, media outlets, and other types of organizations. The goal of this initial meeting was to facilitate a conversation about what we could achieve as a group, as well as how to structure such a large, multi-sectoral collaborative.

Attendees were split into six interactive breakout groups, where they came up with concrete goals and next steps for the affinity group. Key themes from the day included the need to assemble reliable and uniform data; to change the narrative around Jewish poverty; to develop, aggregate, and share best practices and models of poverty alleviation; and to build a comprehensive Jewish poverty advocacy agenda.

We look forward to keeping you posted on the work of this group over the coming months as its structure develops.


New study, funded by the Weinberg Foundation, finds that the Jewish community has been undercounting people of color who are Jewish

Jews of Color Field Building Initiative

Researchers at Stanford University and the University of San Francisco examined 25 population studies of American Jews and found that many failed to ask about race or sampled respondents in ways that likely undercounted nonwhite Jews. Using three of the most comprehensive surveys that did ask about race and ethnicity, the researchers said they could roughly estimate that 12-15 percent of American Jews are people of color.

The report, funded by a Weinberg Foundation grant and released earlier this month, was commissioned by the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, an organization that seeks to advance and educate about Jews of color. The report comes at a time when the Jewish community is increasingly paying attention to questions of race and diversity. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), the Reform movement, the Jewish Renewal movement, the Jewish Women’s Archive, and Repair the World are among the organizations that have launched initiatives or said they are focusing on educating and promoting diversity in the Jewish community.

The surveys used to come up with the estimate—the American Jewish Population Project, or AJPP, and community surveys done in New York in 2011 and San Francisco in 2017—found a range of 10-14 percent Jews of color. The three surveys included data on people who self-identify as nonwhite, mixed race, or Hispanic. The AJPP counted about 11 percent of Jews in this category.


New study reveals HUBS program effective in helping older adults age in place


Weinberg Foundation grantee Civic Works recently completed a study (performed by IMPAQ International) to determine the effectiveness of the Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors (HUBS) program that provides home modifications and repairs, as well as wraparound services, for low-income older adults in Baltimore who wish to remain independent.

Created in 2015, HUBS has coordinated resources and helped to streamline the application process for services, eliminating a backlog of 600 low-income older adults waiting for home modifications and repairs. To date, HUBS has served more than 1,400 homeowners.  These clients were connected, not with generalized support, but with tailored outreach from social workers and occupational therapists that focused on specific needs.

The study found that for every dollar of the $7 million that the Weinberg Foundation has invested in home repairs and safety modifications for HUBS, $1.80 in mostly public healthcare costs—a total of $12.6 million—has been saved. The evaluation also cited several other positive results of the HUBS program:

  • 67 percent of older adults served by HUBS reported feeling safer in their home, as well as feeling more confident leaving their home to shop, volunteer, exercise—simply to be part of the community.
  • 62 percent reported improved mobility entering and exiting the home.
  • Fewer falls and less social isolation; improved physical endurance, strength, and daily activity performance; and reduced financial burdens and anxiety related to home maintenance.    

To learn more about this study and the importance of programs like HUBS, check out our latest blog post!


SummerREADS returns to Library Project schools!


This 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.


Ronald McDonald House Charities Maryland celebrates grand opening of new house

Ronald McDonald House

The Weinberg Foundation recently celebrated the grand opening of the new Ronald McDonald House in the Jonestown neighborhood of Baltimore.

Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President and CEO, and a group of colleagues represented the Foundation at the ceremony and open house.

This new facility will continue to provide a home-away-from-home to families with seriously ill or injured children; however, it more than doubles the occupancy of the former house—serving 2,200 families annually.


Weinberg Foundation responds to feedback to improve applicant and grantee experience

Weinberg Foundation Logo

In 2017, the Foundation participated in a Center for Effective Philanthropy survey that provided feedback from applicants and grantees. More than 500 organizations received the survey, and the response rates included 71 percent of grantees surveyed and 51 percent of declined applicants surveyed.

As a result, the Foundation has instituted several changes over the last year, in order to improve the applicant and grantee experience:

  • A new strategic grantmaking framework, which reduced the number of funding goals from more than 30 down to 14. As a result, the Foundation is engaging in more proactive and impactful grantmaking than ever before.
  • A streamlined grant application process via a fully-automated online grants intake tool for both the Letter of Inquiry and full grant application. This new system provides easier access to the Foundation, as well as a series of eligibility questions for greater efficiency.
  • A shortened and more user-friendly standard grant agreement.
  • A plan to conduct earlier and more frequent site visits.
  • More convenings, from small meetings to large events, such as the recent Jewish Poverty Convening in San Francisco.

The Foundation plans to conduct another survey in 2021 so that we can continue to improve our processes and better serve our grantees. We are committed to efficiency, transparency, communication, and professionalism. If you receive another survey request, your participation would be greatly appreciated.

More than $20 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.

Episcopal Housing Corporation
Baltimore, MD
$1,600,000 capital grant to support the construction of a 76-unit affordable housing project, with 20 units of permanent supportive housing specifically set aside for those exiting homelessness.

Volunteers of America Chesapeake
Havre de Grace, MD
$500,000 capital grant to support the development of a 37-unit affordable townhome project, with seven units specifically set aside for people with disabilities.

Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Human Services
Baltimore, MD
$250,000 program grant to support Built for Zero, a national effort that works to develop real-time data on homelessness, optimize local housing resources, track progress, and accelerate the replication of proven strategies with the goal of ending veteran homelessness.

Main Street Housing
Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Talbot Counties, MD
$230,000 capital grant to support the purchase and renovation of three properties into 10 units of affordable housing for people with mental illness.

Youth Empowered Society
Baltimore, MD
$160,000 program grant to support this organization’s efforts to move youth from homelessness to stability by connecting them to employment or educational opportunities, housing, and health care.

St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
Baltimore, MD
$75,000 operating grant to support this organization’s Host Home program that addresses the housing challenges faced by youth experiencing homelessness.

Family Promise of North Shore
Chicago, IL
$25,000 Small Grant to support this organization that provides emergency housing and case management services for families experiencing homelessness.


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.

Asian Health Services
Oakland, CA
$750,000 capital grant to support a pediatric and family care center, as well as an urgent care and medical triage clinic to meet the increased demand for services.

Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
New York, NY
$500,000 capital grant to support the construction of a SAGE center at Crotona Senior Residences, an LGBT-focused affordable housing development, that will provide support services for older adults, allowing them to age in their communities with independence and dignity.

Comprehensive Senior Care Corporation
Portage, MI
$300,000 capital grant to support the renovation of a new PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) center—an alternative to long-term institutional care for those 55 and over who have chronic medical needs but are able to live safely in their homes with support.

Regional Community Partners
Rural Arizona
$300,000 program grant to support the development of a new rural transportation incubator that will provide and strengthen transportation services for older adults.

Women’s Courtyard
Haifa, Jaffa, and Netanya, Israel
$160,000 operating grant over two years ($85,000/$75,000) to support the general operations of this organization that provides vulnerable women and girls with comprehensive case management and critical wrap-around services.

Baltimore, MD
$50,000 Small Grant to support the expansion of this organization’s programs in partnership with home-visiting programs, which provide diapers and other essential items for children and families.


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.

Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center
East Hills, NY
$315,000 capital grant to support the renovation of a facility that will serve as this organization’s vocational training and employment center for young adults with disabilities with the goal of helping them secure gainful and sustainable employment.

Baltimore City Foundation
Baltimore, MD
$300,000 program grant to support YouthWorks, the City's summer jobs program operated by the Mayor's Office on Employment Development.

Jewish Child and Family Services
Chicago, IL
$200,000 program grant over two years ($100,000 per year) to support job-training and placement services for at-risk youth and to deliver customized employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Brooklyn, NY
$120,000 capital grant to support the renovation of this organization’s new headquarters and job-training space.

Women’s Spirit
Tel Aviv, Israel
$110,000 program grant ($60,000/$50,000) to support the Crossing the Street program that provides survivors of gender-based violence with one-on-one comprehensive case management, as well as employment and financial coaching.

La Cocina
Arlington, VA
$100,000 capital grant to support the renovation of this organization’s Zero Barriers Training and Entrepreneurship Center that trains and places veterans into jobs in the food service industry.

Caroline Friess Center
Baltimore, MD
$95,000 capital grant
to support critical facilities and equipment upgrades that will deepen the organization’s capacity for preparing program graduates for a seamless entry into the professional health care industry.

Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC)
Baltimore, MD
$15,000 capital grant to support the replacement of welding equipment and to provide personal protective equipment to trainees, a requirement for starting a job, as part of this organization’s job training programs.

Maryland Works
Throughout Maryland
$80,000 Small Grant over two years ($40,000 per year) to support ACRE (Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators) training for this organization’s direct support professionals.

Citywide Youth Development
Baltimore, MD
$50,000 Small Grant to support the EMAGE (Entrepreneurs Making and Growing Enterprise) program that provides young adults with industrial sewing skills needed for careers in apparel manufacturing, embroidery and screen printing careers, as well as life skills, creative initiative, and mentorship.

Stepping Stones Shelter
Baltimore, MD
$50,000 Small Grant to support the expansion of this emergency shelter’s partnership with CareerCatchers, which provides job-training and placement services for families experiencing homelessness.


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.

Teach For America * Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
$800,000 program grant to support this organization’s programming that provides recruitment, selection, training, and ongoing support for college graduates who teach pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

Chicago, IL
$300,000 operating grant over two years ($150,000 per year) to support the general operations of this organization that enlists and trains the nation’s best educators to teach high school students how to enroll in and succeed in college.

Art with a Heart
Baltimore, MD
$150,000 program grant to support this organization’s out-of-school time programs: HeART Works and the Art of Leadership—jobs and leadership programs for teens—as well as after-school and summer enrichment classes for students kindergarten through grade eight.

Baltimore, MD
$100,000 program grant to support the replication of this organization’s program that matches every junior in its partner schools with a college-educated mentor who is equipped to guide them to post-secondary success.

SMART (Schools Mentoring and Resource Team)
San Francisco, CA
$75,000 operating grant to support the general operations of this organization—a comprehensive eight-year program that provides students, grades four through 12, and their families with academic, financial, and social-emotional support, as well as college preparation and career exploration.

Young Audiences of Maryland
Baltimore, MD
$75,000 operating grant to support the general operations of this organization that provides free summer learning opportunities, including literacy and math, for students, kindergarten through grade eight.

MERIT (Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens)
Baltimore, MD
$50,000 capital grant to support the renovation of a new office space for this organization that provides academic and internship assistance for students who want to pursue college tracks and careers in health care.

Raising a Reader
Baltimore, MD
$20,000 operating grant to support the general operations of this organization that works to promote family engagement through reading.

Building Science Technology and Education Partnerships (Building STEPS)
Baltimore, MD 
$50,000 Small Grant to support the general operations of this organization that provides high school students with the tools needed to enroll in and graduate from college through STEM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) seminars, paid summer internships, college access workshops, and alumni services.

Jewish Teen Advancement Program
Baltimore, MD
$50,000 Small Grant to support an out-of-school time program for young Jewish women—primarily from Haredi backgrounds—that includes homework assistance, educational programming, counseling/support, and other wraparound services.

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.

Techsoup Global
San Francisco, CA
$300,000 capital grant to support NGOsource—a program that streamlines international grantmaking for US-based funders using a new state-of-the-art web application with the goal of serving Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) more efficiently.

Foundation for Jewish Camp
Throughout the United States
$12,000,000 capital/program ($10,000,000/$2,000,000) grant to support capital improvements, professional development, staff training, and evaluation at Jewish summer camps with the goal of improving accessibility for campers and staff with disabilities.

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Owings Mills, MD 21117
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