The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. E-News March 2009


  • Letters of Inquiry will be accepted starting August 1, 2009
  • Community Breakfast Briefing scheduled for Wednesday, July 15, 2009
  • Second year of the Maryland Small Grants Program
  • New Program Area Focus – Basic Human Needs
  • Current Weinberg Grantee Receives Award
  • Recent Grants – 17 grants totaling $23.2 million are approved


As you know, the Weinberg Foundation has taken a pause in reviewing Letters of Inquiry (LOI), the first step in the grant application process. Initially, the Foundation announced it would re-open the process on April 1, but after careful review, the Trustees have determined the pause will remain in place until August 1, 2009.

During the past three years, the Weinberg Foundation has increased both the amount of and the total number of grants awarded each year, as well as the size of its professional grant staff. In the last fiscal year that ended February 28, 2009, the Weinberg Foundation distributed $106.4 million to 609 different nonprofit organizations. Because of the substantial amount of grants already approved for next year, the strong desire to evaluate the effectiveness of the Foundation's prior grant making, and a desire to reassess the state of the volatile economy, the Foundation has extended the pause for accepting Letters of Inquiry.

Information regarding the Letter of Inquiry process and format will be posted on the Weinberg Foundation's website by mid-July. In addition, the Weinberg Foundation will host a community breakfast briefing on July 15, 2009 (more information follows) and will hold conference calls on each specific grant allocation area for those unable to attend the briefing.


In an effort to provide updated information regarding the current state of the grant review process and any new changes that will be in place starting August 1, 2009, you are invited to a Community Breakfast Briefing hosted by the Weinberg Foundation. While this may be most relevant to the nonprofit community, including grant seekers and grantees of the Foundation, anyone is welcome to attend. The Foundation will conduct breakout sessions for each Program Area as well as for the Maryland Small Grants Program. You will have the opportunity to have an open dialogue with the Trustees, Program Directors and Program Officers. The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. Please consider joining us.

THE CENTER CLUB (100 Light Street, Baltimore, MD)
8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

    8:30 a.m. - Light Breakfast Reception and Registration
    9:00 a.m. - Remarks by Weinberg Foundation Trustees
    9:30 a.m. - Breakout Sessions

  • Older Adults
  • Workforce Development
  • Education, Children & Families
  • Disabilities & Health
  • Basic Human Needs (Food Security, Housing & Homelessness)
  • Maryland Small Grants Program
  • General Questions (not specific to a particular area)

    10:30 a.m. - Program Concludes

While the event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend, you must RSVP. Please RSVP to Jennifer Jordan at or 410-654-8500, ext. 210.

If you are unable to attend, or you are located out of the Baltimore area, the Foundation will be scheduling conference calls related to each grant allocation area. Conference call schedule information will be published on the website by July 1, 2009. All calls will take place July 15 – 25, 2009.

Invitations will be mailed to the community and event details can also be viewed on the website by June 1, 2009.


* MSGP is not included in the Foundation's "pause on accepting LOIs" and continues to accept applications.

The Foundation initiated the Maryland Small Grants Program (MSGP) on December 1, 2007 to help eligible nonprofits more easily and efficiently apply for a grant. The MSGP supports nonprofits seeking general operating or program support of up to $50,000 a year for up to two years, or a total maximum grant of $100,000. All that is required is a simple, five page proposal, which the Foundation will quickly review. In most cases it takes only 50 days to go from "Our application is enclosed" to "Your check is in the mail."

The response to the MSGP has been overwhelming. The Foundation is pleased to announce that in the first year of the Maryland Small Grants Program, $5,142,550 was awarded to 171 nonprofit organizations across the state.

There are some restrictions on the geography, size and services of nonprofits. You may find the eligibility details on the Weinberg Foundation's website:

New MSGP Focus: In response to the difficult economic challenges, the Foundation Trustees have determined that for the remainder of 2009, the MSGP will focus its grants to organizations that address basic needs, such as food security, homelessness, health, family security, economic assistance, and workforce development.

The MSGP was launched as a two-year program. After careful review at the one-year mark, the Trustees have made several decisions regarding the program. The main change will be the fact that at the conclusion of two years of funding, the nonprofit grantee may apply for future funding through the standard Foundation full grant application process.


As part of the Foundation's effort to provide further focus and clarity to grant priorities, the Foundation has created a new program area of "Basic Human Needs" by merging the grant areas of food security, homelessness, housing, and economic assistance.

A safety net of services must exist to support the most vulnerable citizens, especially during times of hardship. The Foundation supports programs that meet the basic needs of individuals, families, and communities. Goals of the Basic Human Needs program area include providing:

  1. A safe and stable place to call home.
  2. Access to short-term economic and social service support in times of hardship.
  3. Access to sufficient and nutritious food in the most dignified possible way.

More details will be available on the website by June 2009. The Program Officer who will oversee Basic Human Needs is Amy Kleine, who can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 410-654-8500, ext. 268.


Economic Empowerment for Women (EEW), a Foundation grantee, was awarded the 2008 Speaker of the Knesset Prize: For the Quality of Life in Israel. The EEW received the award for integrating women from the geographic periphery of Israel into the workforce, for its pioneering programs and determination over the years, and its feminist activities on behalf of women. EEW's target population includes low-income women from all over Israel who possess an entrepreneurial spirit but may lack the necessary business training and bank credit to move forward. The Weinberg Foundation's Trustees and staff congratulate EEW on this outstanding achievement. Mazel tov!


The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee – JDC (Israel & the Former Soviet Union)
This year, the Trustees approved a $19 million grant to support JDC. This is the single largest grant the Foundation will provide this year. For many years, the Foundation has stood with the JDC as the largest individual/foundation funder, providing rescue, relief, hope and renewal to distressed and endangered Jews around the world. Through support of the JDC, the Foundation has provided food, medicine, and community services (including home visits) to elderly Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe; supported more than 100,000 destitute elderly Jews in the Former Soviet Union; and built and enriched Jewish community centers in the re-emerging Jewish communities of the Former Soviet Union. In Israel, the Foundation formed a partnership with JDC's ESHEL program to improve the lives of the frail elderly. The Foundation also funds Tevet, a major workforce development initiative in Israel, consisting of approximately 40 workforce development programs throughout the country.

Jewish Community Council of Canarsie (Brooklyn, New York)
The Foundation awarded a $56,000 operating grant to the Jewish Community Council (JCC) of Canarsie, which provides services to more than 7,000 clients each year in the impoverished Greater Canarsie area of Southeast Brooklyn. The JCC of Canarsie provides case management services, operates a kosher food pantry, and delivers meals to homebound older adults. The grant will help the organization distribute 500,000 pounds of non-perishable food, 20,800 prepared meals, and provide 17,000 hours of comprehensive case management services this year. The JCC of Canarsie's case management services have been highly successful at linking clients to other public and private programs, including food security, health care, and housing.

Baltimore Homeless Services (Baltimore, Maryland)
The Foundation has approved a $1.8 million capital grant to Baltimore Homeless Services, part of the Baltimore City government, to construct a 24-hour Housing and Resource Center for homeless men and women. This Center will offer 275 beds, 25 of which will be dedicated to convalescent care, along with supportive services designed to assist people into permanent housing. The Center will be a gateway to stability and self-sufficiency, and will be operated in collaboration with more than a dozen partner agencies. This project is a component of Baltimore City's Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.

Baltimore City Health Department (Baltimore, Maryland)
A $100,000 program grant was made to support Operation Safe Streets, a gun violence prevention program being implemented by the Baltimore City Health Department in partnership with Living Classrooms and Family Health Centers of Baltimore. The program, based on the CeaseFire model in Chicago, has demonstrated promising results and has the potential to reduce homicide rates.

Jewish Vocational Services and Community Workshop (Detroit, Michigan)
Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) of Metro Detroit was awarded a program grant of $125,000 over two years to implement its Older Worker Program. Because the Detroit area has been so dramatically hit by the recession, JVS is responding to increased demand from older workers for job counseling, resume building, job searching, and placement services.

Project Hospitality (Staten Island, New York)
Project Hospitality was awarded a $40,000 program grant for the Moveable Feast Mobile Food Pantry Program. This program is meeting the needs of the most vulnerable residents on Staten Island, especially older adults without other food pantry options. In addition to providing food, the program provides access to a social worker who determines needs, engages in crisis intervention, develops short-term service plans, links people to long-term community-based care, and initiates follow-up and care coordination activities. The Moveable Feast mobile food pantry operates six days a week, Sunday – Friday, and currently serves eight communities.

STRIVE International (New York, New York)
STRIVE International was awarded a one-year grant of $690,000. The funding supports several programs, including operating support for the organization's international headquarters, support for the affiliate network of 20+ organizations, and funds specifically for New York operations. STRIVE's focus has centered almost exclusively on soft skills and job readiness training to prepare the hardest to employ individuals for the workforce. The world is very different today due to shifts in the labor market. STRIVE recognized the emergence of a skills and technology-based economy, which can be very complicated for the hard to employ. Computer training, career development, and above all – hard skills – have been added to create a "job ready" graduate.

House of Ruth (Baltimore, Maryland)
Due to a declining economy and an expected increase in reports of domestic violence, the Weinberg Foundation provided a two-year grant totaling $150,000 to the House of Ruth for its prevention and intervention services, including case management, emergency and transitional shelter, counseling, and legal services.

Ronald McDonald House of Maryland (Baltimore, Maryland)
The Weinberg Foundation has continued its role as the lead "Caring Partner" at the local Ronald McDonald House of Maryland, which provides a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families and helps fund programs that directly improve the well-being of children. In 2008, children were served from 41 states and 26 countries at the Ronald McDonald House. With a three-year grant totaling $370K, the Ronald McDonald House will be able to continue to provide temporary housing and to assist more families with emergency financial assistance. This grant also includes a capital component for the renovation of one room within the Ronald McDonald House.

Youth Renewal Fund (Israel)
A two-year grant totaling $200,000 was given to Youth Renewal Fund (YRF) for academic after-school programs. These programs reach over 5,000 children in grades 1-12 throughout 10 communities in Israel. YRF has created a positive impact on school attendance, school retention, and test scores. YRF also provides professional development for teachers in the program, who are able to apply their learning during the regular school day.

Higher Achievement Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland)
The Weinberg Foundation is pleased to be the first local, lead donor for Higher Achievement with a two-year grant totaling $225,000. The Baltimore project is the first expansion of this quality year-round out-of-school program that started in Washington, D.C. The program will serve 160 poor and underserved students. The results should demonstrate increased students' grades, test scores, school attendance, and advancement into top high schools.

Urban Alliance (Baltimore, Maryland)
While already supporting the Urban Alliance program in Washington, D.C., the Weinberg Foundation became the first local donor of a pilot expansion program in two Baltimore area high schools with a $100,000 challenge grant. Urban Alliance provides life-skills and job readiness workshops each week and places students in paid internships that are part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer. The program also includes college/career planning assistance and financial literacy workshops. The program has resulted in a positive impact on graduation rates, post-secondary enrollment, and improvement of hard and soft job skills needed upon graduation.

New Vision Youth Services (Baltimore, Maryland)
As part of the Foundation's focus to improve school safety, the New Vision Youth Services (NVYS) Violence Free Zone Project was given a $50,000 challenge grant aimed to improve academic performance, school attendance, and life skills of at-risk and high-risk high school students. The program has resulted in a reduction in suspensions and expulsions and is expected to decrease gang incidents and violence.

Recent Grant Awards

Coalition Homes
Coalition Homes, an affiliate of Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, received a two-year grant in the amount of $75,000 to serve its previously homeless tenants. Currently, Coalition Homes serves 41 households in individual and family units. The agency is also participating in a pilot program to provide permanent housing to 16 individuals identified as frequent users of medical and/or corrections systems.

Homeless Persons Representation Project
Homeless Persons Representation Project was awarded a $100,000 grant over two years to provide free legal representation for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Direct representation in legal disputes is accomplished through the work of a small group of staff attorneys and a larger panel of volunteer, pro bono attorneys. In 2007, the organization closed 1,083 cases.

Maryland Credit Union Foundation
Maryland Credit Union Foundation received a one-year $30,000 grant to support their Bilingual Teller Training and Employment Program. This program provides career training and job placement for low-income, bilingual, under-employed, documented immigrant populations in Maryland.

Baltimore Child Abuse Center
Baltimore Child Abuse Center received a $100,000 grant over two years to provide victims of child sexual abuse interviews, medical treatment, referrals, and crisis counseling in a supportive, child-friendly setting. During 2008, the organization conducted 793 forensic interviews, 352 forensic medical examinations, and made 538 referrals for mental health treatment – all at no cost to families.


The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation's 2008 Annual Report is now available on line
Click Here

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