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The Foundation supports a vibrant Jewish and general community in San Diego and Israel, as well as causes both nationally and internationally.

We provide giving ideas focused around a general cause. Our collective approach allows for larger grants to make an even bigger difference.

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Funding Opportunities

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Detroit Floods: How to Help

Historic Flooding Has Paralyzed Detroit – You Can Help!

Recently, metropolitan Detroit has been inundated with massive rainfall leading to historic flooding, which overwhelmed freeways and surface streets, stranded motorists, destroyed vehicles, and flooded homes and businesses.

The Jewish Federation of San Diego County is mobilizing to provide the local community with much-needed support. Emergency aid raised will be used to provide financial need beyond the current scope of those already assisting these families. Federation works hand in hand with those already on the ground to help families in Detroit rebuild and restore their homes and communities.

100% of all contributions will go to the Detroit Flood Emergency Fund.

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Providing Aid to Israel

Summer 2014

The last weeks have seen instability, terror and casualties throughout Israel. Over 700 rockets have been fired at Israel with some reaching the Tel Aviv area and even Jerusalem. Rockets were also fired Friday for the first time in this conflict from neighboring Lebanon.

As many as three-quarters of the Israeli population is threatened, who rush to take refuge in bomb shelters at a moment’s notice. The people of Israel are struggling with the physical, emotional and psychological impact of rocket fire.

If you would like to make a grant from your fund to contribute toward relief efforts, please see the giving opportunities below. We will continue to monitor the effects of the fires and provide updates on further needs in our community as necessary.

The Jewish Federation of San Diego  stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel at this critical time. Your donation will help our partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to move children in the strike zones out of harm’s way, provide trauma counseling for those living in terror, and help those whose homes, and lives, have been destroyed.

American Friends of Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance and medical relief service, has treated over 150 cases. Magen David Adom paramedics are out amid the violence, searching for people injured near blast sites and evacuating Israelis suffering from everything from shrapnel wounds to cardiac issues, trauma, and other stress-related disorders. There is particular need for special medical equipment, oxygen masks, blood services supplies and communications systems.

The Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) provide special support and services to members of the military particularly lone soldiers, offering care packages, respite care, and extra support. Funds raised by FIDF during this operation will be targeted to those soldiers on the front and their families.

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San Diego Fires – How to Help

The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego extends its deepest sympathy and support to our fellow San Diego residents affected by the recent fires.

We are grateful to the organizations that extended their resources beyond their usual programs to provide emergency and first response services. If you would like to make a grant from your fund to contribute toward relief efforts, please see the giving opportunities below. We will continue to monitor the effects of the fires and provide updates on further needs in our community as necessary.

2-1-1 San Diego mobilized over 800 volunteers to field tens of thousands of calls, dispelling rumors about the fires with round-the-clock safety, emergency and evacuation information.

San Diego Regional Fire Foundation supplied necessary new equipment and resources to firefighters.

American Red Cross of San Diego / Imperial Counties provided first response services to individuals and assessed community needs.

Jewish Family Service distributes food and personal supplies monthly at Camp Pendleton, an area surrounded by multiple fires.

YMCA of San Diego offered free emergency childcare at several locations during school closures due to evacuations and precautions.

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Unrest in Ukraine – Relief Efforts

The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego extends its support to the people of Ukraine during this unpredictable time of political and economic crisis. Ukraine has one of the largest Jewish populations in the world, estimated to be around 300,000. There are approximately 17,000 Jews in Crimea.

The impact of this crisis on the weakest members of society, including thousands of elderly Jews, is devastating. As a result, the needs across the Jewish community are growing significantly.

If you would like to make a grant from your fund to contribute toward relief efforts, the following organizations are providing aid on the ground.

Jewish Federation of San Diego

The Jewish Federation is directing urgent support to Jews in Ukraine. 100% of the funds granted will support those in need. Jewish Federations of North America and its global partners, including World ORT and the Jewish Agency, continue to assess the evolving situation on the ground.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has activated its emergency response network aimed at helping the neediest within Crimea’s ethnically mixed peninsula’s Jewish community to ensure continued home deliveries of food, medicine, heating and cooking fuel, and sustained life-saving care at home for the elderly. Having worked in the region since 1924, JDC has also increased security at select Jewish communal institutions and Hesed social welfare centers.

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Super Typhoon Haiyan Relief Effort

The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego extends its support to the people of the Philippines as they face catastrophic destruction from Super Typhoon Haiyan, described as the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history. Nearly 9.5 million people have been affected, with over 600,000 displaced, and an anticipated death toll of 10,000.

It is meaningful to note that the Philippines offered safe haven to more than 1,000 Jewish refugees during World War II. As a community, it is a privilege to honor that historic debt. In fact, the Israel Defense Forces are currently there providing assistance, including search, rescue and medicine.

If you would like to contribute toward relief efforts, the following organizations are providing aid on the ground.

Jewish Federation of San Diego

The Jewish Federation is mobilizing a communal response. 100% of funds raised will support relief efforts by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

The International Medical Corps

The International Medical Corps emergency teams have been coordinating with partners on the ground, looking to fulfill basic needs such as food, water and medicine, as well as ensuring sanitation, hygiene and infection control are priorities.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Education in San Diego and Israel

STEM education is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that bridges science, technology, engineering and mathematics with real-world, problem-based learning. STEM education removes barriers between the four disciplines it comprises by integrating them into one cohesive teaching and learning paradigm. Such an interdisciplinary approach is necessary to prepare students, as new innovations and inventions tend to be made at the intersections of these four disciplines. Read more on the topic in this white paper prepared for the Jewish Community Foundation and click ‘more’ below to find out about granting opportunities in San Diego and Israel. In addition, find an overview of how the US and Israel rank with science and math test scores from Gerald Solomon, Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation.

SAN DIEGO
Broadcom MASTERS
Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) is the national science, technology, engineering, and math competition for U.S. 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. It is a program of the organization Society for Science & the Public, and inspires and encourages the nation’s young scientists, engineers and innovators. Nominees enter the competition by completing an application explaining their science project and demonstrating their use of STEM principles in the development and presentation of their project. Competition finalists showcase their projects for the public and compete as teams in hands-on STEM activities.

CONNECT
CONNECT’s STEM program, Entrepreneurs for Young Innovators, inspires middle and high school students to pursue careers in life sciences and technology by introducing them to local entrepreneurs with exciting technology products. Local CEOs visit classrooms to tell their stories, describe their companies, demonstrate the products they are creating and explain how STEM classes can help prepare for college and rewarding careers in technology.
The CONNECT summer internship program inspires high school students to work in the field of computer science and programming. Interns are matched with a host company for a 6 week-long internship and present a summary of their work experience to the CONNECT community.
CONNECT reached 2,500 students by the end of the 2012-13 school year. Since 2010 (inception of the program), CONNECT has visited 30 schools and organizations and has reached 6,200+ students.

Elementary Institute of Science
Housed in a 15,000 square foot facility in South San Diego, the Elementary Institute of Science (EIS) is a science enrichment program dedicated to nurturing the intellectual curiosity of San Diego’s children by providing hands-on experiences to stimulate an ongoing appreciation and understanding of science, technology and the environment. EIS classes take place in a lab setting with no more than 10 students working with an instructor. Labs focus on the areas of chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, health, natural science, photography and technology.

Math for America San Diego
Math for America San Diego (MƒA SD) supports highly trained, exemplary math teachers who are dedicated to improving mathematics achievement in secondary schools throughout San Diego County. Founded in 2008 by a consortium of educators concerned about the quality of local mathematics education, MƒA SD seeks to attract, train and retain new and experienced teachers who are committed to helping their students understand and appreciate mathematics.
MƒA SD’s five-year fellowship is designed to:
• improve the retention rate of math teachers in high-need and urban secondary schools,
• expand teacher content knowledge and improve instructional skills, and
• increase student desire and ability to understand mathematics.
To date, MƒA SD has 43 fellowship recipients teaching in 33 schools in 10 districts throughout the region. The program is the recipient of two National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship Program awards and is supported by local private funding.
MƒA SD is a consortium of three partner universities – California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) – and five local school districts – Escondido Union High School District, Grossmont Union High School District, Oceanside Unified High School District, San Diego Unified School District and Vista Unified School District.

Ocean Discovery Institute
For the past decade, Ocean Discovery Institute (ODI) has been empowering urban and diverse young people to protect our ocean and natural environment, improve the health of our communities, and strengthen our quality of life. ODI is the only nonprofit in the San Diego region expressly dedicated to educating urban and diverse youth through ocean science.
All of the primary concepts in science and conservation can be taught through ocean science. Using the ocean, an extraordinary educational resource intrinsic to San Diego, as an educational tool capitalizes on young people’s instinctive attraction to the sea and builds knowledge of our planet’s defining feature.
ODI’s initiatives combine education, scientific research, and environmental stewardship. Currently these tuition-free initiatives reach 5,000+ low-income students each year, including school-based programs and a series of interconnected after-school and summer programs and support services for middle school, high school and college age youth. To ensure continued effectiveness, a professional external evaluator conducts regular program assessments.

San Diego Science Alliance
San Diego Science Alliance (SDSA) strives to improve K-12 science education in San Diego County, delivering quality experiential programs, building bridges between the region’s diverse business, education and scientific research communities, and fostering public/private partnerships to increase science literacy. It reaches 30,000 K-12 students annually in every school district in San Diego County. SDSA delivers innovative and engaging science programs, such as a High Tech Fair and Robotics Education, responsive to the interests and needs of K-12 students, teachers and community partners.
BE WiSE, a program of the SDSA, invites girls in seventh and eighth grades to Science Overnights at local science institutions to explore their interests in science, hosts events for BE WiSE alumnae in high school to encourage their selection of more courses in science and math, and exposes these girls to adult women scientists who share their knowledge about, passion for, and experiences with science and engineering careers. Events are scheduled throughout the academic year and during the summer, when more intensive experiences are offered.

SciTech, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
The Fleet Science Center aspires to inspire and educate students and teachers through a hands-on approach to science education that will feed and maintain a steady pipeline of STEM-capable graduates and life-long science learners.
The Fleet Science Center’s SciTech program:
• Is an after-school outreach program for girls in fourth through twelfth grades.
• Focuses on underserved girls in San Diego-area schools.
• Uses project-based classes that help girls to make concrete connections to everyday life as they develop creative thinking and problem solving skills.
• Adheres to a project-based format, with every four to six sessions focusing on a different scientific project or challenge. This format has proven successful because it allows for the integration of science with other subject areas.
• Classes are taught by the Fleet’s science education staff, with input and collaboration from classroom teachers at each of the eight school sites.
• Integrates girls at the middle and high school levels as mentors for younger girls.
• Expects that girls show increased knowledge of basic science and technology concepts, improved science self-concepts and attitudes, and expanded awareness of STEM-related career opportunities.

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
UCSD’s CREATE STEM Success encompasses its STEM outreach programs and is focused on improving and networking UCSD’s resources for the K-20 STEM education pipeline in San Diego. This initiative facilitates their integration, improvement, and collective impact.
Among the many STEM outreach services are the following:
• Jacobs School of Engineering: The Center for Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence, and Advancement (IDEA Student Center) at the Jacobs School of Engineering is committed to fostering a supportive environment for diverse engineering students as well as increasing K-14 student knowledge and awareness of engineering.
• Division of Physical Sciences: The California Teach program provides a deeper, richer understanding of mathematics and science, while enhancing the ability to effectively communicate mathematical and scientific ideas to others.
• Qualcomm Institute: The myLab Program combines engineering, art and technology with hands-on experience to inspire passion in engineering. myLab Program partners with university colleagues to provide undergraduate workshops, internships, and K-12 outreach.
• The UC San Diego Academic Connections pre-college program connects high-achieving high school students with college subject matter courses led by graduate students in a wide array of academic disciplines, renowned UCSD faculty researchers and experts in the fields.
• The Preuss School Science Enrichment Program offers activities that will inspire interest and engagement in science as a field of study and as a career for Preuss students. It focuses on three projects: 1) Biotechnology Labs, 2) Science Fair Tutorial and 3) Girls in Science.

SAN DIEGO JEWISH DAY SCHOOLS
San Diego Jewish Academy
The San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) Science Department aims to create lifelong learners of science who are inspired to question and understand the world. Middle and high school students are guided on an adventure through hands-on laboratory activities, group interactions, lectures, and on-campus visitations by specialists in their fields. STEM students grow in confidence as they pursue their own ideas and interact within the scientific community. Students apply creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to their projects.
In the high school’s two- to three-year STEM program, self-driven students work as individuals or teams on STEM research and development projects. Students may develop projects onsite at SDJA or elsewhere in San Diego with the guidance of external mentors.
Students compete at high-level county, state, country and international STEM competitions. Through this award-winning program, three winners placed in the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, which is considered the top high school science fair in the world, and one placed first in the 2012 Google Science Fair.

Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School is the latest school to join the ranks of prestigious private schools to adopt Singapore’s national math curriculum. Students understand the concepts and make connections between the numbers and learn how to do mental calculations. The program uses visual elements such as model-drawings and picture-based problem solving and moves quickly from pictorial illustration to abstract concepts. The children are encouraged to learn through discovery and to use a variety of manipulatives that enhance concept development. They will develop understanding and insight into the patterns of mathematics through use of concrete materials, learning through discovery and an environment of positive reinforcement. They are taught to see the relationships and interconnections of mathematical ideas and concepts.
Standardized tests show that Soille is graduating young men and women who demonstrate achievement in line with students in the finest schools in America.


ISRAEL
Ahed — The Association of Academics for the Development of Arab Society in The Negev
The Ahed is an organization of local Negev Bedouin academics, public servants and university graduates dedicated to advancing the Negev Bedouin community. The school aims to enable its students to participate in the broad high tech era as fully achieving equals and to move toward being fully participating members of Israeli society and the global economic future. It is believed that the creation of this school is the single most important action that can be done to raise the overall level in the Negev Bedouin community.
Ahed aims to cultivate excellence and rigor combined with leadership development, social awareness and civic responsibility, while the objective of this endeavor is to enable acceptance of Bedouin students to the exact and bio-sciences faculties of leading Israeli universities.

Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem
The Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem is an informal cultural and educational institution that presents exhibitions consisting of interactive exhibits on subjects of science and technology, and integrates these exhibits into a context through a wide range of educational activities.
The goals of the museum are to increase interest among the general public in science and technology in the world around us, to promote excellence in sciences among youth, and to present science and technology as an integral part of human culture. It hosts a Young Science Contest and a Science Café, a way for children to explore science in a format less rigid than the classroom-and-desks environment.

Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education
Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) programs help students master scientific language and concepts, tackling real-world problems in science and engineering through inquiry-based learning and hands-on projects. Initiatives include Science Labs for hands-on learning, math tournaments and virtual competitions, engineering-related study, career preparation and Teacher Training and Professional Development for teachers to ensure maximum impact of STEM education.

Center for Educational Technology
In its 40 years of activity, Center for Educational Technology (CET) has invested significant resources in carrying out its social mission, and has established its expertise and reputation in the education system in Israel. Main areas of activities are: development of state-of-the-art textbooks and digital content, establishment of rich websites using top-of-the-line technologies, paving new ways in professional development for educational staff and creating online environments and tools for assessment & evaluation. CET adapts products, services and programs to the needs of every population segment: Israeli-born and immigrant students, students from metropolitan and peripheral communities, Hebrew speakers and Arabic speakers alike – taking into account the needs and values unique to each community.

Friends of Ofanim
Ofanim converts buses into mobile classrooms and introduces at-risk youth to the highest quality instructors and after-school enrichment programs in computers, science, math, English, and two new robotics programs co-sponsored by the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in the North and Ben Gurion University in the South. Founded by Israeli social and business entrepreneur Haim Dahan, Ofanim’s inspiring vision is to empower the next generation of Israeli leaders, scientists and entrepreneurs.

World ORT
In 2007, World ORT embarked on a cutting-edge program, Science Journey – Kadima Mada, to redefine science and technology education in Israel, specifically in the periphery. Established in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education, this multi-faceted program combines state-of-the art, interactive classrooms and progressive science and technology learning with critical investment in advanced teacher training.

Today, Kadima Mada is active in over 165 schools, has trained and assisted some 3,300 teachers and serves over 100,000 pupils in under resourced areas. World ORT provides support for smart classrooms, science and technology centers throughout Israel and mobile science exhibitions.

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Colorado Wildfires Relief Effort

The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego extends its deepest sympathy and support to the people of the Colorado Springs area in the wake of the wildfire that killed two people and burned nearly 500 homes. The fire, which is still not contained, has consumed over 14,000 acres. It has been termed the most destructive fire in Colorado state history.

If you would like to provide assistance to those impacted by this crisis, please see the giving opportunity below.

Jewish Federation of San Diego

The Jewish Federation has opened a mailbox to gather aid for Colorado wildfire victims. Funds will be directed to the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado’s Colorado Fire Relief Fund. The fund will support Jewish and non-Jewish families affected by the fire through financial donations to agencies at the heart of the situation, as well as support first responders who are combating the fires. One hundred percent of the funds donated will support relief efforts on the ground.

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Oklahoma Tornado Relief

The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego extends its deepest sympathy and support to the people of the Oklahoma City area in the wake of the massive tornado that killed at least two dozen people, injured scores of others and devastated entire neighborhoods. The suburb of Moore bore the brunt of the killer storm. The twister flattened an elementary school, killing seven children. More than 100 people have been pulled from the rubble of residences and commercial buildings, according to news reports.

If you would like to provide assistance to those impacted by this crisis, please see below for funding opportunities.

Jewish Federation of San Diego

The Jewish Federation has opened a mailbox to gather aid for Oklahoma tornado victims. Funds will be directed to the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City. One hundred percent of the funds donated will support relief efforts on the ground. The local Federation is coordinating initiatives on the ground with longtime partners, including the local food bank, Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross.

Operation USA

Los Angeles-based international relief agency Operation USA is providing emergency aid where needed to community-based health organizations across Oklahoma in the wake of the tornado. Operation USA is readying essential material aid– emergency, shelter and cleaning supplies– to send to where it’s most needed. Any funds collected for the disaster will be spent in Oklahoma helping community health organizations and schools recover from damage sustained from the severe storm system.

Since 1979, Operation USA has worked in 100 countries, delivering over $400 million for relief and development projects. The organization provided millions of dollars in supplies as well as cash grants to Gulf Coast community health clinics in order to address the needs of those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Operation USA also aided community clinics in Joplin, Missouri following a deadly tornado that struck the area in 2011. Material and monetary aid provided in the wake of these disasters ensured the clinics’ continuity of operations and allowed them to provide critical disaster relief and social services to affected communities.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is Oklahoma’s largest private hunger-relief organization. In the last fiscal year, the Food Bank distributed 42.2 million pounds of food and product through a network of nearly 1,000 partner agencies and schools throughout 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. The Regional Food Bank provides enough food to feed more than 90,000 people each week – nearly half of which are children. The Food Bank is supporting tornado victims with needed food and supplies.

Disaster Grantmaking Resources:

  • Tips for Giving in Times of Crisis, Charity Navigator. 10 quick reminders to make sure your emergency giving has the most impact. Read more »
  • We Were There: The Role of Philanthropy in National Disasters, Council on Foundations. Four stories of how philanthropy responded to national disasters and focused on long-term solutions. Read the PDF »
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Newtown Community Response

Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) is a licensed mental health clinic providing psychiatric assessments, therapy and medication management to children and adults in Newtown and surrounding areas. The organization is currently providing ongoing grief counseling to area residents.

Counseling treatment is tailored to individual needs as NYFS serves clients with a wide variety of concerns including, but not limited to, children’s behavioral problems, parenting concerns, anxiety, depression, anger, family or couples’ relationship problems, bereavement, stress, divorce and substance abuse.

United Way of Western Connecticut is committed to providing support and resources where and when they become identified and needed. It has created the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to support services to the families and community affected by this crisis. There will be no United Way management fees attached to any donations for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown has created a fund, “For the Family of Noah Pozner,” a six year-old victim of the shooting. All funds collected will go directly to the family to help support them during this terrible time.

The Jewish Federation of San Diego County, in coordination with the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, has launched a fund to provide comfort to those affected by last week’s tragedy in Sandy Hook. 100% of tax deductible donations will be distributed to support counseling services and to clergy who are working with the affected families and individuals.

National Opportunities:
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a nationwide grassroots mental health organization working since 1979 to help build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, support and research. It is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness, building a community of hope for all of those in need. NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities.

Through its advocacy and public education programs, NAMI has been the driving force behind a national investment in lifesaving research, parity for mental health care and increased housing for the mentally ill. NAMI’s awareness efforts have successfully addressed the stigma of mental illness, ensuring the decrease of barriers to treatment and recovery. Through the toll-free NAMI HelpLine, organization representatives respond personally to hundreds of thousands of requests each year, providing free referrals, information and support. It is a much-needed lifeline for many who have nowhere else to turn.

Mental Health America (MHA) is a national advocacy organization addressing the full spectrum of mental and substance abuse conditions and their effects. For nearly 100 years, MHA has worked to inform, advocate and enable access to quality behavioral health services for all Americans, with the goal of allowing all to live healthier lives. The organization’s 240 affiliates in 41 states represent a potent voice for healthy communities. MHA works to educate members of the public about ways to preserve and strengthen their mental health; fights for access to effective care and ending discrimination against people with mental and addictive disorders; fosters innovation in research, practice, services and policy; while helping to provide support to the 60+ million individuals and families living with mental health and substance abuse challenges.

MHA’s public policy and advocacy work supports efforts and seeks actions at the congressional and state levels that promote mental health and ensure an integrated, comprehensive and accessible system of care for individuals with mental health or substance abuse conditions. The organization provides extensive and regular legislative and policy alerts, advocacy newsletters and issue updates.

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Hurricane Sandy Response

Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc in the lives of hundreds of thousands in the Eastern Seaboard, Haiti, Cuba and the Caribbean. Many have been left homeless by the storm and face significant hardship in the rebuilding process. Almost 400,000 people in Haiti and the Caribbean were already living in shelter and tent camps after the 2010 earthquake, and the hurricane has destroyed even their temporary dwellings.

Here are a few opportunities to provide immediate relief to those whose lives have been torn apart, provide a bridge to government support and help create mid- and longer-term solutions for the most vulnerable.

As we shared earlier, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) with its local partner, Jewish Federation of San Diego County, immediately launched a disaster relief fund to aid communities on the Eastern Seaboard in response to Hurricane Sandy. Assistance from the fund will be provided on a nonsectarian basis, and no overhead will be taken from contributions. Funds contributed will go directly to arrange for critical services in the aftermath of this devastating natural disaster.

NECHAMA mobilizes thousands of volunteers to help communities after natural disasters across the United States. NECHAMA is on the ground in New Jersey and New York meeting with local partner organizations.

Internationally, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is working on the ground in Haiti and Cuba providing immediate relief and assessing opportunities for longer-term intervention. The JDC is the world’s largest and oldest Jewish humanitarian organization working in 70 countries around the world. JDC stationed staff and partnered with local NGOs for post-earthquake recovery in Haiti and already works actively in Cuba. Support is being provided on a nonsectarian basis, and no overhead will be taken.

Disaster grantmaking resources:
Tips for Giving in Times of Crisis, Charity Navigator. 10 quick reminders to make sure your emergency giving has the most impact. Read more »
We Were There: The Role of Philanthropy in National Disasters, Council on Foundations. Four stories of how philanthropy responded to national disasters and focused on long-term solutions. Read the PDF »
Repair the World Volunteer Opportunities: There are many ways to help those in need. Read more »

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Support Nutritious Food Programs

As we approach the holiday season, we are especially mindful of those who struggle to meet their basic needs and do not have access to nutritious food. In San Diego, one in five adults face hunger each day. In Israel, a full quarter of citizens live below the poverty line including many children. And the poorest and most vulnerable Jews in the world are elders in the Former Soviet Union including many Holocaust survivors. Below please find some ideas for how you can make a difference in the lives of those most in need.

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Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Hand Up Youth Food Pantry

Led by experienced staff and a committee of teenage volunteers, the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry doesn’t believe in handouts. Instead, Hand Up focuses on helping people, both Jewish and not, get back on their feet. Not only does the pantry provide nutritious food – including fresh produce – to thousands of hungry San Diegans at eight distribution sites, but by including case managers at these sites, the program opens the door to the array of vital services offered at Jewish Family Service, including mental health, emergency assistance, and domestic violence support programs.

In the past year, Hand Up provided more than 9,300 people-including older adults on fixed incomes, over 1,200 low-income military families, and the chronically homeless-with 36,848 food bags totaling 343,344 pounds of food. The agency’s requested need for food assistance is greater than ever.

Foodmobile

Foodmobile provides hot, kosher, home-delivered meals to homebound older adults and younger, homebound disabled adults across San Diego County. Friendly volunteers deliver meals daily and may even deliver pet food when requested. Often, this interaction is the sole personal contact homebound clients have each day. All volunteers are trained to conduct a safety inspection, and report any concerns back to Jewish Family Service’s professional and caring staff. Frozen meals are available for weekends and holidays, and for areas that do not receive delivery service on a daily basis. Meals are available based on a sliding-scale fee. Foodmobile is on track to provide 40,000 meals this fiscal year.

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Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank

Food 4 Kids Backpack Program

The Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Backpack Program provides food to chronically hungry elementary school students from low-income households over the weekend when free school meals are unavailable. Teachers and nurses identify students who display signs of chronic hunger, which include stomach aches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, hoarding food from the cafeteria and absenteeism.

Every Friday afternoon participants are discreetly given a bag of food to tuck into their backpacks, enough food for an entire weekend. Sample items include peanut butter; ravioli or stew in pop-top cans; cereal; juice boxes; raisins; pudding cups; granola bars; shelf-stable milk; and macaroni and cheese. San Diego County schools with 80% or more children on free or reduced lunch programs are eligible to enroll and 29 elementary schools are enrolled this year.

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Senior Community Centers

SCC Meal Program

SCC provides meals, homes, and health and wellness services to thousands of low-income seniors each year throughout San Diego County. A hot meal is the number one reason people seek SCC assistance. The organization offers two meals a day, seven days a week at its main downtown center and five days a week at nine congregate meal sites in Downtown, South Bay, East County and North County.

Meals are also delivered to homebound seniors through SCC’s Home Delivered Meals program. The organization expects to serve 475,000 meals this year with nutritious meals providing one-third of the daily requirements needed for older adults. The food service staff develops healthy and satisfying meals that accommodate various dietary restrictions including low sodium and low fat. In addition to meals, congregate dining sites offer seniors an opportunity to socialize, which is as important as the food itself.

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Leket Israel (Formerly Table to Table)

Leket Israel serves as the country’s largest food bank and food rescue network actively working to alleviate nutritional insecurity. Statistics reveal that a quarter of Israel’s 7.7 million citizens (1.9 million people) are living in poverty; among them are 850,000 children. Yet, at the same time, hundreds of thousands of tons of good, nutritious food are needlessly destroyed each year. Leket rescues and redistributes the excess food to benefit Israel’s needy. Leket also works to assist at-risk population groups and the nonprofit organizations who serve them through nutrition education, cooperative purchasing, and food safety projects.

Each year, Leket Israel rescues over 700,000 hot meals, 90,000 loaves of bread and 13 million pounds of produce and perishable goods, for the benefit of the needy. In addition, Leket Israel supplies over 1 million (7,000/day) volunteer prepared sandwiches to underprivileged children from 100 schools in 25 cities. Food is reclaimed from hundreds of food suppliers and is redistributed to nearly 300 organizations assisting the poor, invalid-elderly, minorities, and children throughout Israel.

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American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Relief and Food Assistance for the Impoverished Elderly in the Former Soviet Union

JDC is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, impacting millions of lives in more than 70 countries today. JDC works extensively in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) with the poorest and most vulnerable Jews in the world, providing a support system to take care of hundreds of thousands of elderly people, many of whom survived the Holocaust. JDC also serves the poor in Israel and works hand in hand with partners from grassroots organizations to the government to affect all segments of Israeli society.

Today State pensions do not cover the basic costs of living, and as a result elderly Jews are left cold, ill and hungry. JDC extends a lifeline of basic material sustenance, care and hope to some 160,000 elderly destitute Jews in the FSU, without which they could not survive. JDC’s assistance includes homecare, hunger relief, medical care, fuel and heating supplies, as well as customized services as needed. Perhaps most importantly, JDC’s humanitarian aid reminds these isolated Jews that they are not abandoned, but rather they are members of a global Jewish community that cares for them.

In 2011, JDC assisted 159,986 elderly Jews in 2,681 locations across the FSU, via the JDC-established Hesed relief centers. In addition, JDC’s efforts to improve the quality of services and support for clients in 2011-2012 includes the piloting of a new Bank Card program in Russia and Ukraine, which enables clients to buy food and medication independently. Ongoing training for Hesed workers ensures quality of care for these needy pensioners whose welfare is at the heart of JDC’s aid programs.