JFNA Launches $54 Million Human Services Relief Fund

Today, The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) announced the creation of a $54 million campaign aimed at addressing human services for Jewish communities and those supporting them on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be dispersed by local Federations to qualifying agencies.

“Since mid-March, Federations have been in active crisis management mode as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of Jewish communal life,” said JFNA Board Chair Mark Wilf. “They have used their endowments and launched emergency campaigns to support Jewish life and sustain their local agencies, yet the length and depth of this downturn remains unknown. We believe this effort will help alleviate Jewish families, seniors and others who have been hard hit by this pandemic.”

The Fund offers an $18 million match, made possible by seven generous foundations, which can be accessed on a 1:2 basis. Local Federations will raise $36 million, creating a $54 million increase for frontline service agencies serving the Jewish community. In other words, every eligible dollar will be matched by 50%. Qualifying agencies deliver services, including emergency financial aid, food assistance, trauma counseling and services and resources for employees of Jewish communal organizations who have been laid off or furloughed.

JFNA estimates that if demand for just some of these services grows by 10%, the increased cost to the annual combined budgets of member agencies of the Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies (estimated at just over $1.17 billion/year) would be about $100 million increase in 2021. This relief effort aims to collectively drive significant additional resources to address the gap.

“The combination of the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 will have long term consequences for our overwhelmed human service network and Federations will play a critical role in raising and providing the crucial resources needed to respond to these critical needs,” said JFNA’s National Campaign Chair David Brown, who is leading this effort. “We are fortunate to have a generous community of philanthropists that are able to help at this critical time.”

HSRMF was made possible by the Maimonides Fund, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel Foundation, Singer Family Foundation, Leslie and Abigail Wexner, Wilf Family Foundation, and The Jewish Federations of North America.

Learn more about the Human Services Relief Matching Fund here.