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Jewish Community Foundation Grants

Types of Grants Available

Signature Grants ($50,000+)

The Foundation will focus on initiatives that are intended to make a significant impact on the long-term vitality of the Pittsburgh Jewish community. We want you to tackle big questions. We want you to envision the Jewish Pittsburgh of the future.

Proposed projects in should be broad in scope and touch a diverse population of Jewish Pittsburghers. They should be ambitious initiatives that aim to make a lasting change to our community. Proposals for capital improvements will be considered, though priority will be given to projects that have impact beyond your institution's four walls.

Successful applications show that they:

  • Are likely to be transformative, with long-term impact on community
  • Are likely to impact diverse population of Jewish Pittsburghers
  • Encourage innovation and collaboration
  • Leverage partnerships where appropriate
  • Leverage matching funding where appropriate
  • Are sustainable beyond seed funding (where applicable)

There are a limited number of Signature Grants available.

Focus Area Grants (up to $50,000)

As in past years, the Foundation makes funds available for projects that address expressed priorities of one or more Federation Planning focus areas relevant to the Pittsburgh Jewish community: Aging and Human Needs, Jewish Community Life, and Jewish Learning.1

Aging and Human Needs
The Federation is committed to providing an easily accessible, high-quality, complete continuum of care for the aging, the financially and socially vulnerable, and those with special needs. This means: keeping seniors living as safely and as independently as possible with a high quality of life; helping vulnerable individuals and families to reduce risk factors and avoid or recover from hardships that threaten their quality of life; and helping individuals with special needs receive the support they need, and feel included as part of the community.

Jewish Community Life
The Federation is committed to a vibrant Jewish community with an abundance of programming and opportunities that engage people of all different ages and backgrounds effortlessly and meaningfully in Jewish life. To this end, the Federation places emphasis on outreach, young adults, and generally on efforts that provide families and individuals with new and/or deeper involvement in the Jewish community to strengthen Jewish identity and connection.

Jewish Learning
The Federation is committed to ensuring the vitality and continuity of the Jewish community by enhancing Jewish learning across all spectrums of the community, through formal and informal education. The Federation works to make Jewish learning accessible to the greater Pittsburgh Jewish community, supports and advocates for Jewish learning and Jewish educators, and supports the improvement in quality of local Jewish learning institutions.

Strategies for Focus Area Grants
Proposals should fit into at least one of the following categories:

  • Fund research or non-recurring (one-time) projects of importance to the Jewish community.
  • Provide “seed money” for start-up costs and initial funding for new projects in the Jewish community, especially those which directly address a critical, unmet need.
  • Respond to emergency needs of the Pittsburgh, American or international Jewish communities.

Applicants submitting requests addressing emergencies are strongly encouraged to clearly define and demonstrate the likely impact of the investment on the community and agency-level outcomes. Beneficiary agencies are strongly encouraged to align emergency funding requests with needs identified in joint planning activities with Federation Planning Commissions. Examples of emergencies include, but are not limited to:

  • Mission-central programs in jeopardy of closing or scaling back as a result of lost income.
  • Increased demand for delivery of vital social services.
  • Unmet need for subsidy to access vital services, as a result of a decline in participant ability to pay for those services.

1Applicants seeking funding for projects in Israel and elsewhere in the Jewish world are asked to apply for support through our overseas grantmaking process. Contact Kim Salzman, Director of Israel & Overseas Operations at 412-992-5239 or ksalzman@jfedpgh.org to learn more.

Eligible Organizations

  • Grantees must have 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS.
  • Grantees need not be Federation beneficiary agencies.
  • Awardees must be current on all prior Foundation requirements and reporting.

Organizations are permitted to submit up to two applications – one for the Signature grant opportunity and one for the Focus Area grant opportunity.

How to Apply

Download PDF of application instructions

To apply, please visit www.jfedpgh.org/grants and follow these steps:

  • Click "APPLY," and create a profile on our new online grant application system.
  • Take the eligibility quiz and select the Jewish Community Foundation funding opportunity. Once the eligibility quiz is complete, the system will show you all of the awards for which you are eligible.
  • Select "view awards," which will give you the option of starting a new application for the Jewish Community Foundation.
  • Complete the application. The application includes a project overview, project narrative, and an opportunity to upload supplemental documents, including a budget, your organization's annual report, and letters of support from collaborating organizations.

Applications must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 9 to be eligible for consideration.

About the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh works to create a thriving, vibrant, and engaged Jewish Community by raising and allocating funds and building community locally, in Israel, and around the world to support four priorities:

  • Ensuring high-quality life enhancement services that address Aging and Human Needs
  • Creating an environment of, and resources for, Lifelong Jewish learning
  • Engaging everyone in Jewish Community Life
  • Supporting a secure and thriving Israel and World Jewry.

About the Jewish Community Foundation

Jewish Community Foundation

The Jewish Community Foundation, the planned giving arm of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, enables donors to create permanent endowment funds that address community needs in perpetuity. Total Foundation assets currently stand at over $259 million. The Foundation helps bring to fruition the philanthropic goals and dreams of more than 1,330 individuals, families and organizations. Each year, Foundation leadership makes grants from unrestricted and partially restricted funds that align with the Federation's mission and goals.

Recent Grants Include

  • $325,000 to facilitate a new Community Study, which will produce a profile of the Pittsburgh Jewish community that will enable a better understanding of our demographics, activities and needs. 
  • $125,000 to support a community scholar – Rabbi Danny Schiff – who provides Jewish education and Jewish content to diverse populations in the community.
  • $6,000 to the Rosh Pina Cornerstone Fellowship, which supports a year-long organizational change project for leaders of the Jewish Family & Children's Service, Jewish Residential Services, and Jewish Federation to increase disability inclusion opportunities throughout the Pittsburgh Jewish community.
  • $7,500 to support Repair the World Pittsburgh in expanding its food justice programming and partnerships.

Shelly Parver

Staff Contact

Applicants are encouraged (but not required) to discuss requests with Federation staff before submitting a proposal.

Questions may be submitted to Shelly Parver, Planning Manager, Jewish Education & Continuity, at 412-992-5207 or sparver@jfedpgh.org.

Related Links

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For more information about the Foundation, please contact Dan Brandeis, Jewish Community Foundation Director (412.992.5220 or dbrandeis@jfedpgh.org), or Sharon Perelman, Director of Planned Giving (412.992.5224 or sperelman@jfedpgh.org).

Jewish Community Foundation

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
234 McKee Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-681-8000 I  www.jfedpgh.org I info@jfedpgh.org  
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