Federation’s Role in Israel & Overseas
Through the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), Jewish Federation of St. Louis allocates funds to its overseas beneficiaries – the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the Jewish American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) – to meet global Jewish needs and build Jewish community worldwide. Additional allocations are made to specific Israel and overseas programs and services.
For fiscal year 2012-13, Jewish Federation of St. Louis allocated $2.766 million from unrestricted (undesignated) income sources to JAFI, JDC and to various programs and services. This represents 32.5% of Federation’s $8.52 million in unrestricted allocations this year.
Of the entire pool of overseas dollars, more than 12% or $508,520 was set aside for specific Israel programs and services with decisions where to place those funds made by Federation’s Planning & Allocations Overseas Allocation Subcommittee. Choices were based on programs that meet Federation’s strategic priorities and resonate with St. Louis donors and leaders to enhance care for Jews in need, nurture Jewish education and identity and help build Israel and the global Jewish community.
Overall, this year’s allocations will support predominantly immigration of Ethiopians to Israel and their assimilation into Israeli society, care for elderly poor Jews in places like the Former Soviet Union (FSU) where there are minimal government benefits or limited Jewish community philanthropy and to rekindle Jewish life around the world with support of next generations programs that promote Jewish identity and peoplehood such as Birthright Israel.
Core and targeted overseas allocations break down this way:
- $2.26 million: core unrestricted funding to the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). About 75% is allocated to JAFI and 25% to JDC.*
- $287,680 to Yokne’am-Megiddo, St. Louis’ Partnership 2000 sister-city region in Israel to help multi-problem families with children at risk – predominantly Ethiopian immigrants
- $52,500 to provide food and other basic needs to elderly in the Former Soviet Union (FSU)
- $50,000 to fund Jewish summer camps for youth in the FSU
- $20,000 to Muzot, for a hot lunch program at an arts-based High School for high-risk teens in Jaffa, Israel
- $18,000 for supportive services for the elderly in St. Louis’ Israeli sister city region
- $20,000 to Leket, which provides food to needy families
- $10,000 to a Jerusalem-based think tank, the Jewish People Policy Institute. Their efforts helped shape Jewish Federation’s current strategic plan
- $12,000 for Economic Empowerment for Women
- $10,000 for Strive, an innovative social program designed to foster financial independence and rewarding career choices among Israelis.
- $10,000 for the Jaffa Institute
- $15,000 for the Israel Trauma Coalition
- $10,000 for Crossroads which offers critically-needed programs and social services for at-risk English-speaking youth in Israel that are homeless and struggling with drug addiction
- $7,000 Victims of Terror Project
- $15,000 for Ohr Shalom – residential housing for at-risk kids
The breakdown of Jewish Federation 2012-13 core allocations to JAFI & JDC:
Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)
For over 80 years, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) has served as the link between the Jewish people and Israel, working to ensure the future of a connected, committed, global Jewish People with a strong Israel at its center.
The mission of JAFI is to inspire Jews throughout the world to connect with their people, heritage and Land, and empower them to build a thriving Jewish future and a strong Israel. The Jewish Agency pursues this mission by:
- Forging strong connections to Israel through a sequence of Israel experiences for teens and young adults – from Birthright’s short visit to Israel, to Masa’s live‐and‐learn experience from 5 months to a year.
- Facilitating aliyah for those who choose to make Israel their home.
- Engaging young Jews from Israel and around the world in social activism, infusing them with Jewish purpose and connecting them to one another, while addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in Israel.
- Reconnecting Jews from the former Soviet Union to their Jewish roots from which they were forcibly separated over 70 years of communist rule.
- Rescuing Jews from countries of distress and re‐settling them in Israel.
- Serving as first responder to crises in Israel and around the Jewish world.
Of the agency’s $473 million budget, approximately $178 million or 38% comes from Jewish Federations of North America members.
Join Distribution Committee (JDC)
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. Since 1914, JDC has exemplified that all Jews are responsible for one another and for improving the well-being of vulnerable people around the world.
Today, JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. JDC serves:
- The poorest Jews in the world, including isolated elderly, at-risk families, and vulnerable children
- Jewish communities around the globe building their future, wherever they may be
- Israel’s most disadvantaged citizens, including at-risk children and youth, the elderly, immigrants, and people with disabilities
- Victims of natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies
The JDC core budget of $68.6 million is largely supported by Jewish Federation of North America members. Of this amount, 42% is directed to the Former Soviet Union, 37% to Israel and 12% to central and eastern Europe. More than two thirds of the funds are used for welfare, social services, and programs to children at risk, with smaller amounts distributed to programs that strengthen Jewish life and provide empowerment and training services.
Additional Jewish Federation Global Support
Other ways in which Jewish Federation benefits Jews and Jewish communities globally is through Israel advocacy and education via the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Community and the Jewish Community Relations Council. Also, Jewish Federation promotes bilateral Israel-Missouri trade, local support of Birthright Israel, other youth travel programs to Israel and emergency assistance in times of war or terror.