Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Board of Directors has approved a plan to distribute $8,560,538 to agencies and programs for 2015–16, the same amount that was allocated for 2014–15. The allocations include $3.46 million in unrestricted allocations to local agencies, the same amount as last year, and $2.44 million in strategic program grants that align with Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ priorities.

“From the 2014 St. Louis Jewish Community Study, we know many members of our community, locally and globally, depend on us for support,” says Andrew Rehfeld, Jewish Federation of St. Louis president and CEO. “We are excited to be working with the Community Development Commission, chaired by Les Sterman, to further analyze the Study data, evaluate our 2010 strategic plan and determine how we may reprioritize our goals for 2015 and beyond.”

In addition to programs funded in previous years, a partial list of this year’s first-time strategic program grants includes:

  • Shoresh Institution – The Shoresh Institution informs Israel’s leading policymakers and the general public through briefings and accessible publications on the source, nature and scope of core issues facing the country, providing policy options that ensure and improve the well-being of all segments of Israeli society.
  • B’Yachad STL – Shabbat Experience- This program is a collaborative effort of Shaare Emeth and Central Reform Congregation designed to engage young adults from a range of Jewish backgrounds to welcome Shabbat together.  The program includes an interactive, participatory Shabbat service and communal Shabbat dinner. B’Yachad meets in creative venues throughout St. Louis that are popular with young adults.
  • Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) – Center for Young Adults in Lod – The Center for Young Adults opened in 2014, with the goal of persuading natives of Lod to remain in the city and attracting gifted professionals from elsewhere to make Lod their home.  The grant will focus on integrating new immigrants into Lod, thereby enriching community life.  The centerpiece will be a two-year leadership program to train 20 Russian speaking immigrants to become community activists.

Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Planning & Allocations subcommittee members carefully examined current needs of the community, reviewed existing programs and new projects, and allocated funds accordingly. Each agency and program is overseen to ensure that outcomes are met and operations are efficient. Their efforts represent the input of 50+ local lay leaders and professionals of various ages, interests and viewpoints. The Planning & Allocations committee, headed by chair Ruth Raskas, made the overall funding decisions that were sent to the Board of Directors and approved on June 18.

Jewish Federation of St. Louis Allocations Breakdown for 2015–16

Total unrestricted allocations to local and overseas agencies: $5,555,146 (64.9% of total)

Targeted strategic grant program areas: $2,437,929 (28.5% of total)

  • Ensuring the Jewish Future: $1,130,547
  • Caring for Jews in Need–Domestic: $582,768
  • Caring for Jews in Need–Overseas: $532,489
  • Community Engagement: $192,125

Other (reserve fund, research fund, national agencies, dues): $567,463 (6.6% of total)