Jewish Scholarship Initiative (JSI)-Scholarships for Area Day Schools, Synagogue Schools, Jewish Preschools and Camps

Thanks to a generous donor in our community, last year JSI distributed $87,000 in local scholarships.  Scholarships are needs based and are for Jewish households residing in Greater New Haven.  Qualifying schools include Southern CT Hebrew Academy, Ezra Academy and Bais David Yeshiva of New Haven. Qualifying Jewish camps include  Camp Laurelwood, JCC camp, Camp Gan Israel and local synagogue camps.  Qualifying Jewish pre-schools include local synagogue pre-schools, JCC Yeladim, and Southern CT Hebrew Academy.  All local synagogue religious schools are included as well. The deadline for camp scholarships is May 5th and for day schools and preschools is July 14th.  The synagogue school deadline will be in the late summer and will be announced on the website and to the synagogues.  All applications are confidential and anonymously reviewed by a scholarship committee. Click here for the application, more information, and to see the catchment area.

Stuart J. Drell Scholarship Fund—College Scholarships for High School Seniors who are Congregation B’nai Jacob Members
Renee Drell and her daughters Elana, Jordana, and Marissa established a fund to honor their beloved late husband and father Stuart J. Drell.  The fund was established in 2001 at Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.  When Renee relocated to Connecticut, she transferred the fund to the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven and it now award scholarships to high school seniors headed off to college.  Awards are $1000.00 and applicants must reside in the greater New Haven catchment area and must be entering their freshman year of college.  Applications require an essay and the deadline for applications is July 31, 2017 with awards announced in early August. All applications are confidential and anonymously reviewed by the Drell family.  Click here for application and more information.

Emma Kohn Podoloff Scholarship Fund of the National Council of Jewish Women’s Greater New Haven Section-College Scholarships for High School Seniors
The Emma Kohn Podoloff Scholarship Fund of the National Council of Jewish Women’s Greater New Haven Section is designed to assist Jewish high school seniors to advance their scholastic and vocational education.  The average award is $1,500.  Applicants must have resided in the Greater New Haven area for at least one year prior to the application date.  The application includes an essay and 3 recommendations. The Deadline for the application is August 1, 2017. The awards are granted in June.  All applications are confidential and anonymously reviewed by the Podoloff scholarship committee. Click here for application and more information.

Israel Experience Scholarships
The Jewish Foundation Israel Experience Scholarship Program enables local Jewish students ages 14-19 the opportunity to participate in an Israel experience to develop and enrich their Jewish education and reinforce their Jewish identity. The Jewish Foundation provides scholarships for both short- term (minimum of 3 week program) and long-term organized Israel educational programs. Greater New Haven youth ages 14-19 are eligible.  For 2017 summer trips, applications are due by March 7, 2017.  For the 2017-2018 gap or academic year programs, applications are due by May 2, 2017.  An essay and 2 recommendations are required.  All applications are confidential and anonymously reviewed by the Israel Experience Scholarship committee. Click here for more information, a list of qualifying programs, and application requirements.

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The Jewish Foundation can help you explore charitable opportunities that work for you. 

The Jewish Foundation is a trusted and expert resource for charitable gift planning and endowments and serves as a partner and resource for synagogues, local Jewish agencies, professional advisors and donors.

When you make a current gift or leave a bequest to the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, you not only benefit our community, but you can also support the causes that are important to you.  You can designate that your gift be used to provide unrestricted funds to help meet community needs now and in the future or to endow a permanent fund to aid identified programs, your synagogue, agencies, organizations, or initiatives (Jewish or not Jewish, in Greater New Haven, Israel or beyond) that are of particular interest to you and your family.

Lisa Stanger, Esq., Executive Director
Tiberius Halai, Grants and Gift Manager
Beth Kupcho, Scholarship and Philanthropy Manager
Stephanie Licsak, Controller

Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven
360 Amity Road
Woodbridge, CT 06525
203-387-2424, ext. 382
203-387-1818 (fax)

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With the Jewish Foundation, you can establish a named Restricted/Designated Fund for your synagogue, for Jewish education, for the needy, for Israel, for the arts, or for any charitable program or organization that is important to you.

These funds can be established in honor of a family member, or in memory of loved ones, and will provide annual distributions, in perpetuity, to the designated organization(s). The Jewish Foundation will make annual distributions to the designated charitable organization and, in the fund agreement,  you can provide for a contingent beneficiary organization should the designated organization cease to exist, lose its tax-exempt status or substantially alter its mission.  Restricted/Designated Funds can be established with a minimum gift of $10,000.


ENDOWING YOUR JEWISH FEDERATION ANNUAL CAMPAIGN GIFT Designated/Restricted Funds for the benefit of the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign are called “PACE” (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment) or “LOJE” (Lion of Judah Endowment).

A PACE fund is a designated/restricted fund which endows a donor’s UJA-Federation annual campaign gift. A LOJE fund is a type of PACE fund which provides a permanent endowment to perpetuate a woman’s annual Lion of Judah campaign gift.

PACE and LOJE funds allow our community, through permanent endowment funds dedicated to the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign, to insure that we have funds available that will continue to provide for vital programs and services both in Greater New Haven, in Israel and overseas… for present and future generations.

A named PACE fund can be established with a minimum commitment of $10,000 or a LOJE fund with a minimum commitment of $100,000. Commitments of under $10,000 are pooled together in the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven’s Community PACE Fund.


DONOR ADVISED/PHILANTHROPIC FUNDS For individuals and families seeking active involvement in philanthropy, a Philanthropic Fund (also called a donor-advised fund) allows the donor to create a named fund that provides flexibility in charitable giving. A Philanthropic Fund allows the donor to recommend distributions to any qualified tax-exempt organization-think of it as a charitable checking account. The Foundation administers the fund, invests the assets, and the donor receives quarterly statements describing their fund’s activity. These funds are a wonderful way to involve the family in giving---the donor and his/her family can sit around the dinner table and decide to which charitable organizations they want their fund to distribute. These funds can be established with a minimum gift of $10,000.

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The Foundation administers and promotes the Build a Tzedakah program which enables young adults to establish their own Foundation endowment fund and also, in conjunction with the Center for Jewish Life and Learning, includes local programs, classes and projects on philanthropy.

The Build-a-Tzedakah program allows young adults to engage in charitable giving by contributing $600 from their Bar or Bat Mitzvah gifts, with a match of $400 from a community donor. With this, the young adult now has a $1000 named charitable fund at the Jewish Foundation—they, or others, can add to the fund at anytime and in honor of special occasions- and, every December (Hannukah time), they will be given the opportunity to choose to which charity(ies) they want to make a distribution (distributions are based on the Jewish Foundation’s spending policy and must follow IRS regulations which include that they must be charitable and can only be made to US based public charities).


As part of its Build a Tzedakah program, the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven held a Pop-up Jewish teen giving circle. The teens, part of JTE (Jewish Teen Education) program, invited local organizations to present concerning funding needs. The program included discussion of philanthropic values, why people give, and how to give. The Jewish Foundation provided monies to the teens for their allocation process. The teens awarded the following grants: IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) for a teen civil rights travel program this summer; Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven for their Stars of David program providing post-adoption social support to adopted Jewish teens; JCC of Greater New Haven for their Makerspace.


Individuals or families can establish a named Unrestricted Fund at the Jewish Foundation with a minimum donation of $1,000. Unrestricted Funds allow the Foundation to meet the changing needs of the Jewish community through our grants process and community initiatives. Many community members have established such funds in honor of a special anniversary or birthday, or in memory of a loved one.


The Foundation’s professional staff and its centrality to the Jewish Federation insure continuous, permanent, and secure fund management and enhance donor confidence and prestige. In addition, placing endowment assets with the Jewish Foundation can serve to insulate financial management of an organization’s endowment from the vicissitudes that can occur through the organization’s own corporate governance. Many local Jewish organizations have entrusted endowments to the Jewish Foundation for administration and management--these include: The Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater New Haven, Congregation Beth Israel (Wallingford), Beth Israel (Orchard Street Shul)Cemetery Assocation, Congregation Mishkan Israel, Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel, Temple Beth David, Ezra Academy, the JCC, Jewish Family Service, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Congregation Or Shalom, Congregation B’nai Jacob and Temple Beth Tikvah.