The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is allocating more than $20 million this year to support its core agencies as well as relief and collaborative projects locally, in Israel and around the world.
The Federation board of directors, at its June 23 meeting approved community campaign and foundation distributions totaling more than $13 million. Combined with $150,000 from the newly created Centennial Fund for the Jewish Future, millions in supplemental donor gifts and $3.5 million in government grants, this year’s distributions came to $20.3 million.
But perhaps more significant than the annual allocation this year was a new step to reallocate funds to address new or growing needs in the community.
Last November, the Federation’s 10 beneficiary agencies were guaranteed 95 percent of their 2010 funding levels, with the remaining 5 percent going into a pool to be reallocated later to address immediate needs.
Those reallocations, which totaled $400,000, were approved last week. Among the needs addressed were at:
• The Jewish Community Center to meet a growing need for day care, after school and resident camp scholarships;
• Riverview Towers to meet the needs of increasingly frail senior residents;
• Pittsburgh’s three Jewish day schools — Community Day School, Hillel Academy, and Yeshiva Schools — to educate about 900 students each year;
• Jewish Residential Services to expand services for young adults with special needs;
• Agency for Jewish Learning’s special needs program to assist congregations engaging individuals with special needs and their families;
• J’Burgh, a social and professional network for Jewish graduate students and young professionals, to build a community among them;
• AgeWell Pittsburgh partnership to help keep thousands of seniors living safely and independently in the community.
Joshua Donner, Federation associate director of planning and funding, likened the new process to a ship correcting its course.
The reallocations were made possible by the community campaign, which raised a record $12.75 million in 2011, $200,000 more than last year.
“The purpose of this was to come together [as a community],” Donner said, “and, if it were a ship, to change our heading by a degree or two. This is just everyone coming together to do some reallocation.”
In a prepared statement, Federation Chair William C. Rudolph said, “We are deeply appreciative of the community’s generosity and trust and, therefore, take very seriously our commitment to ensure that the community dollars we raise are spent to achieve the greatest impact possible as we work to support a thriving, vibrant and engaged Jewish community.”
The Federation’s funding committee recommends allocations of community campaign funds to the board of directors through a yearlong process that includes input from more than 150 volunteers and professionals representing organizations and interests across the community.
“Everybody on the funding committee knew the issues,” said Gerri Kay, chair of the funding committee. “Everybody on the funding committee felt they had a good understanding of what was being suggested.”
(Lee Chottiner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)