JHF grants benefit leadership development, health care studies
Marking its 20th anniversary of service to the community, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation has announced a new round of grants totaling more than $650,000.
The grants will fund programs ranging from the development of young Jewish communal leaders, to health care studies.
The JHF hopes to tap into the leadership potential of graduate students through a grant of $50,000 over three years, funding programs at the Johnson Institute at the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh.
An additional $47,000 a year will be used for a pilot project replicating the Johnson Institute’s model for graduate students at J’Burgh and the Hillel Jewish University Center.
“We want to get talented, young people with leadership potential to sit on boards of community organizations, and work with mentors,” said Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of the JHF.
The Hillel JUC will work to match up students accepted into the program with organizations of interest to them, or organizations that could benefit from their particular skills, Feinstein said.
Five students will be chosen to participate with the JUC program during the first year of the grant, and the program will be available to 10 students the following year, according to Feinstein.
“We were very impressed with what the Johnson Institute has been doing,” she said. “We thought it would be a great thing to bring to the Jewish community.”
“Through the creation of The Jewish Healthcare Foundation Certificate in Jewish Communal Leadership, a select group of our graduate students will have the opportunity to develop and hone the skills required to be exemplary Jewish communal lay leaders,” said Aaron Weil, executive director and CEO of the Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh in a prepared statement.
The JHF will also help fund the completion of two related memorials in Pittsburgh through a grant award of $50,000: the World War II Veterans of Southwestern PA Memorial, and the Holocaust Keeping Tabs Memorial at Community Day School.
“The World War II Memorial has a section that recognizes the victims of the Holocaust,” Feinstein said. “Both projects came up at the same time. Our board felt a lot of commitment to these projects. In both cases, there is a sense of urgency to complete these projects while firsthand witnesses and survivors can be engaged in the education components, and so that they can be honored in their lifetime for their acts,” Feinstein said.
A grant of $45,000 for three consecutive years was awarded to the Heller School at Brandeis University to advance health policy research and convening efforts.
While the Heller School grant does not directly benefit local institutions, “it advances our agenda here,” Feinstein said.
The grant will help fund research into health economics, specifically in the area of Medicare payment reform.
The JHF has also awarded $140,000 over two years to the Magee-Women’s Research Institute to help fund a study on the impact of pregnancy and delivery on pelvic organ support.
“A very serious problem for women is the loss of pelvic floor support,” Feinstein said. Magee wants to follow a group of women who have elective Cesareans through their pregnancies to see if having an elective Cesarean does prevent pelvic floor problems.”
The JHF was established in 1990 with proceeds from the sale of Montefiore Hospital. Its mission is to support and foster the provision of health care services, health care education and medical and scientific research, and to respond to the medical, custodial and other health-related needs of elderly, underprivileged and underserved populations in the Jewish community and throughout western Pennsylvania.
(Toby Tabachnick can be reached at email@example.com.)