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Jewish Federation has given away $12.7 million during pandemic – so far

Maria Saporta
Eric Robbins Eric Robbins in his office at the Atlanta Jewish Federation (Photo by Maria Saporta)

By Maria Saporta

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and the Atlanta Jewish Foundation have stepped up their game in response to the coronavirus pandemic – giving a total of $12.7 million to hundreds of organizations.

The Federation created the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund early on during the pandemic to help its grantees through the crisis.

Its donors responded – contributing $3.89 million to the fund – so far, which currently has $4.3 million to allocate to relief efforts when combined with other sources of emergency funding. Of those funds raised, the Federation has given a total of $2.5 million in grants.

The Atlanta Jewish Foundation, which is part of the Federation, has given out an additional $10.2 million grants to 342 organizations – mostly local Jewish and non-Jewish nonprofits.

Eric Robbins

Eric Robbins in his office at the Atlanta Jewish Federation (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Those organizations include: Jewish HomeLife, Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta, Jewish Interest-Free Loans of Atlanta, Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, Atlanta Rabbinical Association, Breman Museum, regional overnight camps, Jewish day schools, Jewish pre-schools and the Jewish Community Relations Council among others. About $150,000 were overseas grants to support the elderly and other vulnerable individuals in Israel and Belarus.

When all the giving is combined, Federation has given away a total of $12.7 million during the pandemic. Plus, the Emergency Response Fund still has another $1.8 million available in its war chest that it will be awarding in the near future.

“Last month, Federation distributed over $940,000 in grants to support the urgent needs of populations most acutely impacted by the crisis,” said Eric M. Robbins, president and CEO of the Federation, in a statement. “Given the increasing needs, an additional $1,390,500 in grants is now being released to our community to help continue to serve the most vulnerable of Atlanta’s Jewish population, as well as help stabilize and support the Jewish ecosystem as we move from relief to recovery.”

The recent grants support: emergency financial assistance, emergency food assistance, safety staffing and equipment, extended health insurance, mental health and career support, and reopening costs.

Additionally, up to $100,000 has been granted to centralize purchasing support for personal protective equipment (PPE) for organizations serving the Jewish community.

For a list of the grants, click here.

“As a philanthropic champion for the Jewish community, we understand what Jewish organizations need to support the most vulnerable during this crisis,” said Beth Warner, the Federation’s chief philanthropy officer. “With a variety of ways to give and multiple organizations to benefit, federated giving is the most strategic way to donate your resources right now.”

Additional rounds of funding will continue to focus on meeting continued needs of vulnerable individuals, as well as the important work of ensuring the stability of Jewish organizations over the coming months.

“The Federation is listening to Atlanta’s Jewish institutions and responding to support them through this crisis and beyond,” Robbins said. “We have been humbled by the outpouring of support from the community and are proud to be the philanthropic champions helping serve the Jewish community and meet the pressing needs of those affected by COVID-19.”

Renee Kutner, senior vice president of marketing and leadership development for the Federation, said in a phone interview that “it’s clear that the Jewish community cares, and it wants to respond to the community’s needs.”

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Maria Saporta
Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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