Kranzberg Foundation Awards
2nd Year of $50K in Grants
Family gifts $40,000 for next gen programs plus a one-time $10,000 grant to the JFed Lifeline Fund.
The Kranzberg Family Foundation, a supporting organization of Jewish Federation, has awarded its second year of grants totaling $50,000 to benefit the St. Louis Jewish community. The Foundation is administered by the Jewish Community Foundation of St. Louis.
Of the $50,000 this year, $40,000 in grants has been awarded to four next generation programs. Next generation refers to Gen Xers and their children (born 1965-1980). This year, because of the alarming financial crisis facing many Jewish families in St. Louis, the Foundation has given a special one-time $10,000 grant to the Jewish Federation Lifeline Fund.
Two programs will receive a second annual Kranzberg Foundation grant: B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program and the Brodsky Library Pomegranate Seeds newsletter. Programs receiving funds for the first time are the Nishmah Banot Buddies program and the “Judaism Alive” media initiative.
The $50,000 in grants was announced by the Kranzberg family. Ken Kranzberg, Jewish Federation vice president Finance/Treasurer, set up the Foundation and named as President his daughter Mary Ann Srenco. Kranzberg said that he’s “very pleased” with the results of the programs the Foundation has supported to date. “The B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program, for example, is just getting off the ground teaching young people about the pleasure and importance of giving to the Jewish community. Already dozens of students are enrolled and there will be a program kickoff on Jan. 18, 2009.”
Srenco stressed that she too is delighted with programs the Foundation has supported. “My role in heading the Foundation means I can contribute to the kinds of programs that will benefit young Jews and the future of our community. But,” she added, “this year it was necessary to shift gears a bit to support the Lifeline Fund. The whole point of our Foundation is to make sure that we take care of the Jewish community. Right now our community is suffering and needs the extra help.”
This year’s four grant winners are:
B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program Administered by CAJE
This is the second year the Kranzberg Foundation has funded this program. It’s a national initiative of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. It works this way. The Kranzberg Foundation offers a one-time subsidy of $250 to any Bar and Bat Mitzvah teen who sets up a savings account from which the interest is donated annually to the charity of the child’s choice. That child will then have the chance to attend seminars on Jewish giving, funding and the general needs of the Jewish community.
The Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE) runs the program in partnership with area congregations. Over time, teens will add principal to their funds and make meaningful contributions to Jewish charities each year. Then it’s hoped that by the time a teen turns 25, the account will have reached $10,000, enabling that teen to create a donor-advised philanthropic fund through The Jewish Community Foundation of St. Louis. This is a way of developing and growing new communal leadership. Such a philanthropic program gets kids thinking about and getting involved in the needs of the Jewish community and engaged in our community’s efforts to continue to meet those needs.
Saul Brodsky “Pomegranate Seeds” PJ Library Newsletter
Funded for the second year, this quarterly newsletter is for parents and their children who have signed up for the national PJ Library Program, created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and made possible through a generous gift from Leslie and Michael Litwack. It gives free monthly Jewish books or CDs to families with children six months to 8 years old. The newsletter augments messages and themes of the PJ Library books and keeps participating families apprised of community events on Jewish education. Each newsletter contains crafts, child-friendly recipes, and ways to celebrate Shabbat and create Jewish memories. Each issue also highlights a PJ Library family.
Nishmah - Banot Buddies
Banot Buddies is a program that pairs elementary-school aged Jewish girls with high school teens for positive single-gender Jewish experiences. In doing so, this concept fosters opportunities for high school girls to learn leadership and relationship building and mentoring. The older girls serve as role models. Together, these girls engage in community service projects that focus on Jewish values of kehillah (community), tikkun olam (repair of the world), gimillut chesed (acts of kindness) and kavod nashim (respect of women). By bringing these girls together, bridges are being built within the Jewish community between girls from various schools and of various ages and Jewish affiliations.
Judaism Alive Initiative
This is a three-part Jewish media program featuring Jewish rock radio, jewishsongleader.com and media kits. All three components will interface to expose Jewish youth to the positive, spiritual and educational impact of high quality Jewish media.
Jewish Rock Radio would offer a high-caliber, 24/7 national Jewish internet radio station. The station will transmit important Jewish information, daily entertainment and education to a large number of Jewish young people throughout the U.S. There will be weekly interviews with leading figures in the worlds of Jewish music and education, and the station will introduce 150 established Jewish stars and 24 emerging artists to a mainstream population. It will produce 55 new youth-driven weekly talk shows and provide programming opportunities for youth at local synagogues and camps.
Jewishsongleader.org offers a free, inter-denominational website for Jewish youth to learn Jewish music and prayers, critical song leading skills and share original Jewish compositions. Included will be a music library, video/mentoring corner, networking hub and educator/cantor’s corner.
Judaism Alive Media Kits will contain two Jewish rock CDs, a Jewish rock movie, and a songbook and curriculum module, free to religious schools, day schools, youth groups and Jewish college students throughout the U.S.
For more information about the Jewish Community Foundation of St. Louis, contact Wendy Rosenblum, Federation assistant director of development who manages the operation of the JCF, at 314-442-3740 or visit www.jewishinstlouis.org/jcf.