The Passover week gave us at the Federation some time for much needed rest, but even in the middle of it we were not standing still. Last Friday, I joined a group of Federation volunteers at a meeting with Sen. Bill Nelson at his local office. The Jewish Community Relations Council has developed a good relationship with Sen. Nelson's staff, and our meeting was a result of this work. I was very impressed with how keenly aware the senator is of the recent events affecting our campus and how strongly he supports the Jewish community. His recent legislative initiatives address many of the issues important to the Jewish community.
With Passover behind us, we are "back in the saddle" working hard on Federation's agenda. At its last meeting, the Board approved $50,000 for a new round of Community Collaborative Grants for programs to be implemented this summer and during the 2017-18 program year. I have written several times about the previous two grant cycles, which provided subsidies totaling $100,000 for 18 programs and services. These programs encouraged collaboration while addressing some unmet needs in the Jewish community, covering a broad spectrum of initiatives, from expanding services for the elderly to bringing Israeli summer emissaries to summer camps at both of our Jewish community centers.
In addition to local and other overseas grants and allocations, this year we awarded a $22,000 grant to Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism to support two programs for young adults in Israel.
Supporting such worthy initiatives is what the Jewish Federation is all about, and we are thrilled that we are able to do it again this year, thanks to your generous support of the Federation's Annual Campaign. The criteria for this new round of grants are very similar to the previous ones. Collaboration continues to be an important goal, in line with Federation's mission to foster a unified Jewish community. To qualify for a grant, at least two agencies, synagogues or organizations must work together to develop and submit a proposal and implement a program. In addition, the programs or services must be open to the entire Jewish community of Greater Orlando regardless of religious affiliation, synagogue or agency membership.
You can download the complete grant criteria and application at www.jfgo.org/grants. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2017, and awards will be announced in mid-June.
I want to stress that these Federation grants are made possible by your generous support of our Annual Campaign. We should all feel very proud of what the Jewish Federation does here in Orlando, in Israel and around the world. Many of you have already made your generous contributions to the 2017 Annual Campaign, and we thank you. You've given our campaign great momentum! If you haven't yet given, Click here to make your gift.
I thank you for your continued support and wish you a peaceful and restful Shabbat