2021 Annual Report | Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ

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Annual Report

Table of Contents 04 New Governance 08 2021 Impact By the Numbers 10 Caring for the People Most in Need 15 Celebrating Volunteers 16 Investing in Jewish Life Today & Tomorrow 26 Programs for People of All Ages 28 Financial Resources & Efficiency



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actions and outcomes bettering the conditions under which others live Dear friends, Few would have thought at the beginning of 2021 that the year would end with so many among us still suffering the loss, health and financial effects, and disruption to normal daily living caused by COVID-19. And though 2021 was marked by continuing uncertainty — at best, and difficulty — at worst, our Jewish community was able to do so much good during this very challenging time. Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey provided meaningful financial support for partners and programs in such areas as human services, youth enrichment and education, public affairs, and public safety. What’s more, together with partners and our supporters, as well as many volunteers and lay leaders, we continued evolving the ways Federation enables the community to care for those in need while making Jewish life safer, stronger, and more joyful today and for generations to come. Despite the challenges carrying over into 2022, there is good reason to know we can rely on the constants of Jewish community to move us forward: • support at times of need; • extended family for sharing traditions and life events; • strength in numbers and unity; and • the joy of blue horizons as seen through our children’s eyes. Read on for some of the ways this community came together in 2021 with solidarity, resolve, and optimism — and know that as 2022 begins, we have each other’s backs...

for today, for tomorrow, for good. Thank YOU for the good you make possible through your Federation support.

Susan Antman Executive Director

Cheryl Markbreiter President


FINANCIAL In 2021, Jewish Federation made further inroads in expanded approaches to Financial Resource Development (FRD), RESOURCE cultivating support from foundations and as well as government grants, DEVELOPMENT corporations, among other sources outside our local Jewish community donor base.

Foundations that value Federaton’s impact became a larger part of FRD, with several making first-time or increased gifts. These comprised both targeted and unrestricted contributions, with some directed to benefit specific populations, such as Holocaust survivors, or programs, such as PJ Library.


Federation’s Investment Committee engages community volunteers who are licensed money managers with investment houses, CPA firms, and foundations. They establish sound investment policies and procedures to grow and protect philanthropic funds. In 2021, increasing numbers of individuals and Federation partners entrusted investment of their endowments through custodial accounts with Federation. By pooling funds for investment purposes only, agencies can participate in investment opportunities that otherwise would not be available to them.


As the Jewish community evolves, so too must the Jewish Federation it entrusts to address needs in Jewish life.

In 2021, the Federation board voted to adopt a new governance structure reshaping the focus of future boards and creating a Governor’s Council. The board is empowered to manage all Federation affairs, with each member leading a function, e.g., Financial Resource Development, Impact & Allocations, and so on. The Governor’s Council will engage and mentor community members to be actively involved in Federation, while advising the board on constituent needs, the work of peer organizations, and longer-term issues to keep the organization current in serving the Jewish community. Both bodies comprise community members who bring the best interests of all Jews in the heart of NJ and beyond to their role. They assume responsibility to address evolving needs of Jewish life with smart and sustainable solutions. We are grateful 4 to these dedicated volunteers for their commitment.

2021 IMPACT WHAT & WHY Federation

is the communal organization best prepared to meet challenges that require a united front, such as responding to antisemitism and security threats, poverty among the aged, mental illness, apathy or ambivalence among young people, or a pandemic with public health, humanitarian, and financial consequences. In 2021, Federation addressed these needs through our core impact focus areas: • Caring for the vulnerable; • Investing in a strong Jewish future.


Compassion, and teachings on how to express it, are baked into our identity as Jews. Through the ages, we have embraced social justice and all the ways it improves the lives of those who receive and those who give.

This continues to sustain the Jewish people, enhance Jewish life, and strengthen the Jewish future. Jewish Federation’s role has never been more crucial in carrying it out.

INVESTING IN A STRONG JEWISH FUTURE Among the reasons we work to keep Jewish life thriving are caring for our vulnerable and pikuach nefesh, preserving life, for example, against antisemitic threats. In fact, the Torah commands us to convey Jewish teachings to our children so they may live by these values, love them, and pass them on as well. A vibrant community enables us to make Jewish life sweet, supportive, and meaningful for children and adults. It is central to investing in a strong Jewish future and our focus at Federation.



Our impact in 2021 affected untold thousands of lives, with

impact funding caring for the 67% of vulnerable locally and overseas impact funding investing in a 33% of strong Jewish future locally

WE CARED FOR THE VULNERABLE Holocaust survivors received assistance 244 85,340 Kosher Meals on Wheels delivered 350 700

families with special needs socialized seniors/couples took part in virtual or in-person socialization programs


advocacy meetings put Jewish community needs in front of lawmakers

3,651 3,651

gifted PJ Library book subscriptions connected children to Jewish life


college students connected virtually with weekly Shabbat dinner delivery


people engaged with monthly updates on local, state, and Federal government advocacy

people engaged in interactive programs

WE ENHANCED SAFETY & SECURITY IN JEWISH LIFE $3M awarded in govt. security grants ($9M to date) lay leaders, professionals, and clergy received security preparedness, and response training

300 9

security training workshops were provided


physical threat assessments were conducted by our community security initiative


community members attended briefings on current trends in antisemitic threats

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ASSESSING & ADDRESSING COMMUNITY NEEDS After in-depth review of the needs likely to continue and/or emerge in 2022 and beyond — including input from across the Jewish community, informed volunteers comprising the Allocations Committees recommended appropriations for 2022 following these guidelines:


CARING for the vulnerable locally

30% 30% INVESTING in a strong INVESTING in Jewish today and a strong Jewish tomorrow today andlocally

tomorrow locally


Israel and overseas programs caring for those who are vulnerable 7

CARING FOR THE PEOPLE MOST IN NEED “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.”

These words are written in Pirke Avot, the compilation of Judaism’s ethical

teachings. They ring true in a poignant way when we talk about helping those who are vulnerable. With more need in our community and world than we, alone, may be able to fix, we may not ever feed all those who are hungry, aid all those who are frail, empower all those who feel unsure, lift all those who just need a hand through a rough patch… But we are changing the world for the thousands of people we do help, those we can reach, and the countless others whose lives are touched by theirs. In 2021, this included:


Frail or homebound Holocaust survivors often need help accessing medical care, nutritious meals, aid with tasks of daily living, and social services to age with safety and dignity at home. Federation funding of partners, Jewish Family Services of Middlesex and Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth, help fill these needs.

Due to the pandemic, the number of survivors who need home services remained significantly higher than pre-COVID levels. In addition, as the population ages, the need for home health services will continue to be in high demand. In 2021, many service recipients — and providers — were still nervous about in-person visits. Our community’s professionals provided meal delivery and assessments, and stayed connected with survivors largely virtually. Several Cafe Europa monthly lunch gatherings with entertainment continued virtually with volunteers bringing catered lunches to survivors’ homes.


KOSHER MEALS ON WHEELS There are countless seniors in our community who, due to financial or physical constraints, cannot shop for, afford, or prepare their own meals. Kosher Meals on Wheels (KMOW) provide proper nourishment as well as wellness check-ins. Social contact with volunteers who deliver the meals keeps clients connected to the community and assures them they are not alone. At the beginning of the pandemic, KMOW partners funded by Federation, Jewish Family Services of Middlesex and Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth, experienced a dramatic increase in calls from seniors needing food. The number of recipients tripled and remained at that level through 2021. Many clients thanked the agencies, saying, ‘You saved my life.’

IMPACT Emergency meal deliveries help seniors recover from flood The Kosher Meals on Wheels (KMOW) program regularly helps seniors who have ongoing impairments and limitations, but recently, helped Arlene, and her 95-yearold husband, who is cognitively impaired, through an emergency. The couple’s apartment building flooded during one of 2021’s extreme storms. Their kitchen was destroyed. They faced months of repairs. When Jewish Family Services (JFS) enrolled the couple in KMOW, they were so appreciative of the convenience and quality of the meals. Recently, JFS received Arlene’s call, cheefully reporting their kitchen is restored and they no longer need KMOW. She expressed gratitude for how helpful KMOW had been during this trying time.


MENTAL HEALTH Many members of the Jewish community who are in need of mental health counseling — though uninsured, underinsured, or in need financially — feel their treatment is more productive with clinicians who understand Jewish culture, traditions, values, and family relationships. Federationfunded partners, Jewish Family Services of Middlesex and Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth, provide access to culturally sensitive and affordable mental health and addiction services. The pandemic-related surge in demand for these services remained high through 2021 as did the use of newly-adopted telehealth practices enabling providers to reach more clients than ever.

SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMS Federation-funded partners, The Friendship Circle and Hand in Hand, create experiences in which children and young adults with special needs come together in friendship with teen volunteers for Jewish, social, and enrichment activities. Spending time in a comfortable, safe environment fosters joy for participants, peace of mind for parents, and growth and a sense of purpose for volunteers, as well as a responsive, caring, inclusive Jewish community for all. Due to lingering COVID concerns in 2021, participants stayed connected largely through Facetime and Zoom, as well as safe in-person contact. Through it all, people with special needs were celebrated instead of separated, their needs were nurtured and met, and they were reminded that this Jewish community is always 10 there for them.

EMERGENCY AID COVID has impacted many more in our community than one might imagine — but help has come from more places than one might know. Among the Jewish community’s human services agencies who receive support from Federation, Jewish Social Services (JSS) plays a crucial role stepping in with emergency grants for people who unexpectedly find themselves in financial crisis.

IMPACT Getting through a rough time The M. family were doing fine until dad lost his job when his company closed suddenly. No longer able to afford day care for their one-year-old, dad took on childcare while searching for a job. Problem was: when he got a call for an interview, the Ms had no one to watch the baby, no family. Thanks to a day care grant, JSS and a local synagogue were able to provide half-day care. After a month, Mr. M found a good job.

PRESERVING CEMETERIES When there’s a job to do in the Jewish community and “no one to do it,” people call Federation. That’s how Jewish Federation and its affiliated cemetery management corporation became responsible for Jewish cemeteries that were not being cared for because their original overseeing synagogue or organization no longer exists. For decades, Federation has been overseeing everything at these sites, from landscape and repairs to insurance and burial operations. As original plot owners’ families are also passing on, Federation, along with board member and cemetery corporation president, Michael Wasserman, recognized the need for a shift in ensuring these places would be cared for in perpetuity. In 2021, Federation and the cemetery corporation finalized an agreement to do just that, advancing efforts to preserve the future of Jewish cemeteries in NJ and honoring the memory of those who came before us.


SENIOR SOCIALIZATION Many Jewish seniors become vulnerable to loneliness and isolation from their Jewish community and cultural heritage as they age. Federation-funded senior socialization programs promote wellbeing and vitality, as well as expressing our respect for these seniors, by engaging, educating, and provding stimulation, levity, and enrichment for them.

IMPACT For much of the year, the JCC of Middlsex County conducted holiday socialization for seniors via Zoom. It moved to limited in-person gatherings late in 2021. As part of Federation’s Staff Volunteer Initiative, in which professionals augment their regular work with volunteering out in the community, Lori Goldman, Director of Finance & Administration helped out at the JCC Chanukah party, where she was heartened to be with seniors thriving together. The JCC clearly provides much needed socialization for their senior population. Everyone was smiling and energized as they enjoyed the holiday celebration, which included candle lighting, live entertainment, and delicious food. Many of the attendees told me how much they look forward to this annual event to help keep them connected to each other and to the JCC and its staff. The JCC staff shared with me how much they appreciate the support of Federation to help make events like this happen. Lori Goldman



In the early days of COVID, volunteering across the US dropped some 90%. Needs often filled by volunteers, on the other hand, increased.

Federation volunteers rose to the challenge. At 2021’s Annual Meeting, we celebrated a small group representing countless more like them, all helping to: • feed and comfort the elderly, those in need, and others; • push back on antisemitism and security threats; and • inspire young people to embrace Jewish values for a strong Jewish future. We applaud all who give of themselves to make Jewish life stronger, safer, more caring and joyful today and for generations to come.

Marlene Herman, long-time Board member, past president, and now Governor’s Council member, has chaired Life & Legacy, brought holidays to senior living facilities, participated in PJ Library programs, and more.

Jessica Solomon, Executive Director of the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, offered the museum as a drop site for our Gratitude Project, then volunteered to sort, pack, and haul donated food, toiletries and gifts for distribution.

Joel Krinsky, Board member, Israel mission leader, former co-chair and now VP of the JCRC, made a video to inform the community on the need — and Federation’s role — in addressing antisemitism for a strong Jewish future.

Liran Kapoano, recent Board member and JCRC co-chair, now Governor’s Council member, is a driver of the advocacy training series advancing unity in addressing antisemitism with elected, faith, and Jewish communal partners.

Sam Landers, who at eight-yearsold, received a One Happy Camper Jewish camp grant from Federation and, for his bar mitzvah project, paid it forward for others through a golf fundraiser, enabled five more kids to receive OHC grants.

Adi Beniluz became a J-SERVE teen mitzvah day leader in 2021. The group’s beach clean-up affirmed her belief that it is her duty as a Jew and a human being to leave behind a better world for future generations.

Pamela Neuman, previously a Board and Education Committee member, now VP, Leadership Development, was inspired to get involved by her dad, a Holocaust survivor, and mom, who has been affectionately called a ‘professional volunteer’.

David Blain, after retiring and relocating to our area, became a game changer as a volunteer in Federation’s data management area. He is an integral part of our team, making sure our data reflects real life and serves community needs.

Jerry Katcher, long-time Federation champion, connects Federation and seniors through his articles for a senior community publication and as founder of the Jewbadors, brings humor and Jewish music and culture to audiences of all ages.


INVESTING IN JEWISH LIFE FOR TODAY & TOMORROW Bringing people together to share

in cultural traditions, meaningful initiatives, joyful celebrations, and learning fosters the bonds of a strong Jewish community. In 2021, Federation produced, promoted, and sponsored programs connecting diverse audiences as friends, neighbors, and extended family.


PJ Library is Federation’s premiere program fostering joyful Jewish learning and connections among families with children through age 12, with community gatherings and the gift of free books and music delivered monthly to 3,651 children’s doors. In 2021, PJ Library and PJ Parent Ambassadors engaged 1,635 families in dozens of programs planned around Jewish holidays, themes, and traditions, such as: FUN AT THE FARM In the spring, families with young children gathered in person for an outdoor day of fun sponsored by PJ Library and Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ with Congregation B’nai Tikvah, and hosted by the Landy family at Congress Hill Farm. The children and families explored the farm with its animals and adventure course, enjoyed live music, a story walk, ice cream, and more!

NEW YEAR COUNTDOWN PJ Ambassador, Anne G, started several years ago making her son an Elul calendar with a daily message or activity — such as a Torah scroll she fashioned from rolls of Smarties candies — to build anticipation and excitement for the Jewish New Year. In 2021, Anne made a simplified version and shared it with PJ families across the heart of NJ, which all could use in their own homes to help the joy and meaning of the holidays come alive that much more.


EDUCATION Today’s Hebrew schools must overcome perceptions about ‘being boring’ and compete with every other activity in students’ lives to foster their positive feelings about Jewish learning and connection. Today, that involves technology, and in 2021, the Jewish Education Directors Group in the Heart of NJ made it a priority. Each year, Federation convenes the group and supports its professional development conference to make after-school Jewish education more effective. This year, the educators realized the need called for more than a one-day conference. To empower teachers to learn how to use important, new technology-driven methods and implement them, the group applied for a Federation grant investing in equipment and coaching. More than ever, students are using techology in their secular schools and afternoon Hebrew schools need to catch up. Rather than replacing teachers, using technology compliments student-teacher interaction; it gives students more agency in making Jewish education their own. Jewish Federation is proud to support Hebrew schools along with day schools and informal education programs, such as summer camp, with the goals of inspiring young people to embrace their Jewish identity and preparing them to become future community leaders. As the world continues to change, Federation and its partners will evolve with it — in this case for the benefit of young people... the Jewish community of tomorrow.

IMPACT PJ Library connects friends and generations When Grace signed her children up for PJ Library, PJ Ambassador, Anne Goodman, reached out and the two met for coffee. Grace had just lost her mom and told Anne she’d inherited her mom’s recipes, but was nervous to bake challah for the first time. Anne suggested Grace host a PJ moms’ challahbake in her home — and made a commitment to find someone to teach the group.



At a time when they are hungry for meaningful encounters, teens benefit from opportunities to develop social connections, leadership skills, and empathy offered by Jewish communal involvement.


J-SERVE is the international day of good deeds for Jewish teens. This year, a COVID-based hybrid model enabled teens to choose from in-person projects taking place outdoors, such as a beach sweep and park clean-up, or virtual projects including hearing from a Holocaust survivor and learning to advocate for better Holocaust education in schools or hearing from a young marine ecology advocate who grew up in this Jewish community and now works with a nonprofit that promotes clean oceans.

Good deeds connect teens to Jewish values and community I’m always looking to combine my Jewish heritage with my passion for helping others. I believe it’s my duty as a Jew and a human being to leave behind a better world than I was born into.

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At J-SERVE, my group led a beach cleanup. We felt we were making a difference. I’m so grateful for the work of Jewish Federation that it is creating these opportunities for people like J-SERVE volunteers to make a more connected and moral Jewish community.


Supporting Jewish life on campus looks diffferent in the age of COVID. In 2021, though many cultural enrichment programs we typically support were tabled, Federation was active with interventions and advocacy addressing the antisemitism many college students and educators experience. One such initiative sought to build multicultural allies in the fight against hate. “Listen, Learn & Share” had Rutgers students talk with each other about their Catholic, Muslim, Sikh, and Jewish faiths — comparisons and commonalities. The program was moderated by Rutgers University Adjunct Professor of Sociology, Dr. Jackie Phillips, MSW, LCSW. Danielle Verde, a Federation intern completing a Masters 16 in social work, designed the educational and community-building program.


In 2021, Women’s Philanthropy (WP) began a collaboration with the young moms of the PJ Library Ambassadors program. The intent was to meet more of the needs of our community’s young adults, beyond the robust, but primarily child-oriented, programs of PJ Library. The result, in addition to many lovely new friendships, was fresh new faces joining Women’s Philanthropy’s leadership team — deepening cross-generational interactions critical to serving and engaging all Jews l’dor v’dor... from generation to generation.

GRATITUDE PROJECT Among Women’s Philanthopy’s (WP’s) many successful programs in 2021, the Gratitude Project collected and donated nearly a thousand items of food, toiletries, toys, and gift cards to help make the fall and winter holidays more comforting and bountiful for those in need. After a month of collection across the heart of NJ, dozens of volunteers gathered in a barn one chilly night to sort, pack, and haul the donated items to distribution partner locations at Fulfill Foodbank, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth, Jewish Family Services of Middlesex, and domestic violence resource organizations, Women Aware and 180 Turning Lives Around. Thank you to the distribution partners and volunteers, as well as collection partners: Congregation Agudath Achim/Freehold Jewish Center, Congregation Ahavas Achim, East Brunswick Jewish Center, Highland Park Conservative Temple/Congregation Anshe Emeth, JCC of Middlesex County, Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, Two River Theater, and Young Israel Aberdeen/ Congregation Bet Tefilah. A special thank you to Laurie and Sam Landy for inviting The Gratitude Project to Congress Hill Farm for our sorting and packing operation.



In 2021, outward expressions of hate against Jews was alarmingly strong. According to the FBI, 56% of 1,500 anti-religious hate crimes reported were motivated by offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.

Working through the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), Federation redoubled efforts educating the community on new threats, empowering advocates to speak and act in ways that make a difference, and strengthening relationships with allies to ensure combating hate remains a priority within and beyond the Jewish community.

THE JCRC Among major initiatives in 2021, the JCRC launched an advocacy education series: Uniting to Combat Antisemitism — providing context, strategies, and tools as alternatives to in-fighting on social media. The JCRC briefed community members and civic leaders on evolving antisemitic threats.

I joined the JCRC because I feel angry and helpless about the rise of antisemitism in my own backyard (as well as in the U.S. and Europe) and wanted to find a constructive way to channel this anger. When I got the notice about the JCRC political advocacy workshop, I signed up and immediately felt energized. With its focus on advocacy for the Jewish community and Israel, the JCRC provides citizen advocates with the tools to make a difference at the local, state and national levels of government. I look forward to working with the JCRC on moving the needle in combating antisemitism in my community and beyond. Jhanna Even, Shrewsbury

Through orchestrated advocacy efforts in the local community and in partnership with the Jewish Federations of New Jersey consortium and Jewish Federations of North America, we ramped up regular contact with state and Federal lawmakers. Our advocacy was instrumental in advancing initiatives combating bigotry and hate: • The Senate passed a resolution condemning antisemitic attacks; • The House approved emergency funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system; • Legislation making NJ’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program permanent was passed out of committee, paving the way for its passage into law in Jan., 2022. We sponsored the ADL’s Words to Action program empowering middle school and high school students and their parents to respond to antisemitism, and our Seeing Human series built on efforts fostering multicultural understanding and alliances. Moving into 2022 and beyond, the JCRC is grateful to all partners and participants working together to strengthen the collective stance against antisemitism — e.g., advocating for mayors to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism — while advancing public support for a broad range of needs in Jewish life, the nonprofit sector, and the greater community. 18

CONNECTING WITH ISRAEL In 2021, Israel’s challenges included escalation of hostilities with Hamas, continued threats from Iran, and on-and-off pandemic travel restrictions affecting the economy. On the other hand, unprecedented security agreements with Arab countries and new business opportunities came from the Abraham accords, and Israel elected its most diverse coalition government in history, including, for the first time, an Orthodox Prime Minister and an Israeli-Arab party. While the pandemic made physically connecting with the land and people of Israel difficult, Jewish Federation facilitated many connections, nonetheless. •

Federation produced virtual Israel encounters, e.g. our History of Modern Israel course, a Yom HaZikaron commemoration, Yom HaAtzmaut celebration, and briefings with Israeli officials and partners on Middle East geopolitics.

During 11 days of hostilities with Hamas, Federation monitored elected officials’ statements and called on certain leaders to rethink and reframe one-sided tropes.

Through Jewish Federation’s Teen Israel Grants, over 40 heart of NJ teens were able to travel to Israel on organized youth trips.

To counter harmful, false narratives, we aggregated resources that clarify Israel conflicts, complexities and context. • Federation supported Axelrod Performing Arts Center’s Israel Jewish Film Festival. • Through briefings and our new Israel e-news, we kept people informed on Israel news and issues... and more. In 2022, Federation will continue to keep the heart of NJ connected to the Jewish homeland through virtual programs and, hopefully soon, in person as well.


ENHANCING SAFETY & SECURITY FOR THE JEWISH COMMUNITY 2021 concluded two weeks before a terrorist entered a Texas synagogue, holding its rabbi and several congregants hostage until the rabbi – who credits security training — recognized an opportunity to act and flee with all hostages physically unharmed. Well before this, Federation was acutely aware of the need for security preparedness in our community. Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ Security Initiatives, in 2021, proactively pushed forward with training, advocacy, and other interventions we have been providing for more than five years. A major milestone in 2021 was the launch of a community-wide emergency alert system for organizations’ leaders and designated security liaisons. Significant inroads in 2021 also resulted from our advocacy with lawmakers, partnership with law enforcement, and support of local Jewish organizations applying for security grants, including: •

Doubling of funds awarded locally through the Federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) — making the total Federation has helped bring the Jewish heart of NJ for security systems, equipment, and personnel over the last six years $9 million; • In 2020, Federation was instrumental in advocating for a significant increase in funds for the NSGP nationwide. This resulted in Congress approving a $90M increase for 2021 nonprofit security grants. • In 2021, we continued to press in line with the sharp rise in antisemitic incidents. This resulted in a further increase of $70M for NSGP, bringing the national total to $250M for 2022.

Briefing the FBI Newark Field Office new Special Agent in Charge, George M. Crouch Jr., on our community’s security landscape as part of a Blue Sky Day initiative intended to proactively strengthen relationships with law enforcement, outside the context of a crisis.

On a daily basis, Federation helps Jewish organizations conduct security assessments; build relationships with law enforcement; monitor, report and investigate incidents, and much more.


LIFE & LEGACY The Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s four-year Life & Legacy training and incentive program concluded in January, 2021. As a result of our partnership and ongoing efforts, $14 million in future value has been committed and nearly $400,000 in incentives for current use was awarded among ten participating organizations. Jewish Federation, as the lead partner, invested in bringing the program to our community with the goal of empowering Federation and other Jewish organizations to cultivate a strong Jewish future. In the program’s aftermath, Federation continued providing support and training in 2021, sharing best practices and leading seminars to include organizations that did not participate in the four-year program.

Gail Shapiro-Scott was a caring educator with a passion for helping young people develop their potential. Gail’s legacy gift will do just that through youth programming and more. Gail’s love and kindness will continue to serve as an inspiration and her memory will be for a blessing.

As a recipient of a nonprofit security grant, I cannot thank Federation enough for all they’ve done and continue to do to secure our synagogues and Hebrew schools. Without their help our rural shul would not have had the means to upgrade our security and ensure the safety of all who come through our doors! Thank you!!! Perrineville Jewish Center Without the help and guidance of Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ, I honestly don’t think we would have received our first or newest grant. Thank you so much for your dedication to our community! East Brunswick Jewish Center

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PROGRAMS FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES & INTERESTS From community building, lifelong education, holiday happenings, Israel engagement, civic advocacy and more, Federation programming enables people of all ages and interests to find meaningful connections to each other and Jewish life. In 2021, many event organizers experimented with bringing people back together in person while the ups and downs of COVID surges and variants kept demand for virtual experiences high. Either way, Jewish community happenings helped keep us all connected and made Jewish life that much more interesting, meaningful, and vibrant. Here are some highlights: HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS CELEBRATE OUR CULTURE A Very Israeli Rosh Hashanah with Celebrity Chef, Michael Solomonov, Celebrity Chefs, Michael Solomonov returned by popular demand, with and Adeena Sussman Prepping for Passover Yom HaShoah Commemoration with Painting Resilience Book Talk

Perfect for Passover: Cooking with Susie Fishbein

ISRAEL PROGRAMS CONNECT US WITH OUR HOMELAND A Yom HaZikaron Commemoration connecting heart of NJ residents with our extended family in Israel to mark Israel’s somber memorial day and usher in its jubilant Yom Haatzmaut Independence Day

History of Modern Israel: A virtual, five-part series with heart of NJ’s favorite Israel guide, Moshe Gold. The course explored 100 years in the Land of Israel, using technology that “put us on the ground” in Israel.

SECURITY TRAININGS ENHANCE AWARENESS & PREPAREDNESS Providing community members and leaders with security preparedness training has been a staple of Federation’s Security Initiatives for several years. With the increase in violent antisemitic incidents across the country and our region — and the advent of virtual events due to COVID, our virtual security trainings in 2021 attracted widespread participation throughout and even beyond our community. Programs, such as • Physical & Digital Threats • Countering Active Treats, and • In-person drills covered prevention, protection, and survival strategies and tools for various types of threats.

At a time when few were willing to gather indoors, Federation offered the American College of Surgeons’ Stop the Bleed training for synagogue and Jewish organization leaders outdoors in our office parking lot. 22

WOMEN BUILDING A VIBRANT, INFORMED AND SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY Women’s Philanthropy (WP) events bring women together in ways that foster camaraderie, connection to Jewish values, and caring for the community. In 2021, with the pandemic still looming, many WP events extended opportunities for self-care and mental stimulation to the community at large — while raising awareness of Federaton-supported programs and services that benefit all Jews in the heart of NJ and beyond. A few highlights: WELLNESS • Healthy Food Choices with a Nutritionist • BRCA Gene Hidden Dangers • Parenting & Grandparenting Without the Burnout: Renew, Relive, Rejoice • Evening Yoga for Relaxation

CULTURE • The Femme Fatales of Art History • Mixology 101 • The Main Event featuring NY Times Best-Selling Author, Dani Shapiro

PJ LIBRARY EVENTS & ACTIVITIES MAKE HAPPY MEMORIES PJ Library events bring together families with children six-months through 12-years-old for programs instilling joy around Jewish holidays, themes, and traditions. (More about PJ Library p. 16). In 2021, hundreds of families made happy Jewish memories at live and virtual events such as these: • Sweet Smell of Shabbat • Fun on the Farm • Shabbat Sensory Box • Purim Party • Box of Israel • Create Your Own Game and Play • Making Our Days Count • Costume Design Workshop • Art of Self Portrait • Tree of Life Book Sculptures • Good Deeds Day • DIY Wooden Spoon Puppet • Passover Story Walk • Fun With Friends • Passover Art Program • Israel Fun With Friends • Create Your Own Wearable Art • Big Zoom Birthday • Hamantashen Baking • Israel Celebration JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL EVENTS ADDRESS “THE BIG ISSUES” The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) conducts events raising awareness of — and developing capabilites and partnerships to address — some of the pressing issues of our day: antisemitism, poverty, resources for people with special needs, and more. 2021 highlights include: • Words to Action program with the ADL, teaching high school students and their parents how to handle hate at school and on social media • The Seeing Human series building multi-faith, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural bridges to push back on hate • Shared Legacies film screening and discussion with Menemsha Films • Spring Holidays & Sacred Renewal Across Cultures • Briefings with East Brunswick Interfaith Clergy Council, Hadassah, and more • Listen & Learn on Others’ Faiths panel discussion with Rutgers University students • NJ Congressional Delegation Advocacy Day 23 • Jewish Disabilities Advocacy Day: Ending Stigma about Mental Health

The greatest gift is to be able to give. The good we do lives after us. We may never see it, but it is there.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks


Caring for the elderly with Kosher Meals on Wheels, home care for Holocaust survivors, mental health care and more.

Facilitating safety and security training for commuity partners outdoors due to COVID concerns.

Bringing education technology systems and training to Hebrew schools and day schools.

Above: Introducing volunteers to ways they can make a direct difference in someone’s life. Below: Valuing every Jew as part of a diverse, caring and connected community. Keeping people of all ages connected to Jewish life with socialization and enrichment programs.

Exciting children and their families about Jewish life through PJ Library and other youth programs.


FINANCIAL EFFICIENCY Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ

manages nearly $27 million annually, with approximately $2.5 million in our annual operating budget, and greater than $24 million in endowment funds. Our goal is to spend 80% or more of our budget funding programs and services and 20% or less on administration and fundraising — a level deemed appropriate and financially efficient by Charity Navigator. In 2021, we exceeded our targets in each of these areas.

Impact grants and other community support 49% Federation programs and services 38%




Administration and fundraising 13%


FINANCIAL RESOURCES Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey cultivates and mobilizes financial resources from our annual community campaign, targeted campaigns for designated purposes, foundation grants, and endowment and legacy gifts. Developing financial resources in this way, Federation enables donors to align their philanthropic investments with the causes they care about – all while addressing the Jewish community’s most critical needs for today and a strong Jewish future.

$1,100,000 2,500,000

Endowment contributions $2,500,000

$1,200,000 1,200,000

Designated gifts, foundations, and other sources $1,200,000

$1,600,000 1,600,000

Annual community campaign $1,600,000




Mrs. Cheryl Markbreiter President Mr. Jeffrey Schwartz 1st Vice President

Dr. Stuart Abraham Mrs. Michelle Fields Mrs. Joan Fischer

Mr. Edward Guttenplan 2nd Vice President

Mrs. Wendy Friedman

Dr. Murray Katz Treasurer

Mr. Mitchell Frumkin

Ms. Sheryl Grutman Secretary

Mr. Liran Kapoano

Committee Chairs

Mrs. Beth Krinsky

Mrs. Cheryl Markbreiter Executive Committee

Mrs. Amy Mallet

Mrs. Arlene Frumkin Dr. Marlene Herman

Dr. Adrienne Ross Community Building & Advocacy

Mr. Anthony Kestler Mr. Joel Krinsky Mrs. Pamela Neuman Mr. Ken Philmus

Mr. Alexander Kemeny Community Impact & Grantmaking

Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg

Mr. Edward Guttenplan Financial Resource Development & Strategic Planning

Dr. Eliot Spack

Mrs. Elise Feldman Governance

Mrs. Francine Semaya Mrs. Brenda Tanzman Mr. Roy Tanzman

Mrs. Naomi Lasky Leadership Development

Leadership Council Dr. Marlene Herman Dr. Eliot Spack

Presidential Appointees Mrs. Laurie Landy Dr. Michael Wasserman

Executive Director Susan Antman

Thriving Together... for for for for for for

our community those in need seniors children education Israel

for our future.


FOLLOW US @jewishheartnj

CONTACT US 230 Old Bridge Turnpike South River, NJ 08882 phone: 732.588.1800 email: info@jewishheartnj.org web: jewishheartnj.org