2022 Annual Report
The Jewish Fund
Letter from the Board Chair
A Message from our board chair, Mickey Eizelman.Read the Letter
And the 2022 Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence recipient is…Read More About the Sosnick Award
Our 2021-2022 grants and grant partners.See the Grants
A year of collaboration and learning for our 2021-2022 Teen Boards.Meet the Teen Board
A snapshot of The Fund’s 2021-2022 financial status.Read The Statement
Board Members and StaffMeet Our People
Letter from the Board Chair
Roughly a year ago, many of our board members and professional staff considered the question of “what lessons have we learned from the pandemic?” Of course, we were still living with COVID-19, so while we reflected on the changes we have experienced, it was not in the rear window. While COVID-19 continues to impact our lives in numerous ways, the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us and we have learned a lot. Many of the changes in our grantmaking administrative processes that were in response to the crisis have been considered over the past year with respect to sustaining them or returning to our previous practices.
Deepened relationships with our grant partners has been realized, as has greater flexibility on our part. We have considered and thought about our role, recognizing that a key purpose for The Fund is to help our community partners achieve their unique missions. This seems obvious, but in fact, in the past, we have sometimes questioned whether an organization should be moving in a specific direction, offering a given program, expanding its scope, etc. The reality for us is that we may choose not to fund something we question, but that is different from questioning the organization’s decision-making.
Our interest in trusting our grant partners has to be one where we walk the walk and not merely talk the talk as we support the strengthening of our grant partners. Demonstrating our respect for our grant partners’ expertise while simultaneously recognizing the inherent funder-grant partner power dynamics is key to beneficial and impactful grantmaking. With these principles at the center of our philosophy, we have revised our grantmaking process to express a more trusting relationship.
We believe the new process also expresses our respect for community organizations by limiting the time needed in our process and the focus on information that is truly critical to our assessment and grant approval process. Basically, we will spend a bit more time at the early application stage with less time needed during the review process. We have communicated by email with our current and recent grant partners about these change and have also updated our website. If you have not reviewed the process, please do so.
We are proud to continue to support a range of types of grants: demonstration, challenge grants, seed money, capacity building, capital grants, general operating support, professional development and discretionary fund grants. We have also expanded our collaborative funding with other foundations, strengthening the support provided at a grant’s outset or securing additional years for a project to grow and secure new resources.
Our Teen Board, an educational philanthropy program of The Jewish Fund, is now in its 8th year of operations. We are so proud of the teens and their interest and enthusiasm for learning of community needs and how philanthropy can support efforts to improve the lives of the people in our community.
We look forward to sharing insights from our recently launched evaluation of impact achieved through our grants, a process which The Jewish Fund engages in on a regular basis.
We hope the year to come is a healthy and satisfying one for all of our community partners.
- Michael Eizelman, Chair
FernCare Free Clinic
2022 Sosnick Award Recipient
The Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence was established in memory of Robert Sosnick, whose bold vision and leadership skills led to the creation of The Jewish Fund. In tribute to Mr. Sosnick and in keeping with the mission of The Jewish Fund, the program selected for the award should represent the ideals and standards of excellence that are both hallmarks of this award and characteristics of Robert Sosnick. Innovation, collaboration, achievement of program objectives, impact on quality of life, management of resources and sustainability are all key criteria for a program’s selection of this annual award which includes a $25,000 prize.
FernCare was established in 2010 as a free medical clinic to serve the citizens of Ferndale and the surrounding communities. It is currently only one of two free clinics in south Oakland County, the only free clinic serving south Macomb County, and the only free clinic north of McNichols serving Detroiters. While it historically functioned as a safety net episodic care clinic, it now has established relationships with many of its patients. Prior to the pandemic, it provided health resources to over 1,000 people, including direct care, insurance enrollment, information and referral. FernCare remained open throughout the pandemic, although its patient visits decreased.
With an operating budget of over $200,000, the clinic relies on nearly 100 volunteer direct service providers, including physicians, nurses, mental health professionals and non-medical staff volunteers. It also has three paid part-time positions. When the clinic first received a grant from The Jewish Fund, it had half the number of volunteers and only two 3-hour clinic sessions per month. This has since grown to six clinic sessions per month, including two mental health clinics.
The clinic serves adults who do not have medical insurance or a primary care provider. A wide range of services are provided, and these have expanded over recent years. They include non-emergency maintenance of chronic illnesses, preventive exams, lab work, Affordable Care Act insurance enrollment, acupuncture, nutrition counseling, prescription assistance program and wellness and life coaching.
FernCare has received much positive community and philanthropic support over the years. In fact, it has worked with 15 grants this past year. The Jewish Fund’s previous two multi-year grants provided funding needed to expand clinic hours of operation designed to meet the various needs of community residents. The Clinic has developed a modest but consistently effective fundraising program that includes special events, as well as corporate, foundation and individual donor support. It has also enhanced its administrative operations in recent years, including an engaging website, an independent audit and extensive collaborations. The Clinic recently hired its first professional executive director.
The Jewish Fund is so proud to be a long-term partner, since 2012, with FernCare. The award committee noted FernCare’s alignment with the values lived and supported by Robert Sosnick and is proud to recognize it with this honor.
- 2021 Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network
- 2020 Ruth Ellis Center
- 2019 Tamarack Camps’ Special Needs Inclusion Program
- 2018 St. Joseph Mercy Oakland – Mercy Dental Center
- 2017 Hamtramck School-Based Health Center in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation
- 2016 Starfish Family Services
- 2015 Hebrew Free Loan
- 2014 Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
- 2013 Fair Food Network
- 2012 Forgotten Harvest
- 2011 Kadima
- 2010 Summer in the City
- 2009 JARC
- 2008 Jewish Senior Life/JVS
- 2007 Jewish Family Service
- 2006 Jewish Community Center
- 2005 City Year Detroit
- 2004 Children’s Dental Health Foundation
- 2003 DMC/Sinai Grace Hospital
- 2002 Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network
- 2001 Kids Kicking Cancer
- 2000 JVS/Jewish Senior Life
FernCare was created from a group of activists who identified the growing need to help people who did not have equal access to the healthcare system due to lack of insurance. FernCare was born with the mission of providing medical care to anyone regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, or income.
The following lists show The Jewish Fund grants that were approved during the 2021-2022 fiscal year at the May and November 2021 board meetings. The lists include both new and continuation grants and are divided into sections reflecting the primary program areas of The Jewish Fund’s grantmaking priorities.
Health and Welfare of the Jewish Community
In keeping with its mission, The Jewish Fund emphasizes support of health and social welfare services which benefit vulnerable and/or underserved Jewish people in the community. Additionally The Fund supports innovative initiatives that enhance the historic bond between the Jewish community and Detroit.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association
One-year grant to train culturally competent volunteers in the Jewish community to expand capacity for educational and support programs.
Hillel Day School
Third year of a three-year grant of $111,340 to incorporate Responsive Classroom for Enhancing Social-Emotional Learning to the school’s operations.
Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
First year of a three-year grant of $550,000 to support a renovation of their building, including the creation of a shared collaborative workspace, increasing inclusivity in the Jewish community.
First year of a three-year general operating support grant of $300,000 to benefit adults with developmental disabilities.
Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit
$112,000One-year grant to support its leadership team through participation in a Bridgespan professional development opportunity and strategic planning process.
$143,405 First year of a three-year grant of $401,675 to implement a Zero Suicide framework internally and with community partners to advance and expand suicide prevention work.
$146,030First year of a three-year grant of $425,040 to alleviate and address effects of social isolation and traumatic impact of COVID-19 on older adults.
$280,000Third year of a three-year grant of $900,000 to maintain daily functioning and improve quality of life for vulnerable older adults aging in community.
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
Second year of a three-year challenge grant to support Centennial Fund gifts by providing immediate payout support for vital services.
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit & Jewish Federations of North America
Emergency grant to support the Jewish community in Ukraine.
One-year grant to support the costs of integrating Kadima and JVS and creating Gesher Human Services.
Repair the World
Third year of a three-year grant of $168,350 to deepen and expand its service and learning programming for young adults, teens, and families.
Yeshiva Beth Yehudah
Second year of a three-year grant of $585,000 to expand the school’s special needs education programs.
Health of the Metropolitan Detroit Community
In order to best respond to the health needs of vulnerable and/or underserved residents of Detroit and the surrounding area, The Jewish Fund supports efforts to increase access to quality health care services and to improve health outcomes through early childhood health interventions.
Alternatives for Girls
Second year of a three-year grant of $120,000 to promote maternal and newborn health.
One-year grant to provide coordination of internal and external referrals to support perinatal health services including prenatal, childbirth, postpartum, lactation and social support needs.
The Children’s Foundation
Second year of a two-year grant of $40,000 to provide eyeglasses to visually impaired students in need within the Hamtramck Public Schools.
Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS)
One-year grant to support improved health outcomes for young children residing at its Peggy’s Place location.
FernCare Free Clinic
One-year grant to support expansion of care to patients with chronic care conditions.
Third year of a three-year grant of $133,000 to train asylum seekers to advocate for their health care needs.
One-year grant to expand its services in Detroit at the Durfee Innovation Society.
Health Emergency Assistance of Detroit/Corktown Health Center
One-year grant to improve access to oral health services.
Hope Village Revitalization
One-year grant to embed a community health worker to support health access for residents of the HOPE Village neighborhood.
Knights and Dames of The Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic
One-year grant to expand services to an increased number of patients with its move to its new facility.
Michigan League for Public Policy
One-year grant to expand access to high-quality healthcare services through advancing community health workers.
North Star Reach
One-year grant to support its Sickle Cell camp, a barrier-free, fully-accessible medical camp serving children with significant health challenges and their families.
Discretionary Fund Grants
- for Hurricane Ida relief.
- Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
- for their Afgan Refugee Resettlement funding collaborative.
- Greater Miami Jewish Federation
- for the Surfside Building collapse.
- for Haitian earthquake relief.
- to support the Jewish community in Ukraine.
- to support the Jewish community in Ukraine.
- to support Afghan Refugee Resettlement.
- United Jewish Federation
- for the upkeep of Detroit area Jewish cemeteries.
- United Way of Kentucky
- for tornado relief.
- Professional Development
- for transformative professional development experiences for our grant partners.
The Jewish Fund Teen Board
The Jewish Fund Teen Board is a collaborative philanthropy group providing Jewish teens from the Metro Detroit area the opportunity to learn about grantmaking and philanthropy.
Teen Board 2021-2022
In 2021-2022, our 8th year of programming, two cohorts of teens participated in the grantmaking process. Year 1 consisted of 28 teens experiencing grantmaking for the first time. In Year 2, board members had chosen to continue their Teen Board experience by deepening their knowledge and skills through a second year of participation. Teen Board members, representing high schools and congregations, granted a total of $167,577. This report is about who they are, what they did and how they did it.
The Jewish Fund Teen Board Mission Statements
Year 1 Cohort
We, the members of the 2021-2022 Jewish Fund Teen Board, recognize mental health and antisemitism as pressing issues. Our mission is to grant funds to programs that focus on antisemitism and mental health as a whole with a special interest in suicide prevention, anxiety, and depression.
Year 2 Cohort
We, the members of the 2021-2022 Jewish Fund Teen Board, are committed to being a partner in the work of improving the social and emotional wellness of the Jewish and broader community in Metro Detroit. Our mission is to grant funds to organizations that address these issues with particular focus on those working to combat anti-semitism and improve general health.
The Teen Board Experience: Voices of Our Members
These reflections were composed in a collaborative fashion in order to represent each board as a whole.
Reflecting on the importance of the mission statement.
I think that connecting with mental health is very important especially since the pandemic has isolated us from each other and affected our mental states. It is important to show support and give support to organizations that provide mental health resources because they are the people who really help people grow into more stable and emotionally capable people. Anti-semitism is also very important to address because so many people are harmed or misunderstood based on their religion.
Our mission statement had two parts this year. We wanted to focus on improving the mental health resources of the community and combatting anti-semitism. These were both extremely important this year as anti-semitism has been on the rise and the pandemic is still having lasting impressions on the mental health of our community
“Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) drives our decision making and the mindsets of me and my fellow peers. Teen Board’s work helps repair the world by funding solutions for the many issues our society faces.”
– Tali Feingold
“The Teen Board is an incredible opportunity because it gets us involved and immersed in Jewish philanthropy early enough in our lives that we can continue on this path and really explore our interests and the particular parts of philanthropy that we’re most passionate about.”
– Samantha Caminker
“My involvement in Teen Board provided me with a different perspective on nonprofit organizations. This made me realize that there are many small organizations that need support to continue their work.”
– Gabrielle Polakoff
How has your involvement in Teen Board helped shape your understanding our our community needs?
The problems with our society are greatly shown in the importance of the different organizations that we learn about. After the site visits and grant making, I realized that our community needs many things. It also shows how important it is to support these organizations.
Teen Board has helped shape the way we think about our community. We learned about organizations we otherwise might not have known about. We also got to hear different speakers talk about their involvement within the community, and what could help the parts of the community they worked with.
How does our work connect to Jewish Values?
Our world is far from perfect, but thanks to our work at Teen Board, the world is brought closer and closer to the ideal. Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) drives our decision making and the mindsets of me and my fellow peers. Teen Board’s work helps repair the world by funding solutions for the many issues our society faces.
The Leadership Experience…What are the benefits and challenges to providing leadership to your peers?
Teen Board is an amazing opportunity for teens. We learn so much about philanthropy focusing on topics ranging from grantmaking to networking. Most importantly, we are exposed to the philanthropic way of life which is amazing. The rewards are immense as we get to see the impact of our actions.
What have you learned during your time on the Teen Board that you would like to pass along to other grant makers?
Our work strongly connects to the Jewish value of tikkun olam, which signifies the importance of repairing the world. By granting funds to impactful organizations in the Jewish and metro Detroit communities, we are able to promote a more inclusive and impactful world.
My involvement in teen board has helped me understand not only the Jewish community, but the broader metro Detroit area. Teen Board has helped me do this by looking deeper into our community needs with empathy when creating a mission statement, and learning about the needs of the organizations in our community.
Why is Teen Board an important opportunity for teens?
Teen Board is a great place to learn about the different Jewish organizations in the area. For me, being a teenager that is busy in school and has school sports many weeknights distracts me from some of the issues that occur in my community. By being on the Teen Board, I am able to see the different non-profits that help give attention to the areas that need it, and I am now able to understand and identify the different organizations in the community that can help if I need or if someone I know needs.
As current high school students, within the next decade, we will be adults. Getting experience with philanthropy in teenage years helps us to become more familiar with making change before adulthood, ensuring us confidence in making greater change as grown-ups.
The Teen Board is an incredible opportunity because it gets us involved and immersed in Jewish philanthropy early enough in our lives that we can continue on this path and really explore our interests and the particular parts of philanthropy that we’re most passionate about.
My involvement in Teen Board provided me with a different perspective on nonprofit organizations. This made me realize that there are many small organizations that need support to continue their work.
Year 1 Grantmaking
Providing critical funding to programs that address antisemitism and mental health as a whole.
From seeing a significant increase of desperately needed mental health services caused by quarantine and isolation and antisemitism on the rise, the Jewish Fund Teen Board created not just a mission statement targeting these issues, but a meaningful call to action to meet these challenges head-on and leave metropolitan Detroit in a better place.
The Teen Board is proud to fund four organizations committed to making significant community impact in this area:
The Children’s Foundation
to provide mental and behavioral health services group sessions to Hamtramck High School students.
to increase availability and access to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in the community.
Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit (The J)
to support the Educator Mental Health Initiative.
Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network
to support terminally ill patients and their family members (including caregivers) in finding mental, emotional and spiritual wellness at end of life.
to provide therapeutic, educational, and experiential creative arts programming for adults living with mental health challenges.
to strengthen organizational capacity, primarily by hiring staff, and support the mission of empowering communities to prevent suicide and offering support and healing to survivors.
Year 2 Grantmaking
Providing funding to combat antisemitism and improve general health in our community.
With increasing wealth inequality and difficulty of maintaining proper health due to factors such as the pandemic and rising medical care costs, the most susceptible members of our community had a significant need for the Jewish Fund’s assistance. This motivated the Year 2 board to emphasize their mission on both general health and addressing the effects of anti semitism. The Year 2’s decision making kept these factors in mind to ensure solutions within our community that provide effective results.
The Teen Board made three grants to organizations working to address this issue:
to expand its Building Insights to Navigate Antisemitism and Hate (BINAH) program to high schools across Michigan.
B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO)
to support an educational and wellness retreat for Jewish teenagers.
Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit
to strengthen capacity in its grief and loss counseling services.
Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit
to support the hiring of a social worker at Hillel of Metro Detroit.
Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network
to provide physical therapy services when Medicare benefits are not available.
Kids Kicking Cancer
to support its Signature Event to Honor Achievement, Tenacity and Heroism
to provide students of the Durfee Robotics team with coping strategies and emotional support.
Seven Years of Engaging Jewish Teens…
High Schools Represented
- Aim High School
- Akiva Hebrew Day School
- Berkley High School
- Birmingham Groves
- Bloomfield Hills High School
- Canton High School
- Cranbrook Kingswood
- Detroit Country Day School
- Eton Academy
- Farber Hebrew Day School
- Frankel Jewish Academy
- Groves High School
- International Academy
- North Farmington High School
- Northville High School
- Oakland Early College
- Rochester Adams High School
- Seaholm High School
- The Roeper School
- Walled Lake Central High School
- Walled Lake Northern High School
- Walled Lake Western High School
- West Bloomfield High School
- Adat Shalom Synagogue
- Aish Detroit
- Congregation Beth Ahm
- Congregation Beth El (Windsor)
- Congregation Beth Shalom
- Congregation B’nai Moshe
- Congregation Or Chadash
- Congregation Shaarey Zedek
- Congregation Shir Tikvah Keter Torah
- Ohel Moed of Shomrey Emunah
- Or Chadash
- Partners in Torah
- Temple Emanu El
- Temple Israel
- Temple Shir Shalom
- The Birmingham Temple
- Woodward Avenue Shul
- Young Israel of Oak Park
- Young Israel of Southfield
…and Impacting Our Community!
in grant dollars awarded
Focus Areas Addressed:
- Adolescent Mental Health
- Economic Hardship
- Family Communication
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Kindergarten Readiness & Early Childhood Health
- Older Adults
- Special Needs
- Substance Abuse
Grant Proposals Reviewed
Site Visits Conducted to
Diverse Metro Detroit Nonprofits
Jewish High School Students Engaged
For the year ending May 31, 2022 The Jewish Fund had an investment loss of $4.9 million and the investment’s asset value was $63.2 million. The table above summarizes The Fund’s historic asset balances since its inception in 1997. During the 2022 fiscal year, The Jewish Fund’s grants and expenses totaled $2.9 million. Since inception, The Fund has awarded $75 million in grants.
Board of Directors
The Jewish Fund
- Michael Eizelman
- Jeffrey B. Schlussel
- Vice Chair
- Peter M. Alter
- Michael Berger
- Dennis S. Bernard
- Roselyn Komisar Blanck
- Penny Blumenstein*
- Jeffrey M. Davidson
- Jeffrey M. Devries, M.D., MPH
- Jennifer Friedman, Ph.D.
- Lynda Giles, Ph.D.
- Paula Glazier
- Nancy Grosfeld*
- Jay Hack
- Steven Ingber
- Gilda Z. Jacobs
- Sherri L. Ketai
- Candace J. Kimpson, M.D.
- Ronald A. Klein
- Mark L. Kowalsky
- Richard Krugel, M.D.*
- Matthew B. Lester
- Beverly Liss
- Ilana K. Liss
- Rabbi Harold S. Loss
- Michael W. Maddin*
- Robert H. Naftaly*
- Marcie Hermelin Orley
- Susie Pappas
- Marta Rosenthal
- Steve Schanes
- Mark E. Schlussel*
- Karen Sosnick Schoenberg*
- Leah Trosch
- Michael R. Tyson
- Hon. Helene White
- Lawrence A. Wolfe
- Dorothy Benyas
- Secretary / Treasurer
- Robert Sosnick זצ״ל
- Mark E. Schlussel
- Co-Founding Chairs
Staff of the Jewish Fund
- Margo Pernick
- Executive Director
- Laura Charnas
- Teen Board Coordinator
- Rabbi Ari Witkin
- Teen Board Facilitator: Year 2
- Kristin Moskovitz
- Grants Management Coordinator
- Jocelyn Adelman
- Andrew Bertman
- Jordan Bloom
- Samantha Caminker
- Anthony Carson
- Maddie Charnas
- Brevin Chernett
- Merrick Chernett
- Aria Dwoskin
- Tali Feingold
- Ella Fried
- Abigail Goldberg
- Erin Grey
- Ethan Grey
- Nicolette Handler
- Jane Heller
- Mayer Krieger
- Rayna Kushner
- Ariella Leib
- Isaac Mougoue
- Gabrielle Polakoff
- Rebecca Rabin
- Ryan Schmeltz
- Ari Schon
- Harrison Shaevsky
- Meredith Shapiro
- Ethan Simon
- Ashten Spector
- Benzion Taylor-Abt
- Allie Abrams
- Max Barish
- Elizabeth Doran
- Grant Fleischer
- Evan Foltyn
- Eli Foltyn
- Shayna Foreman
- Zachary Frank
- Max Friedman
- Bella Gottlieb
- Yakira Hyman
- Mia Jacobson
- Bella Muchnick
- Libby Neuvirth
- Noa Ostrof
- Noa Pergament
- Alexa Philko
- Isaac Pitt
- Daniella Press
- Isaac Saulson
- Avi Selesny
- Benji Stern
- Ruby Stoller
- Adin Victor
Teen Board Leadership Council Members
- Logan Edelheitt
- Isabelle Goldstein
- Haley Lipman
- Lilli Semel
- Eryn Stern
- Macy West