CJYF Annual Meeting 2 Columbus Jewish Youth Foundation Grants $8,000 to Area Day Schools
Columbus, Ohio / May 2009 :: In the spring of 2008, the Columbus Jewish Youth Foundation (CJYF) wrapped up its inaugural season with an annual meeting that featured the distribution of over $11,000 to four Jewish community agencies.
In May, in the Roth Resler Theater at the JCC of Greater Columbus, that tradition of giving continued as the members of the CJYF Board gathered among community members, family and friends to announce their 2009 grant awards at their second annual meeting.
Early on in 2009, a decision was made by the Columbus Jewish Foundation sponsored teen board to forgo a general community call for grants and, in light of the economic situation, focused their philanthropic efforts on Columbus’ two community day schools.
“We had just finished a fairly in-depth discussion of Bernie Madoff and the impact Jewish values should have in business ethics.” recalled the Foundation’s Director of Marketing and Youth Philanthropy Coordinator, Larry Shuman. “A member of the board made the suggestion that perhaps the unstable economy would offer cause to re-evaluate our grant process.” A good majority of the CJYF members are graduates, former students or are current students in one of Columbus’ two day schools. “The education concentration seemed natural.” Shuman added.
The CJYF concluded its second year of learning and distributing $8,000 to Columbus’ Jewish day schools. Columbus Torah Academy received $4,000 for scholarship assistance and the Columbus Jewish Day School received $4,000 for a new “Green” Environmental Education Program.
First year CJYF member Rachel Brisk spoke on behalf of the board as she presented the check to CJDS Head of School Rabbi Mitch Levine and CJDS teacher & Environmental Education Coordinator Gina Freeman. “The members of the CJYF felt that this grant represented the mission of both of our organizations,” Rachel said. “We believe that this program will go a long way to help serve those members of the community with an interest in environmentalism and education through a Jewish lens.”
The CJDS Environmental Education Program has the potential to reach hundreds, if not thousands of students in Columbus and around the world. The CJDS student body, JCC preschool, and close to thirty students from Indianola Informal Alternative Elementary School will have direct access to the green space throughout the year.
Second year board members Katherine Emoff and Ben Sinvany represented the board as they presented the check to Columbus Torah Academy Headmaster Rabbi Zvi Kahn and Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator Rabbi Yehudah Lowy.
The grant, which has been designated to support tuition scholarships for families of incoming kindergarteners, really spoke with the teens. “CJYF was happy to learn that the grant would be dedicated to assisting student families entering kindergarten.” said Emoff. “As with the CJDS grant, members of the CJYF felt that CTA’s represented the mission of both of our organizations and would go a long way to help ensure that no students are denied the opportunity to receive a top notch Jewish education.”
The evening was also a bitter sweet celebration of sorts as the Foundation—and the CJYF in particular—honored Shelly Igdaloff for almost a decade of stewardship of the Foundation’s youth philanthropy program. Shelly has served as chair of the Foundation’s youth philanthropy program since its inception in 2001. A former Foundation trustee, Shelly helped guide the activities of the Mitzi & Henry Saeman B’nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy Program and was instrumental in the formation of the Columbus Jewish Youth Foundation in 2007.
Larry Shuman—presenting a Tzedakah Box to Shelly—shared some personal reflections. “In my four years at the Columbus Jewish Foundation, I have never received as many surprise visits, good counsel and phone calls as I have from Shelly. Always with a smile, an offer to help and always with new ideas.”
“Operating mostly under the radar, Shelly guided the growth and development of the Mitzi & Henry Saeman B’nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy into one of the finest and largest programs of its kind, anywhere in North America.” noted Shuman. As the impetus behind the program’s biannual Mega Mitzvah event, Shelly has helped open up the world of philanthropy to hundreds of teens in Columbus. To date, the Foundation’s B’nai Tzedek Program—of which there are over 330 fund holders—and CJYF allocations have combined to donate over $75,000 to more than 100 charities around the world.”
As the business portion of the meeting concluded, attendees at the JET: Jewish Experience for Teens Awards Night, made the walk across the hall from the JCC’s Schottenstein Room to join the CJYF meeting for some “Mind Games” with world renowned mentalist Marc Salem.
A student of the human mind for over 30 years, Salem is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on non-verbal communication. How the mind creates reality and meaning has been his major focus. Mr. Salem astounded the crowd for over an hour as he was able to discern numbers, colors, and images people were thinking about without any verbal clues. He spoke often about the importance of communication when meeting with donors and reviewing grant applications and marveled at the work of the teens before him. As second year board member Mary Fredman warned while quoting the New York Times during her introduction of Salem . . . “Hide your thoughts! Marc Salem is in town.”
The mission of the COLUMBUS JEWISH YOUTH FOUNDATION is to positively affect the lives of those in need throughout the Columbus Jewish community and beyond through an experiential approach to philanthropy. It is supported in part by the Columbus Jewish Foundation and the Jewish Teen Funders Network (NY). Marc Salem’s visit to Columbus was co-sponsored by the Columbus Jewish Youth Foundation and JET: Jewish Experience for Teens.
For more information about the Columbus Jewish Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Program please call the Foundation office at 614-338-2365 or visit www.iamphil.org.