Social Justice Commitee Awards Shalom Grants
These days, it seems like most of the news is bad. But there is good news. The Columbus Jewish Foundation Social Justice Committee continues to work hard to correct the imbalance.
Margey Cheses, Committee chair, noted "A bit of help can go a long way. Our Shalom Grants are surprise awards of up to $1,000. Committee members bring the needs of recipients, all of which are non-profits, to the attention of the committee."
Shalom Grants are provided to address social injustices and advance positive community relations. Last year twelve Shalom Grants were awarded. One was for Operation Buckeye, which sends goodie boxes and a touch of home to American troops serving overseas. All of the Foundation-funded boxes were sent to American soldiers in Afghanistan and contained personal greetings and thanks in the name of the Central Ohio Jewish community.
The most recent Shalom Grant was to the Cambodia Mutual Assistance Association for the benefit of Capitol Park, home to recently resettled Somalis. It was used to clear out the overgrown parking lot which has become dangerous for the women. Enhanced security will improve their resettlement objectives and facilitate integration.
Sadly, tragic natural disasters were in the forefront of Shalom Grants: Japan earthquake and tsunami relief; the Birmingham, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri tornadoes; and the Carmel Forest fires in Israel.
Because local social service agencies continue to face critical funding challenges, Shalom Grants were awarded to Catholic Social Services; Lutheran Social Services; the Columbus Federation of Settlements; the YMCA; Charity Newsies; and the Ohio Community Action Training Organization of HEAP emergency assistance.
Committee member Dr. Julie Harmon stated, “Shalom Grants do a world of good by extending a helping hand with funding, but more so, they illustrate the helping heart of the Columbus Jewish Foundation.”
Community Grants Committee Chairman Babette Feibel with Jim Caronis, Operation Buckeye President, holding a sample box containing food items, toiletries, hygiene items, entertainment, and notes of appreciation all wrapped with good wishes of love and support for the job the troops are doing.
Dr. Julie Harmon delivers a Shalom Grant to residents of Capitol Park. This positive encounter may have been their first contact with a member of the Jewish community.
For more information about charitable giving, contact the Columbus Jewish Foundation at (614) 338-2365.