The Giving Forum
“Given the challenges that face us and the ever increasing need, it is clear that a fresh approach to ensure sustainable giving for our community will grow in importance over time. Encouraging this support remains the central mission of The Giving Forum.”
Greg Shand– The Giving Forum
Established in 2015, The Giving Forum has taken a leadership position as cornerstone funders of a number of important projects that aim to have a significant impact on the long-term sustainability of the local Jewish community.
Their funding has been central to JCA’s Jumpstart initiative to engage younger members of the community and cultivate new committed donors; to the creation of JCA The Choice Foundation to provide ongoing support for disability services in the community; and to funding aimed at moving the Sydney Jewish Museum closer to being self-sustainable.
TGF is focused on key community continuity programs to address long-term security needs and advocacy initiatives; to develop a community centre with the Hakoah at White City development; to enable capital upgrades at Jewish day schools and a much-needed refurbishment of the Sydney Chevra Kadisha. These projects alone require in excess of $150 million over the coming years.
In 2020, The Giving Forum members also led an initiative providing a communal response to the devastating Australian bushfires.
Through their pivotal role in local philanthropy, The Giving Forum members have catalysed further funding from other donors who have joined them in supporting these changemaking community projects.
Australian Jewish Funders
“AJF and JCA share a common strategic objective, the strengthening of a sustainable, vibrant and secure Jewish community through effective philanthropy, engagement and leadership development.”
Tracie Olcha– Australian Jewish Funders
The strong partnership between AJF and JCA allows for the sharing of resources, expertise and professional services, creating opportunity for innovation, collaboration and greater positive change within the Australian Jewish community.
Together, AJF and JCA believe that the Australian Jewish community will be strengthened by partnerships between cities that look to solve problems around innovative community engagement, overcome funding barriers, and creating a culture of giving and change-making within the community.
AJF’s LaunchPad – a collaboration between JCA, The Schusterman Family Foundation and Shalom – is one such program and has helped cultivate more than 350 community activists and change agents since 2014.
Other opportunities for personal and leadership development are offered through the ROI Community, Schusterman Fellowship and Hazon Incubator. In addition, AJF is currently focused on next generation donors and emerging social investors (including young adult engagement), giving circles, matching grants, and investigating other philanthropic models for the future.
The Observership Program
“The Observership Program provided an opportunity to increase my involvement in the community while broadening my own skills and experience. The program uniquely enables our community’s professional young adult segment to both enhance their corporate skill set and give back to a JCA supported organisation.”
Jenna Baskin– 2018 Alumnus, current Board member at JewishCare and Mum for Mum (NSW NCJWA)
The Observership Program – an initiative that offers young individuals in our community a structured experience on non-profit boards – is now in its eighth year and has been running independently since 2017 as a result of JCA’s partnership with AICD and Philanthropy Australia.
The 12-month Observership experience has seen many participants go on to serve successfully on JCA member organisation Boards, enriching our community through their passion, talent and commitment.
Over 150 young adults have graduated from the program; they continue to benefit from the networks they’ve developed and by attending Observership Alumni events with guest speakers and presentations from business and community leaders.
Youth to Israel
“My experiences in Israel have made my Jewish identity concrete, which is somewhat difficult when you’re not closely involved in the Jewish community…It is vital for the continuity of the Jewish community at home as well as the continuity of the Jewish story.”
Raelle Freinkel – Rose Bay Secondary College graduate, Y2i Coordinator
JCA’s Gen 17 study confirmed something that many already knew from their own personal experience: visiting Israel is a powerful and meaningful way to connect to Jewish identity – especially so in our younger, formative years.
With this in mind, Y2i was established in 2015 in partnership with JCA to make trips to Israel affordable for all Jewish children in NSW, ACT and QLD. The program provides $5,000 grants to Year 10 participants from Jewish Day Schools as well as students from over 40 schools on the BJE Israel program. The students travel extensively over six weeks in Israel – learning about and experiencing Israeli and Jewish life, history and culture.
For many, their Y2i experience, shared with their peers, is a life-changing journey that makes concrete their sense of Jewish identity and belonging to the local Jewish community.
To date, more than 1,400 students have visited Israel through the program and, for many, it is the impetus for their involvement in the Jewish community once they leave school.