Jewish Home of Cincinnati, Inc. (JHC) has completed its first grant application and review cycle since transforming into a grantmaking organization and has awarded two grants to local community agencies serving Jewish seniors. The grants were awarded to the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center (HHC) and to Jewish Education for Every Person (J-E-E-P). 

These awards align with JHC’s vision to support Jewish seniors so that they can have meaningful and fulfilling lives, as Grant Committee co-chair Ernesto Levy explained, “The mission of Jewish Home of Cincinnati is to support seniors by investing in innovative services and programs. Whether by finding new ways to address isolation, or engaging seniors to educate about the Holocaust, the two programs being funded are excellent examples of how we seek to bring our mission to life.” 

Funding to HHC will specifically support the Coppel Speakers Bureau, which provides connection, stimulation, inspiration, and purpose for the twenty-three seniors who act as presenters, as well as a point of engagement for the many seniors who attend and view the events as audience members. This helps mitigate feelings of isolation and builds community. “Over the years, strong friendships have been forged between Speakers Bureau and HHC volunteers — many of whom are also over age 65 — and who work closely with the speakers,” explained Trinity Johnson, Development Manager, who coordinates the Speakers Bureau. 

JHC’s grant to J-E-E-P will support the project, Spreading Simcha and Connection. This project was initiated in 2021 when J-E-E-P noted that the pandemic made accessing holiday provisions a challenge for the elderly. They created kosher Passover seder dinner kits which were delivered to a hundred twenty-seven individuals. Based on the positive feedback from this effort, they then created and delivered a catered Rosh Hashana dinner. Volunteers and staff coordinated delivery to individual homes and to those living in nursing homes and visited with recipients when possible. Rabbi Yaakov Karp, Executive Director, explained, “The Rosh Hashana and Passover seder dinners were joyously received. It was clear that this is a program we needed to continue and expand.” With the grant from JHC, J-E-E-P will grow this program in 2022 by further systemizing its operations, adding more holidays, and identifying more recipients to include in the program. 

JHC Executive Director Nina Perlove explained that both funded programs share a common element: volunteers. “We are excited about these programs because they engage volunteers to help us build a stronger, more connected community. Engaging the skills and talents of robust volunteer networks helps create a culture of caring with exponential benefits.” 

JHC will be accepting Letters of Inquiry from eligible nonprofit organizations for additional grant funding opportunities in late January. 

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