Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 33
 
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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Growing: Jewish Community Foundation Looks Forward to Including More Funds

Ellen Gilbert

“We are very proud to make a difference for these students; we’ll be sending out the checks soon,” said Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) of Greater Mercer Executive Director Julie Davidson Meyers as she talked about the Lawrenceville-based agency’s book scholarship awards program.

This year’s 13 book scholarship recipients either currently attend or are about to enter college. (Recipients‘ names are confidential.) The awards are given to Jewish students based on need, merit, and community service. The JCF endows the scholarships from restricted funds that are designated specifically for this purpose. The recipients of the scholarships are determined by a committee appointed by the Jewish Family and Children Services of Greater Mercer County.

Students receiving awards are attending a variety of schools. including Barnard College, Carnegie Mellon University, and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

“These restricted funds dedicated to education help us live our mission,” said Ms. Meyers. “Donors have dedicated funds to education since 1969 and our most recent gift to this restricted fund came in just this past year. Clearly education is valuable and the need to help those seeking an education always remains a priority.”

There are currently six restricted funds held at the Foundation dedicated to the Book Awards Scholarship Program, and the Foundation is actively seeking more. 

JCF’s newly-refurbished website (www.jcfgreatermercer.org) describes the organization as “the endowment and investment arm of the local Jewish community,” seeking “to provide a sustainable legacy for the Jewish community locally and globally through endowments and resources that maximize the charitable objectives of their donors.” Besides finding contributors to the Book Program, the agency is eager to assist new prospective donors who may be interested in getting involved.

Board of Trustees President Florence Kahn described the recent hiring of Ms. Meyers as part of a “comprehensive re-branding” effort that included “reinvigorating” Board subcommittees. “We did this because we know that the stronger we are, the more we can do for those who entrust us with their philanthropic funds,” she observed.

“In 2009 we received $2,683,000 in contributions and distributed $1,834,000 to local and national agencies,” reported Ms. Meyers.

Organizations currently receiving support from funds managed by the JCF include Greenwood House, Lilith Magazine, The Jewish Center of Princeton, The New Israel Fund, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, ACLU, Americans For Peace Now, The Arts Council of Princeton, HomeFront, Planned Parenthood, The Princeton Public Library, The Metropolitan Opera Fund, The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Womanspace, and The Princeton Health Care System.

In addition to managing over 80 donor-advised and restricted funds, the foundation has seven endowment commitments that support the United Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks’ annual campaign.

For further information about the Jewish Community foundation of Greater Mercer visit www.jcfgreatermercer.org. Anyone interested in applying for the book scholarship program for next year may call JFC staff member Regie Roth at (609) 987-8100, ext. 117.

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