Funding from Six Points Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund will expand employment opportunities for a greater number of Jewish job seekers. Your grant, coupled with your vital hands-on support, networks and guidance, will empower JVS Toronto to mobilize Toronto’s Jewish community leaders and volunteers to develop and implement an aggressive community-wide employment strategy. The implementation of this strategy will lead to reduced unemployment and poverty, and increased self-sufficiency among the Jewish community’s most vulnerable and marginalized members. This will result in less demand on community financial supports and other related social services. In addition, once employed, individuals will be more likely to thrive, and will have a new avenue to get on UJA Federation’s “affiliation highway”, where they can contribute their time, talent and/or dollars back to the community.
Funding from Six Points Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund (JVPF) will address the need for programming to increase the affiliation of Israeli newcomers within Toronto’s Jewish community as a whole. The Six Points grant, paired with the hands-on support of committee members will allow JVS Toronto to implement a unique community-specific mentoring program that will assist newcomer Israelis residing in Toronto to build professional networks and become connected to the City’s rich and vibrant Jewish community. The creation of this program aligns with UJA Federation’s objective to engage Israelis and other newcomers in an effort to cultivate the next generation of community leaders and supporters.
In the GTA, over 20,000 of our Jewish neighbours, relatives & volunteers live on the fringe of community life, marginalized from our affluent community by living in poverty. The Jewish Poverty Action Group (JPAG), a strategic collaboration of four agencies - JIAS Toronto, Jewish Vocational Service, Jewish Family and Child (JF&CS) and Kehilla Residential Programme - worked with 10 Jewish families living in poverty to enhance their standard of living and improve the quality of their Jewish communal lives through collaborative strategies. JPAG made an investment in the families’ future. It identified three major challenges that contribute to poverty, and then sought to collaboratively address them: unemployment/underemployment, unaffordable/under-housing and lack of social inclusion/connectedness to community. Within a framework of shared values and guiding principles and actions, JPAG created a transformational poverty-reduction model that crossed agency lines to break the cycle of poverty. During the course of overseeing this program an urgent need was exposed in the Jewish community. Jewish social service organizations and institutions demand that every applicant repeat the onerous and restrictive registration process in order to qualify for service or membership. It became obvious that Jewish community members living in poverty are faced with this additional barrier to their affiliation with Jewish institutions and services. The JPAG Project Phase 2 seeks to address that need by developing and implementing a single, seamless point of access to Jewish social services and community institutions, and developing and institutionalizing a Charter of Care for the vulnerable in our community. Our poverty reduction pilot was a game changer, and it is incumbent upon our community to ensure its potential is harnessed in order to transform the lives of the roughly 20,000 Jewish poor in Toronto. We see the promotion and nurturing of Jewish life and affiliation as a community imperative. This is a big idea, and we need a big player like SixPoints to help us make it work.