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1.22.16 Issue

by Mark Kirchhoff, Center for Jewish Life

Looking for some help in covering the cost for residential camp, JCC summer camp, Israel programs, the Child Development Center, Friedel Jewish Academy or youth group activities? Are you interested in some funding for undergraduate, graduate, vocational, technical, professional or yeshiva studies that would stretch those post-high school dollars a bit more? Thanks to the generosity of our community, a variety of funding sources are available to Omaha’s Jewish families to assist with the financial burden.

During the past year, the Center for Jewish Life awarded more than $269,000 in scholarships for the camp, Israel, Friedel, the CDC and college. More than $23,000 has been provided for teens participating in youth group conventions and programs. There was also $26,500 in Jewish Experience Grants awarded for the summer of 2015. And including the recently returned Omaha Teen Trip participants, a total of $43,400 has been paid in the past 12 months for Israel Experience Grants.

When one adds up those totals, we are talking real money, making a true difference to families in Omaha.

Grant programs, funded by the Jewish Federation of Omaha, are available to any Omaha Jewish family meeting the program requirements, regardless of the family’s financial situation. Jewish Experience Grants provide funding for those attending Jewish summer camp and Israel Experience Grants provide funding for Israel peer programs and will also cover domestic airfare and trip extension fees for Birthright Israel participants.

Scholarships, which are awarded through the Center for Jewish Life, are funded by numerous endowments established through the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation, outside entities, and through the Annual Campaign of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Scholarships are available for JCC summer camp, residential Jewish summer camp, Israel peer programs, Friedel Jewish Academy, the Child Development Center and youth group programs. Jewish students who are residents of the Omaha metropolitan area can apply for scholarships for undergraduate, graduate, yeshiva, professional and vocational studies programs.  While the majority of scholarships are based on financial need, a limited number of college scholarships are merit-based.

Applications are available on the “Scholarships and Grants” page of the Center for Jewish Life section at The deadline for submission of applications for grant programs and scholarships through the Center for Jewish Life is Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

There are also several scholarship programs which are separate from those awarded through CJL and those scholarships are not included in the totals listed earlier. Those scholarships include the Phil and Ruth Sokolof Honor Roll scholarships, the Jake J. Schriebman Freshman Year scholarship, the Fellman/Kooper scholarships and the Bennett G. Hornstein Endowment Fund. Applications or links for additional information are also found on the page noted above.

Omaha’s Jewish families are encouraged to take advantage of these funding opportunities. All financial information is kept in strictest confidence. For any questions, please email or call 402.334-6445. Grant and scholarship programs are coordinated by the Center for Jewish Life as a part of the agency’s mission to maximize involvement of Omaha’s Jewish community in imaginative, compelling and meaningful Jewish experiences.