Federation In the News



Jewish Family Navigator Connects Families with Disabilities 

February 7, 2018


When a child or other family member is diagnosed with a disability, the question of how and where to access support for that family member can be overwhelming. Institutions also struggle with meeting the needs of their diverse constituents.

The newly instituted Jewish Family Navigator program, a resource for families coping with disabilities, aims to address this need from a communal perspective. The program, a partnership between AutismUp and the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester with funding support from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, launches on February 7, 2018.


This newly instituted service will link families in the Rochester Jewish community with needed services, consolidating information and referral and providing individual family consultations.  The Jewish Family Navigator will also work with local Jewish institutions to support their efforts to be inclusive.  


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Israeli Educator Impressed by Pittsford Schools

By Alex Howard, Spectrum News, December 11, 2017

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Israeli educator Ziva Babian was wowed by what she saw at Calkins Road Middle School, and not just by the snow.

"Everything is so big, so tall, so different. Even the classroom is very well-planned, but the kids are the same kids, but the things that you do with them is so different," said Babian.

"We all want to be educated, but in a different way. The ways that I've seen here are amazing, and I plan to take then with me to my school in Modi'in."

Babian is visiting the United States for the first time through a Jewish Federation of Rochester-sponsored program called Partnership2Gether, which promotes international cultural connections between students and educators.


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True meaning of the holidays: Supporting Our Refugee Neighbors event makes a difference

By Pam Sherman, Democrat and Chronicle, Dec. 8, 2017


Last weekend, as I drove into the parking lot at Temple Brith K’odesh to drop off items for an event sponsored by the Refugee Committee of the Jewish Federation, I couldn’t help but think about my own paternal grandparents who came from Russia in the early 1920s. 


My grandfather had been a doctor there, but he, my grandmother and my aunt left their home behind to come to America.  They ended up moving to Staten Island, where my grandfather was eventually able to begin his practice, becoming the first doctor in the area to own a car for house calls.


Their journey was made easier by the Jewish community that welcomed them to this country. They went on to be one of the founding families of a small Jewish congregation that exists to this day on Staten Island.


Here in Rochester, the Jewish Federation’s event, Supporting Our Refugee Neighbors, was inspired by recent proposed changes in immigration rules. It’s part of a long legacy of the Jewish community supporting refugees.


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Essay: At its core, Chanukah a celebration of religious freedom

By Meredith Dragon, Guest essayist

Democrat and Chronticle Dec. 6, 2017 


Next week the Jewish community will be celebrating Chanukah.


At its core, Chanukah is a celebration of religious freedom. When the Chanukah lights are kindled for eight nights of the holiday, we are reminded of how fortunate we are to live free from religious persecution. There have been too many times in Jewish history when this was not the case.


In celebrating our religious freedom, we understand that there are people who still suffer today from religious persecution. Because of our history, we are keenly aware of the importance of insuring the safety and well-being of all people.


December 6 marks a date in history when those who were pursuing religious freedom left an indelible mark. Thirty years ago on that date the Jewish community arrived in Washington to demand from Mikhail Gorbachev freedom for more than 1 million brutally oppressed Soviet Jews. It was the eve of the summit between Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan. Over 250,000 people from across the US marched on Washington in solidarity with people whom they had never met, but for whom they felt a primal duty and obligation to help.


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Supporting Refugees in Rochester – Event to Gather Supplies for local Refugees

13Wham News, December 3, 2017


Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The local community came together Sunday to help refugees.


The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester partnered with eight local agencies to collect supplies for local refugees Sunday.


People donated items like clothing, shoes and toiletries, to help refugees get on their feet.


Organizers say they did not know what to expect, but were overwhelmed with the turnout and the support they received. 


Karen Elam with the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester said "It completely blew away my expectations."


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Jewish Federation to participate in national legacy program

Messenger Post Media, Nov. 20, 2017


The Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester is one of nine organizations recently selected to join 43 others in a national Jewish legacy giving program that, to date, has secured more than 15,700 after-lifetime commitments with an estimated value of more than $500 million for communities across North America.

The Foundation, the planned giving program of Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, will partner with Harold Grinspoon Foundation through Life & Legacy to start a community legacy giving program, creating a shared goal for the organizations to work toward. 

“Life & Legacy is truly a game changer for our community,” said Don Onimus, program co-chairman. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for growth, and we can’t wait to get started.“


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