2018-01-03 / Columns

Federation’s future is bright in 2018 and beyond

FEDERATION 411
JENNIFER DUBROW WEISS
Jewish Federation CEO

“Our future’s so bright, we’ve gotta wear shades.” It’s a phrase ingrained in pop culture (at least for those of us who grew up in the 80s), but it’s oh so very true for the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey.

I have to give credit to one of my staff for applying it to the Jewish Federation. We had a staff retreat recently where we broke into small groups and used found objects to build something that defined the Jewish Federation and how the Federation is connected to our South Jersey Jewish community. Amongst the wooden dowels, pipe cleaners, tape, construction paper, and plastic cups were a pair of sunglasses. This staff member ended her presentation by putting on the sunglasses and saying that well-known line.

We are just a few days into 2018 and the excitement for the coming year is already palpable. We have so much in the works that I want to shout from the rooftops, but the biggest and brightest thing we have on the horizon is breaking ground on new affordable housing for older adults and adults with special needs at The Commons right down the street at 1721 Springdale Road.

In the span of just one week last month, we raised more than $1.7 million in grant money for this project further proving that there is a real need for this type of housing in our community. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank TD Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank for believing in this project and awarding the Jewish Federation these dollars that will help us move forward with building affordable housing at The Commons.

We are closing in on breaking ground for this project and it’s exciting to see all the pieces coming together. Each day the pace picks up a little as we get closer and closer. There are decisions to be made about meter, locks, back-up generators, sewer lines, room dimensions, parking lot access, and all kinds of things I never considered previously.

In addition to residential housing, we will also be building a community building that is 2,500 square feet to provide additional space for programs and group gatherings.

As we move forward with this project, we’ll have more information available about who qualifies to apply for housing at The Commons – and how to apply for housing. This will all be handled through Pennrose’s PennReach program when the time comes. If you would like your name added to the list of people who will be the first to know about housing qualifications and applications, please contact Andi Goldman at 856-751-9500 ext. 1209 or agoldman@jfedsnj.org.

I wish all of you a happy and healthy (and bright!) New Year.

jweiss@jfedsnj.org

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