Houston Jewish Community Foundation grants more than $1.2 million for Harvey relief
(October 10, 2017) – In the weeks following Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Jewish Community Foundation is generously supporting Houston’s recovery with more than $1.2 million in grants to the Jewish community and the city at large.
The Foundation has provided funding in three ways. It distributed $714,600 in grants from donor-advised funds to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston’s Harvey Relief Fund, provided $444,436 from donor-advised funds to a variety of other organizations, and the Foundation Board approved $100,000 of its own funds to the Federation Harvey Relief Fund.
“Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and our Jewish community. The Foundation and our donors want to do everything we can to assist with the recovery,” said Rick Stein, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “We thank the advisors to our donor-advised funds and our Board members for their support in helping to rebuild our city and our Jewish community. We are hopeful that additional grants will be made in the coming months.”
The Foundation Board unanimously voted on September 28 to distribute $100,000 from its own endowment to support the community’s recovery.
“We sympathize with the thousands of people recovering from the flood,” Stein said. “Some of our Board members flooded themselves and know firsthand the repairs needed both for individual homes and the community infrastructure at large.”
Money donated to the Federation’s Harvey Relief Fund will provide direct financial aid and counseling to impacted families, help synagogues and community institutions with storm damage recovery, fund volunteer efforts and additional agency staff, and support renewal of Jewish life with scholarship assistance and more.
The additional organizations supported by grants from Foundation donor-advised funds include:
American Red Cross
Boys & Girls Club of Texas
Congregation Beth Israel
Congregation Beth Yeshurun & Beth Yeshurun Day School
Robert M. Beren Academy
Congregation B’nai Israel
Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center
Friends for Life Animal Shelter
Greater Houston Community Foundation
Gulf Meadows Church
Hebrew Free Loan Association
Houston Food Bank
Jewish Family Service
Julie Rogers Gift of Life
Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services
The Shlenker School
Women Donors Network
A Foundation donor-advised fund can be established with a minimum tax-deductible contribution of $2,500 or more in cash or securities. At any time, donors, or designated successors, may recommend grants of $100 or greater be made from the fund to the donor’s favorite charities.
Foundation Executive Director Roberta Herman-Dietrich said donor-advised funds allowed donors to respond quickly and efficiently to community needs.
“Many people have found it easy to donate appreciated stocks and use them during this time of need to support our community recovery,” Herman-Dietrich said. “It is also a smart way to give because you can give stock without paying capital gains taxes on the appreciated value and still receive the full charitable deduction.”
“After Harvey, fund advisors were able to just pick up the phone and say they wanted to give to those in need,” Herman-Dietrich said. “Checks went out within the week and funds were directed to help those in dire circumstances. It’s inspiring and motivating for our Foundation to be able to offer this kind of community support.”