Jewish Federation & Foundation Announce $2.8 Million in COVID Appeal Allocations

(November 2, 2020) – The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and the Houston Jewish Community Foundation have approved allocations from their joint COVID-19 Emergency Appeal to 80 local and regional organizations, including $1.8 million to Jewish Family Service.


The Federation and Foundation have led the Jewish community’s response to the pandemic through this Appeal, which to date has raised more than $3.3 million from 619 donors to support the urgent and basic needs of individuals and families, sustain our community institutions, and ensure the continuity of Jewish life in Houston.


The allocation to Jewish Family Service will provide emergency resources and support to individuals in need. Since the pandemic began, 1,637 families have received these COVID-19 services through JFS.

“As a community, it means so much that we are prioritizing supporting people during this trying time. The allocation that JFS has received from the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and Houston’s Jewish Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Appeal means that we can provide those in need with case management, financial assistance, mental health services, employment services, and other necessary resources. We are so proud to be a partner in this work and to help those who need it most,” said JFS CEO Linda Burger.


The initial allocation represents $2.8 million in direct aid to the community—$1.8 million to JFS and $1 million to other organizations—and represents the most organizations the ever funded through a single allocations process for the Federation. It includes 17 community organizations, 6 regional organizations, 12 day schools and early childhood programs, 28 synagogues, and 17 religious schools. These allocations are also unique in that the Federation has not typically funded synagogues or early childhood programs.


“This allocation will be most helpful in a year of many challenges, including lower enrollment and higher expenses needed to keep the school safe. As always, Federation is the foundation of our community, and always has our back. It is a blessing to be a part of this amazing community,” wrote Goldberg Montessori President Haya Varon and Head of School Barbara Garber.


“Contributing to Beth Israel’s well-being enables us to be a source of strength to the Jewish community and the community-at-large. I’m grateful for your partnership and shared vision for the future,” said Rabbi David Lyon, Congregation Beth Israel.


In addition to the funding from this Appeal, the Federation allocated $240,000 from the 2020 Annual Campaign to support COVID-19 related needs at Greene Family Camp and Camp Young Judaea, and local basic needs at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center and Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services.


Fundraising continues for both the COVID-19 Emergency Appeal and the Federation Annual Campaign. To support the COVID-19 Emergency Appeal directly, visit


Your gift can do even more. From now through December 31, all increases in Annual Campaign donations as well as new donations to the Annual Campaign or COVID Emergency Appeal will be matched at 50%. Those funds will go directly to support Human Services through the COVID-19 Emergency Appeal. Donate today at


To discuss your gift, please contact Federation Chief Development Officer Laurie Bieber at or 713-729-7000.


If you or someone you know are in need of support during the pandemic, please contact Jewish Family Service at 713-667-9336.


Read more of the announcement here.