Jewish Funds for Justice

Coordinates: 40°44′52″N 73°59′36″W / 40.7477734°N 73.9933646°W / 40.7477734; -73.9933646
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Jewish Funds for Justice
Formation1984; 39 years ago (1984)[1]
FounderSi Kahn and David Tobin[1]
Dissolved2012; 11 years ago (2012)
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, United States of America[2]
Coordinates40°44′52″N 73°59′36″W / 40.7477734°N 73.9933646°W / 40.7477734; -73.9933646
Simon Greer[2]
Revenue (2011)
Expenses (2011)$6,007,281[2]
Employees (2010)
Volunteers (2010)
Formerly called
Jewish Fund for Justice[3]

The Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ) was an American charity based in New York. In 2005, Simon Greer became its President and CEO.[4] In 2011, Progressive Jewish Alliance merged with Jewish Funds for Justice and became a new organization, Bend the Arc.


The original Jewish Fund for Justice was created in 1984. Si Kahn and David Tobin spent eighteen months organizing the Fund.[1] Its first board chair was Kahn and its first executive director was Lois Roisman.[1]

Ruth Wisse argues that the Jewish Fund for Justice is one of a number of left-of-center Jewish organizations founded in the 1980s without explaining why a new, specifically Jewish charity was needed, in her view, the actual motivation was a need felt by highly educated people to counter rising antisemitism by means of "public avowals of kindliness and liberalism."[5]

Jewish Funds for Justice was created in 2006 when the Jewish Fund for Justice[6] merged with The Shefa Fund, which had been founded in 1990. Jewish Funds for Justice then merged with Spark: The Partnership for Jewish Service in February 2007.[3]

While Jewish Funds for Justice is one of many Jewish organizations that received funding from the Open Society Foundations for one of its projects,[7] Jewish Funds for Justice did not receive any other funding from George Soros or his philanthropies.[8]

On June 1, 2011, Progressive Jewish Alliance merged with Jewish Funds for Justice, adopting the name Bend the Arc in 2012.


  • Through Jewish Funds for Justice's Alliance and Base Building Division, Jewish Funds for Justice worked to solidify the broad foundation of a Jewish social change movement. The activities of this division include congregation-based community organizing, supporting Jewish social change alliances, and online action.
  • Through Jewish Funds for Justice's Capital Programs division, Jewish Funds for Justice mobilized Jewish financial resources to create social change. This division made grants to community-based organizations, invested Jewish dollars in community development financial institutions, and supported the post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding of the Gulf Coast of the United States.
  • Through Jewish Funds for Justice's Leadership Institute, Jewish Funds for Justice trained hundreds of Jewish social change leaders. Programs included the Selah Collaborative Leadership Program and the Rabbinical Leadership for Public Life programs.
  • Through Spark: The Center for Jewish Service Learning, Jewish Funds for Justice inspired Jews to integrate community service into their lives through ongoing Jewish service learning programs and service and learning travel programs.


  • In May 2007, Jewish Funds for Justice organized a coalition of more than twenty Jewish organizations in an attempt to focus the attention of the 2008 American presidential candidates on the domestic priorities of American Jews. The coalition produced an online survey that received nearly 9,000 responses. The online survey identified health care as the top domestic concern of American Jews.[9]
  • Jewish Funds for Justice has been called a catalyst of the synagogue organizing movement.[10] In February 2007, Jewish Funds for Justice brought together more than 300 leaders from 63 different congregations to discuss their involvement in community organizing. Jewish Funds for Justice also published a booklet and a video on Congregation-based Community Organizing.[11]
  • After Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Jewish Funds for Justice frequently spoke out about the need for fair and rapid redevelopment of the region.[12][13] Jewish Funds for Justice co-sponsored the Blueprint for Gulf Renewal, published in August/September 2007 by the Institute of Southern Studies/Southern Exposure.[14]
  • Jewish Funds for Justice maintained a blog[15] that served as an online hub for Jewish netroots action and Jewish perspectives on contemporary issues of social and economic justice.
  •, a project of Progressive Jewish Alliance and Jewish Funds for Justice, supported protesters at Occupy Wall Street, stating, "Many of us have found this call to action in our Judaism."[16]


  • In October 2007, Jewish Funds for Justice was included in Slingshot, a Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation for the third consecutive year. Jewish Funds for Justice was one of only eight organizations to receive a grant from The Slingshot Fund in coordination with its inclusion in Slingshot.[17]
  • Rabbi Jill Jacobs, then the Rabbi-in-Residence at Jewish Funds for Justice, was included in The Jewish Daily Forward's Forward 50 in 2006, for "almost single-handedly forc[ing] the movement to refocus on one of the oldest issues on the social agenda: workers' rights".[18]
  • In 2011, Charity Navigator gave four out of four stars to Jewish Funds for Justice for finances as well as for accountability and transparency.[19] In 2015, Charity Navigator gave one star to Bend the Arc for financials and four stars for accountability and transparency.[20]
  • Jewish Funds for Justice's Senior Vice President Jeffrey Dekro received a Community Impact Award from the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions in June 2007.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d Johnston, David. "New Jewish Fund for Justice Extends Good Will : Charity Announces Its First Grants to Secular Agencies Fighting Poverty". Los Angeles Times. July 26, 1985.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Jewish Funds for Justice. Guidestar. June 30, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Jewish Social Change Groups to Merge". Jewish Funds for Justice. Press release. February 5, 2007. Archived from the original Archived July 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine on July 13, 2007.
  4. ^ Siegel, Jonathan. "Nonprofit CEO Focuses on Social Justice". The Forward Association, Inc.November 10, 2006.
  5. ^ Wisse, Ruth (1992). If I Am Not For Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, pp. 29, 33, 38. Free Press.
  6. ^ Maynard, Steve. "Texas Native Heads On-of-a-Kind Jewish Fund". Houston Chronicle. August 24, 1985. Archived from the original on May 21, 2011.
  7. ^ "Jewish Funds for Justice / Funders' Collaborative for Youth Organizing 2010". Open Society Foundations. 2010. Archived from the original Archived December 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine on December 23, 2010.
  8. ^ Em, Aunty. "Jewish Funds for Justice Responds to News Hounds' Questions About Fox "News"". News Hounds. January 28, 2011.
  9. ^ Boorstein, Michelle. "Promoting a Domestic Jewish Agenda". The Washington Post. June 9, 2007.
  10. ^ Dreier, Peter; May, Daniel. "Progressive Jews Organize". The Nation. September 13, 2007. Archived from the original on October 27, 2007.
  11. ^ "Congregation Based Community Organizing". Jewish Funds for Justice. YouTube. Archived June 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Greer, Simon. "Study reveals failures in New Orleans recovery effort". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. August 27, 2007. Archived from the original Archived August 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine on August 30, 2007.
  13. ^ Greer, Simon. "This Labor Day, contemplate welfare reform, Katrina's victims". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2007. Archived from the original Archived May 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine on May 27, 2007.
  14. ^ Kromm, Chris; Sturgis, Sue. "Blueprint for Gulf Renewal: The Katrina Crisis and a Community Agenda for Action Archived 2008-03-06 at the Wayback Machine". Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch. Institute for Southern Studies/Southern Exposure. 2007. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008.
  15. ^ "". Jewish Funds for Justice. July 5, 2006. Archived from the original on July 6, 2006.
  16. ^ Cotler, Stosh. A Jewish Perspective on Occupy Wall Street". Jewish Funds for Justice. October 07, 2011. Archived from the original Archived July 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine on July 1, 2012.
  17. ^ Lipman, Steve. "Funding for the Future Archived 2007-10-21 at the Wayback Machine". The New York Jewish Week. October 11, 2007. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007.
  18. ^ "Forward 50, 2006". Forward. The Forward Association, Inc.. 2006.
  19. ^ "Jewish Funds for Justice". Charity Navigator. 2011. Archived from the original on November 11, 2011.
  20. ^ "Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice". Charity Navigator. 2015. Accessed December 10, 2015.
  21. ^ "Community Impact awards honor Dekro, Delfin, Cochran". Credit Union National Association. June 22, 2007. Archived from the original Archived March 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine on March 11, 2009.

Other Resources[edit]

Jacobs, Rabbi Jill (2010). There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition. Jewish Lights. ISBN 978-1580234252.

External links[edit]