A few things have become clear about the fund since it was announced last month, including its size — $91 million, up from $80 million at launch — and when the fund will start accepting applications, which are by invitation only: that should happen within days. The fund will provide both interest-free emergency loans to Jewish organizations and grants that do not need to be repaid.
Other questions remain unanswered. Chief among them: how much money will go to loans as opposed to grants, whether beneficiaries will be publicly identified, and how much the fund will be able to fill the gaping financial hole left by the coronavirus crisis.
The fund was launched three weeks ago by a group of seven major Jewish philanthropic foundations and the Jewish Federations of North America. Called the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund, it is, in raw dollars, the largest collective Jewish response to the current economic crisis. It is focused on the fields of education, engagement and leadership and seeks primarily to help long-established Jewish institutions.