The Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ is among the groups that are applauding Congress and President Obama for approving the PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015). Among other measures vital to the social services sector, the act retroactively extends and makes permanent the IRA Charitable Rollover, a proven charitable-giving incentive that has generated almost $40 million in donations to Jewish federations since its enactment in 2006.
The IRA Charitable Rollover helps support the vital social services that federations provide to the most vulnerable. According to the CRC, “Making the rollover permanent will provide charities and donors the stability to plan to maximize financial support for programs needed in our state and across the country.”
The CRC, in partnership with the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations, joined the national Jewish federations’ advocacy efforts by reaching out to local members of Congress and senators, urging them to increase funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, secure new funding for the Holocaust Survivor Assistance initiative, and prevent an egregious cut to the Emergency Food and Shelter Program — measures that were all approved in the year-end spending bill.
The bill includes $20 million for NSGP (an increase from $13 million in 2015), $2.5 million for the survivors’ program, and $120 million for EFSP. Each of these programs provides support to vulnerable populations, whether they are at risk of terrorist attack, traumatized by experiences endured during the Shoa, or overwhelmed by economic crises that could result in homelessness and food insecurity.
The additional NSGP funds will provide greater physical security resources to at-risk nonprofit institutions at a time of heightened security concerns within the Jewish community.
(For a report on new partnerships between local agencies and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, see page 8.)
The survivor funding will ensure that the Jewish Federations of North America’s new Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care will continue to operate for a second year. The funds will also be used to underwrite additional grants to develop new models, tools, and approaches to providing person-centered support services for survivors.
The EFSP program avoided a devastating cut that would have limited support and services to individuals and families struggling economically and at risk of falling into chronic homelessness or hunger and related privations. The program supports approximately 100 Jewish family and children’s agencies, food pantries, and similar programs around the country.
These are extraordinary results at a time of continued budget pressures.