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Kehillah Fund’s 10th year Anniversary Project

In honor of our 10th year anniversary, we asked some of our members to help us increase general donations by being a matching sponsor. The campaign started May 2014 and concluded June 2015. Our initial goal was to raise annual donations by $50,000. With G-d’s help we increased donations by $75,000. This is amazing!!! Thank you to our magnanimous sponsors and to all the participants. We are all the winners!!

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Distributions in 2014

Published Dec 22, 2014

2014 Distributions: $1,184,000.

In 2014, 150 families joined the Kehillah Fund.

This year our community supported eleven private Jewish day schools. The per-capita allocation results are truly amazing: $716,000.

In addition, a one-time anonymous gift of $468,000 was distributed among all K-8 faculty on prior to Rosh Hashana 5775.

Activities in 2014

Published Dec 19, 2014

As of today, supporters of the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund have joined to pledge a $50,000 mega-match to bring the total new and increased donations to unprecedentted levels in our Tenth Year. In 2014 our communal fund was endorsed by more than fifty rabbinic and yeshiva leaders. Our Kehillah’s Jewish Education Fund is the central address for giving to day school education in the Chicago area.  Working on a lean nonprofit budget, the Kehillah Fund recently reached a new milestone in 2014: it has distributed over $7 million of consistent, monthly support for the schools since 2004.  Parents of day school students and a broad swath of other members of the community have united in their support of the schools.


“Our community has come together in recognizing that while we have diverse program offerings across Chicago, we are all united in providing a comprehensive Jewish education to our children,” explained Zev Jacobs, the Kehillah Fund’s executive director.  “Month by month, year by year, we have grown toward our goal of one hundred percent participation, in order to impact the cost of schooling to the parent community.”


Besides raising and allocating communal funds, the Kehillah Fund has created a middle-school essay competition, a program for hundreds of children on Taanis Esther, and other activities that unite the community and make day school funding the focus of conversation and the tzedakah priority of every household.


Highlights of the Kehillah Fund’s achievements in 2014:


  • Thirty heads of schools, Kehillah Fund board members, and “Kehillathon” volunteers from day school professional and lay leadership worked together under the direction of Nesanel Siegal, the director of operations, to raise 88 pledges, totaling over $21,000 – within three hours.
  • An anonymous donor contributed $468,000 for Rosh Hashana bonuses to reward and invigorate 520 teachers, aides, and resource providers in the eleven schools.
  • One hundred fifty families joined the Kehillah Fund, reaching 1,535 participating households – a ten percent increase in the donor base. This constitutes over forty percent of the local Orthodox community.
  • Matching grant initiatives at JDBY-YTT and Arie Crown brought in an increase of $8,000 annually to the Kehillah Fund to benefit all the schools.
  • The Kehillah Fund launched the Parnas Hayom Day of Learning sponsorship program, and the first eight dedications were made.
  • Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed, Factory Muffler, and Shimmy Braun at Guaranteed Rate became the first monthly Kehillah Partners corporate sponsors.
  • Jewish Day School Month featured Kehillah Fund Shabbos, during which more than thirty rabbonim spoke about the Kehillah Fund to their congregations; lay leaders acted as Kehillah Captain liaisons to their shuls; the Kehillah Matters Essay Competition attracted over eighty submissions; and Kehillah Fund signs appeared in stores across the Chicago area; and bumper stickers enhanced the momentum of communal giving.
  • Six hundred students united in reciting Tehillim together over teleconference and studied content related to the important role of children in the community.
  • Kehillah Magazine spread the word about the Fund and its affiliated schools and programs. Two thousand copies were distributed.


Thanks to the generosity of several donors, a $50,000 mega-match will add a dollar for every new dollar pledged or increased during the Kehillah Fund’s tenth year.  Also, an online Shopping to Give program is giving members of the community a new way to benefit the Kehillah Fund while spending on normal expenses.


“In 2015, the Kehillah Fund poised to pass $8 million in total disbursements to the schools,” Jacobs projects, based upon current efforts and the expected rate of increased participation.


The KehillahThon 2014

Nov 18, 2014

KT Results Image


Thirty volunteers in all attended the KehillahThon 2014 event held on Tuesday evening, Nov 18th at the WiFi Professional Building in Skokie. And indeed, the results were outstanding.

Thank you to our volunteers

Sheldon Aberman, Jeremy Amster, Yael Cohen, Jeff Cohen, Bill Coleman, Rabbi Dov Dubovick, Sylvia Feigenbaum, Rabbi Avrohom Gershon, Sharah Glaser, Sarah Leah Grinblatt, Carole Groover, Rabbi Ilan Heifetz, Howard Karesh, Yaron Kimelman, Nochum Langsner, Wendy Malkin, Rabbi Hillel Meyers, Elisheva Norman, David Porush, Peter Price, Rabbi Aron Rosenberg, Chaya Mushka Schtroks, Rabbi Avrohom Shultz, Meira Schur, Yocheved Sexner, Shifra Siegal, Rabbi Moshe Yosef Unger, Yitzi Weiss and Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf.

Each volunteer entered a raffle for a $100 gift card and our winner was Rabbi Hillel Meyers. Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day Schools was awarded $1,000 for the greatest success … their seven volunteers raised $3,724.

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Our volunteers made nearly 350 calls and brought in 88 pledges, raising funds, visibility and advocating for communal support for our day local schools.

And everyone had a great time.

Total dollars raised: $21,173 –  here’s the breakdown:

$1,613 in one time gifts

$3,408 in increases to current monthly gifts

$6,372 in new monthly pledges

All new and increased dollars raised will be matched dollar-for-dollar from our Tenth Anniversary Matching Fund, which adds an additional $9,780 to total funds raised.


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