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Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Winnipeg federation funding remains stable for 2012-13

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Bob Freedman

WINNIPEG — The Gray Academy of Jewish Education will receive a larger increase in funding from the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg for 2012-13 than any of its other recipient organizations.

The community’s junior kindergarten to Grade 12 day school is the federation’s largest individual beneficiary agency. Last year, the academy received $860,000, a $40,000 increase from the year before. The school also receives funding from the provincial government, which funds all private schools in the province at 50 per cent of public school funding. This accounts for about 40 per cent of the Gray Academy’s annual budget.

This year, the school requested – and will receive – an addition $35,000.

Bob Freedman, the federation’s executive director, said the Winnipeg Jewish community has grown by about 4,000 people in the last 10 years or so, and “that puts a lot of pressure on the system. It affects both costs and space.”

He noted as well that the school has a 97 per cent retention rate, increased enrolments in several grades, and is facing long waiting lists in several grades.

The $35,000 will cover an increase of the same amount in the school’s rent, or “licence fees,” at the Asper Jewish Community Campus. The Asper board raised the licence fees by 4.6 per cent last year. The board tried a lottery last winter in an effort to raise enough money to mitigate the increase, but the lottery did not do as well as expected.

The Rady Jewish Community Centre, the campus building’s other major tenant, asked for and received $10,000 more (for a total of $478,500), also to help cover its licence fee increase.

Jewish Child and Family Service – the second-largest recipient of Federation funding – was allocated $712,000 for 2012-13, an increase of about $2,500 over last year. While JCFS asked for a larger increase, Freedman said the agency is in good shape financially and received grants from a number of other sources.

B’nai Brith Jewish Community Camp and Camp Massad received increases of $6,000 and $7,500 respectively. Shalom Residences, which runs group homes for adults with developmental disabilities – was allocated an additional $2,000, while the other beneficiary organizations – the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre, Aleph Bet Child Life Enrichment, the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada and Temple Shalom Religious School – receive the same level of funding as they did last year.

One new organization will receive funds from the federation this year, Freedman noted – Chabad’s Jewish Learning Institute, which was allocated $5,000 and offers educational programs for adults.

Freedman said that while the Combined Jewish Appeal campaign’s bottom line was much the same last year as it was the year before, there was more to allocate among local agencies because members of the community indicated that their donations should go more for local needs than for international causes. This is the last year that they will be able to designate their donations in this way.

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