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Association FAQ
About the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix (the Association)
As of 12/7/11

Q: What is the Association?

A: The Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix (the Association) is a consolidation of the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center (VOSJCC), the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix and the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, all under the Association. As one governing board, the Association is carrying forward the best policies, practices and personnel of these organizations in a manner that is more efficient and effective.

The Association will continue to honor the Federation’s and the VOSJCC’s shared, historic mission: to promote the values of community, compassion and tzedakah in building a strong, sustainable Jewish Community.

Q: What are some of the most important changes, issues and opportunities involved in this consolidation?

A: The Association is the result a series of changes, many still in process, to transform the way we in the Jewish Community address a number of vital issues and opportunities.

Financial: Some of these issues are financial. Over the past few years, the Federation and the VOSJCC have faced revenue shortfalls. One of our many responses has been to consolidate several departments and functions of the two organizations, already saving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Another financial issue goes back more than ten years. When we established the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, we always intended to have a sizeable fund to help defray operating costs. The lack of this fund has created financial strain on the VOSJCC, the Federation and, ultimately, the Jewish Community at large.

In a matter of weeks, we will announce a special development program Fulfilling the Promise: The Campaign for Campus and Community. The streamlined and more efficient structure of them Association ensures that the fund will stabilize Campus finances and reduce occupancy costs of all tenants. This will secure the Campus for future generations and release funds from the Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs used to support the Campus, so we can invest even more in new and existing programs throughout the Jewish Community.

Leadership: Other important issues have focused on the leadership of these organizations. The Association has an entirely new corporate structure that will be headed by a new Board of Directors. These men and women will include a combination of experienced lay leaders combined with new leaders selected from throughout the Jewish Community. In addition, we are conducting a national search for a new Association CEO. He or she will provide clear leadership and vision to fulfill the Association’s mission and to help the Jewish Community release its incredible potential.

Allocations/Community Investments:  Funds will continue to be raised through the ongoing Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. Now, however, support will be allocated through the Community Planning Board (CPB), formerly known as the Community Think Tank. The CPB oversees an ongoing planning process that will identify community needs and desired outcomes and direct funding to programs and services of any Jewish organization that is best suited to achieve them. The CPB provides overall planning direction to four Community Councils and is responsible for balancing competing priorities in directing proceeds from the Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs.

The four Community Councils make recommendations to the CPB about prospective fund recipients for programming that achieves community goals, key outcomes to be realized, and the amount of support needed. The Councils focus on Jewish Education, Outreach and Engagement, Social Services and Vulnerable Populations, and Israel and Overseas. In addition, each Council will conduct performance evaluations of all fund recipients. These major structural changes have been in process for more than two years and will be fully functional under the Association.

The CPB and Councils are made up of lay leaders from throughout the Jewish Community with varied backgrounds and interests. They work with agency professionals and experts in different fields to identify needs and actively seek out programs and services that will enable our Community to achieve needed outcomes.

Opportunities for Program Expansion: As the Fulfilling the Promise Campaign covers Campus operating costs, therefore freeing up dollars for additional programming and services, we will have the ability to engage more Jewish individuals and families at the Campus, as well as throughout Greater Phoenix. The Campus will continue to be a major Jewish Community address from which we will reach out to Jewish individuals and families Valleywide. With synagogues and other partners, we expect to offer a wide and growing spectrum of programs and services to everyone in the Jewish Community, from infant and toddlers, through tweens, teens, and young adults, to adults, seniors, and vulnerable populations. 

Q: What happens to both organizations and their affiliations with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America (JCCA)?

A: JFNA and JCCA have been supportive and involved with this consolidation, consulting with us and supplying assistance in their areas of expertise. The Association will continue its membership in both organizations.

Q: What other cities have done consolidations? 

A: Many communities, including Austin, Louisville and Rhode Island, have undergone similar consolidations or have operated in this fashion for years.

Q: What do these changes mean for donors to the Federation?

A: Following are responses to a number of questions Federation donors have asked:

  • Gifts to the Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs, now part of the Association, will continue to support organizations in the entire Jewish Community, as well as programs in Israel and around the world.  Historical partners and, starting now for the first time, other worthy Jewish organizations throughout the Valley will receive support from the Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs.  A proportion of the proceeds will continue to support the administrative cost of running the Association and Campus, as has been done historically.  Over time, we will reduce the percentage of funds that will be allocated to administrative costs as the Association leverages the combined organizations and begins to grow financial resources.

  • Women’s Philanthropy, Young Jewish Phoenix and other core groups will continue as a key part of the Association and fulfilling its mission.

  • PACE (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment) and LOJE (Lion of Judah Endowment) are long-term funds that will continue to support the Greater Phoenix Jewish Community through the planning process.   In addition, we will actively seek more of these legacy gifts to help provide the financial stability our community needs.

Q: What do these changes mean to donors to and members of the VOSJCC?

A: Here are responses to a number of questions related to the VOSJCC:

  • VOSJCC programs will continue, strengthen and expand on the Campus and throughout the Valley of the Sun.
  • Gifts from Habonim donors, as well as event fundraisers -- such as the Gala for Good, the Golf Tournament, and more -- will continue to benefit the VOSJCC’s scholarship programs.  This important support will enable people to participate in summer camp, pre-school, VOSJCC membership, and all VOSJCC programming.

  • Gifts made for specific programming, including the Maccabi Games, Pre-School Trivia Night and more, will continue to flourish.

Q: Can I direct where my contribution goes?

A: At the time of their Annual Campaign gift, the new planning process will show donors where their gifts are going. Alternatively, Donor Relationship Managers can assist donors to direct their gifts based on each donor’s philanthropic priorities in accordance with the current Directed Giving policy in effect at the time of the gift.

Q: Why did the Association decide to continue to allow designated giving?

A: In this age of information, it is necessary to be able to attract all donors: those that have strong opinions on where their funds should go and those that would rather rely on the planning process. We believe by bringing all donors into the fold and educating them on the needs of the community, dollars will end up in the right places.

Q: What will be the Association’s relationship with Israel?

A: The Association will continue our historical and unwavering commitment to Israel.  We want to make sure that Israel is a meaningful part of Jewish life here in Phoenix.

The Jewish Community faces a number of true needs.  All of us involved with the Association are excited at finding that the Jewish Community is willing to change, to collaborate, and to cooperate to meet these needs.  New leaders, new corporate structures, new operational efficiencies, and highly-motivated employees will help us reach our goals.  This is an exciting time for the Jewish Community of Greater Phoenix.

To read the Association's Mission Statement, click here

If you have questions or comments that you would like to share with us, please click here.