Jewish Federation of San Diego County establishes fund to provide emergency financial support to help seniors


The Jewish Federation of San Diego County (Federation), which broadens and deepens engagement in Jewish life and works with many local partners to strengthen community, has established the “Kulam B’Bayit: Everyone At Home” Fund to provide emergency financial support to help seniors live comfortably in their homes, according to a news release.

“Jewish Federation of San Diego is committed to fostering dialogue, coordination, collaboration, and partnership among Jewish organizations actively working to address poverty in our community,” says Darren Schwartz, chief planning and strategy officer, in the news release. “In particular, we engage in anti-poverty approaches focused on the Jewish senior and Holocaust survivor population. Federation wants to alleviate some of the challenges faced by our organizational colleagues by offering easy, direct access to emergency funds for Jewish seniors and Holocaust survivors.”

As the convener of and a participant in the Jewish community’s Poverty Working Group (PWG), Federation convenes professionals from Jewish organizations whose work helps to alleviate poverty. This includes professionals from Jewish Family Service, Jewish Community Foundation, Kindness Initiative, Impact Cubed and Hebrew Free Loan. The working group has examined the landscape of services and supports for Jews experiencing poverty to determine how the local community needs to develop and grow these resources. Jewish agencies now communicate and coordinate more effectively to the benefit of their clients, and these new collaborations have identified opportunities and revealed gaps or areas that need to be reinforced.

“One of our early learnings from the poverty working group has been that social service organizations are often put in the impossible situation of dedicating significant resources to one client or spreading them out to serve many less effectively,” Schwartz adds in the news release. “We saw a need for easy access to emergency funds, which was the impetus to begin the Kulam B’Bayit: Everyone at Home fund. We believe this fund will help alleviate stress on Jewish seniors and Holocaust survivors by meeting emergency financial needs, while enabling social service organizations to prioritize longer term objectives.”

The fund will be accessed by Jewish Family Service San Diego, Kindness Initiative, and Seacrest At Home on behalf of their clients and will provide what is termed among anti-poverty advocates as a “shallow subsidy” for each individual in need. A minimal direct subsidy, such as $300 per month, is shown to often be the critical difference between an older adult being housed or experiencing homelessness. The Jewish Federation will analyze the use of this funding, and with the guidance of the poverty working group, make future recommendations on how to best support Jewish seniors and Holocaust Survivors.

“It is our hope that by working collectively as a Jewish community, we will provide dignity and support enabling seniors to live safely at home. In doing so we are Kulam B’Bayit, Everyone At Home,” Schwartz adds.

To support Kulam B’bayit and other Federation programs caring for Jews in need, go to — News release