Community Needs: How You Can Help?

TOP is pleased to be a resource to connect your philanthropy with the most immediate needs of our partnering nonprofits that serve our community. Since our mission is to secure the future of our community by using Jewish-inspired values, innovative philanthropy and extraordinary service, we ask that you consider helping nonprofits in your community which support the most vulnerable populations.  Please contact us if you would like to make a contribution, and we will happily assist you with the most effective way for you to donate. 

Benjamin Tower Foundation - Menorah Center Foundation Fund: The Foundation seeks donations for Music therapy sessions at Philip Benjamin Tower and the Jewish themed art lending library at Philip Benjamin Tower. Biweekly music therapy group sessions with residents to provide a non-pharmaceutical, clinically proven approach to positively impact mood and emotional states, cognitive function and provide anxiety and stress reduction. Music therapy to be provided by a board certified music therapist. The art program allows for the assembly and lending of a collection of Jewish themed artwork, including paintings, sculpture, etc. to be made available at no charge on a rotating basis to residents of the building to display in their apartments. Residents will have use of the art for periods of 3-6 months, at which time the will return their loaned art and select other pieces to enjoy in their home. This program will be expanded to others in the Menorah Center Campus and eventually, outside of the campus. Need: engagement for seniors

BBYO North Florida Region - North Florida Council Managed Fund: BBYO North Florida Region is always looking for funds to help with sending teens on a variety of incredible summer programs that the organization offers both within the United States and abroad. BBYO offers a variety of summer program opportunities for our teen leaders to experience. Programs range from leadership and service opportunities to traveling across Europe and beyond. Each of these trips allows our teens to explore their Jewish identities and make meaningful connections. Teens in North/Central Florida often seek financial assistance in order to be able to attend the program of their choosing. Each year, on average, we have 4 teens that are unable to attend a summer program due to the region being unable to fund enough funding to support their need. These programs change the lives of teens and create Jewish leaders for tomorrow. The more we are able to send, the stronger and brighter our future will be.  Need: travel scholarships for teens

Central Florida Hillel - Central Florida Hillel Fund: A donation to Central Florida Hillel helps UCF & Rollins’ Jewish students right now, who need Hillel more now than ever.  Since classes have gone virtual, so has CFH. Hillel helps students by navigating tough times, bridging community and tackling loneliness & anxiety.  Our tradition has so much to teach us about overcoming adversity for nearly 6,000 years - and this is another opportunity for us to overcome a tough time. When our students return to campus, Hillel needs to be stronger than ever to help students live their Jewish values and make their own Jewish memories. We cannot do that without the support of our community. College campuses hold the Jewish Future. It is up to Hillel to keep these students engaged and inspired to make a commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.  Need: emotional support for college students during this crisis

Congregation B'nai Israel - Ensuring Security Into the Future at B'nai Israel in Gainesville: As we emerge from COVID, we know the factors that have led the Jewish community in the need to continually review and adapt security needs and infrastructure. We do not want to put another hurdle in the way of our community returning to the sanctuary. This fund will allow Congregation B'nai Israel in Gainesville, Florida to be able to maneuver the increased needs and technology changes as we move into the future. It is our goal that everyone who walks into our building feels safe and secure so that we all feel safe in our community.  Need: ensuring a safe and secure environment for the community

Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services - Managed Fund: GCJFCS is seeking contributions for its Lyft for Good program so they can continue to make this valuable service available to our senior clients, many of whom are isolated, frail, and vulnerable.  Transportation in Tampa Bay is a well-known challenge. This is even more true for our community’s senior residents as they decrease or stop driving. Since 2017, Gulf Coast JFCS has partnered with Lyft for Good to provide more than 2,700 safe, affordable, and convenient rides for seniors throughout Tampa Bay. With this service, senior clients can attend medical appointments, get to the grocery store, and participate in various social activities in the community. The Lyft for Good partnership also affords us the ability to set up the rides for clients and monitor them while in route, increasing our clients’ safety and peace of mind. Need: transportation for elders

Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services - Managed Fund: The Holocaust Survivor Program is seeking community support for the Holocaust Survivor Program to meet the increasing needs of the Holocaust Survivor community, and help them to live their remaining years in dignity and comfort.  This Program improves the quality of life for more than 250 Holocaust Survivors in seven counties of the greater Tampa Bay area by providing critically needed, essential services to prevent out-of-home placement. As the Survivors age, they increasingly require additional services to support their physical and financial needs. Through this program, GCJFCS provides home care services, socialization programs, and emergency financial assistance for the 30% of Survivors living in poverty. The program assists with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), pays for items such as medicine, utilities, and hearing aids, and reduces the isolation many Survivors feel as they age. The need increases each year, as more local Survivors contact Gulf Coast JFCS for assistance as they become frailer and still wish to stay in their home. Need: Holocaust Survivor Program (Gap Funding)

Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando - Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando Emergency Fund: JFS is currently seeking funding to provide emergency assistance for people in need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Your donation will support the Pearlman Food Pantry and Mental Health Counseling and other emergency assistance required for the most vulnerable members of the community.  Need: Food and emergency assistance for those in need

Jewish Pavilion - Jewish Pavilion of Central Florida Inc. Managed Fund: The Jewish Pavilion is responsible for connecting elder-care community residents and their families with a caring Jewish community that provides life-enhancing resources and experiences.  Donations to the Jewish Holiday Fund helps to ensure elders have everything they need to fully celebrate every Jewish holiday.  Donations to the Orlando Senior Help Desk Fund, a free information and referral service for the aged and their families, is an important resource for the community (, call 407-678-9363)  Needs: resources for seniors

Jewish Federation of Florida's Gulf Coast - PJ Library Endowment Fund: For more than 10 years, PJ Library books, all with a Jewish theme, have been delivered at no charge each month to children in the local community, helping them build a Jewish identity, connection, and tradition. PJ Library in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties is funded by the Grinspoon Foundation with the support of the Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast and local donors.  Donations to this endowment fund will ensure the delivery of Jewish books for future generations, as well as provide PJ Library events in the community, where kids gather for storytelling times and related activities. Need: Jewish books for children

Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando - RAISE (Recognizing Abilities and Inclusion of Special Employees): Seeks funding to help persons with disabilities (PWD) secure gainful employment. Now in its 9th year, RAISE is a work and social skills training program for PWD who are seeking employment and face challenges finding work.  RAISE collaborates with 8 partnering Jewish agencies and engages 1:1 volunteer job coaches to provide paid employment at each of these locations along with offering guidance to help participants transition to jobs in the community.  People with disabilities are our nation’s largest minority crossing all racial, gender, educational, and socioeconomic lines. One in 5 Americans live every day with a disability that becomes an obstacle to gainful employment.  RAISE directly addresses this challenging employment gap by promoting inclusion, and acknowledges the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals.  Need: Employment assistance for adults with disabilities

Jewish Federation of Florida's Gulf Coast - PJ Library Endowment Fund: For more than 10 years, PJ Library books, all with a Jewish theme, have been delivered at no charge each month to children in the local community, helping them build a Jewish identity, connection, and tradition. PJ Library in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties is funded by the Grinspoon Foundation with the support of the Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast and local donors.  Donations to this endowment fund will ensure the delivery of Jewish books for future generations, as well as provide PJ Library events in the community, where kids gather for storytelling times and related activities. Need: Jewish books for children

Kinneret - Kinneret Council on Aging Fund: The Kinneret Council on Aging (KCOA) was founded in 1985 as a non-profit organization to provide programs and services to the very low-income seniors who live at Kinneret Apartments. Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. KCOA seeks funds to support our monthly “Food Pantry” which provides a grocery bag full of nourishing food to 175 of our residents at no cost to them.  We have seen a 20% increase in the number of residents requesting food assistance since the Covid pandemic began.  We also provide a continental breakfast program which further provides our residents with opportunity for socialization and food.  We need the financial resources to ensure that our residents don't have to make the difficult decision of choosing medicine over food due to lack of financial resources.  Need: Food for seniors

NAMI Pinellas - NAMI Pinellas Managed Fund: We know the real impact that this past year has had on the mental health of so many people and, more than ever, funding is needed to support those that are struggling.   Like supporting NAMI Pinellas Support Groups, our online support community, which hosts 16 support groups per month to help those who are feeling isolated and alone. We’ve sadly seen a growing demand for the service this year, with a 60% rise in users, but we’ve also seen the amazing impact it has on people’s lives.   Before COVID-19, one in five people faced the day-to-day reality of living with a mental health condition. Now, four in ten are reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression, and mental health conditions will soon become the most common pre-existing health condition in the country.  Your donation could help NAMI Pinellas with the sustainability of the organization to help continue to provide free peer-led support groups, mental health education courses, mental health resources such as our helpline, and community outreach ensuring that people have a safe and welcoming space to talk about their mental health and receive resources. Need: mental health counseling and resources

Tampa JCCs & Federation - A Love For Our Preschool Endowment Fund: You can help to create meaningful Jewish and early learning educational experiences to families throughout Tampa Bay.  During the course of the 2019-2020 school year, the Federation received approximately $160,000 in financial aid requests from 70 families and were able to fund 50% of all requests. In fact, the majority of all scholarship awards were significantly less than the requested amount. Financial aid is granted on the basis of need and the average scholarship awarded is approximately 25% of annual tuition. Looking in to the future, they anticipate receiving yet another spike in financial aid requests for the coming year. Need: Need-based scholarships for preschoolers

Tampa JCCs & Federation - Hope Cohen Barnett Leadership Institute Endowment Fund: The Tampa JCCs and Federation seeks to ensure a vibrant Jewish future by convening, educating and mobilizing the Jewish community to promote a secure Jewish and democratic State of Israel; combat antisemitism, discrimination and bigotry; foster understanding within and beyond the Jewish community; and champion a just and pluralistic society.  In October 2018, the U.S. experienced the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in history, the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Pre- and post-dating this horrific event, there have been countless anti-Semitic incidents and expressions here in Tampa, throughout our nation and across the globe. However, now more than ever, there is a need  to be more proactive to fight this rampant hate.  Donations to this Fund helps to ensure engagement throughout the Jewish community and provide learning opportunities to combat anti-Semitism through education, advocacy and engagement.  Need: promoting Jewish Engagement and combating anti-Semitism

Tampa Jewish Family Services - Tampa Jewish Family Services Emergency Fund: Tampa Jewish Family Services seeks monies for Emergency Assistance and for The Community Food Bank. As a result of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, TJFS anticipates a vast increase in requests from individuals and families needing financial support for basic needs. Benefactors who contribute toward this effort can be assured that their donations will go toward assisting vetted, deserving people with expenses they have incurred such as electric, water, or rent.   It is anticipate that the need for food will continue to grow in the coming months -- when TECO starts turning off electricity and landlords begin to expect payment and many are out of a job.  Need: providing emergency assistance and food for people in need

TampaBay-Job-Links – Managed Fund TampaBay-Job-Links (TBJL) is seeking funding to increase capacity to provide professional and comprehensive career transition services, mental health counseling, and referral to emergency services for job-seeking clients, many who have lost jobs to COVID-19, through a Job-Search Readiness Program. TBJL is a supportive community where people gain relevant job-search and career transition skills, helping them find employment to sustain themselves and their families. The TBJL approach is holistic and individualized. Professional career coaches work with clients 1:1 and in workshops to guide them through the job-search process. Due to the impact of COVID-19, TBJL expects the demand for its services to increase dramatically as individuals in our community face job loss, income reduction, and the inability to make ends meet. Clients need hope, encouragement, job-search tools, self-marketing materials, social media networking proficiency, virtual interview preparation, and community connection. Need: Job-search and career transition support services