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Local nonprofits receive $13,500 in Social Action Grants


Congregation Bet Haverim announces 11 recipients of Social Action Fund Grants

Yolo County nonprofit social services organizations that serve young children, the elderly, the homeless, the hungry and others in need will receive $13,500 in grants. Grants to 11 of these organizations are made possible by Congregation Bet Haverim’s Biberstein Social Action Fund and were announced in mid-November by Bet Haverim member Ernie Biberstein.

The Fund was established in 2002 by the Congregation Bet Haverim board of directors to honor Ernie and Hannah Biberstein, who were among the founding members of the synagogue and devoted much of their lives to community service and social justice in Davis and Yolo County.

“This is the 15th year for the awards program,” said communications specialist Joy Cohan. “It’s an annual program where the synagogue committee issues the call for proposals, reviews all of the proposals and recommends the grants, which are then ultimately approved by our board of directors […] The whole impetus behind the beginning of the fund was really to honor the deep commitment that both Ernie and Hannah have [had] toward social issues in the community.

Special consideration is given to new or innovative projects. It is approximately a four-month process, in which a call for proposals is released every fall. Grants range from $500 to $2,000 and are awarded each November. Current Biberstein Fund committee members are congregants Ernie Biberstein, Anne Gieseke, Amy Abramson, Sandy Jones, Joan Sublett and Shoshana Zatz.

“We go over all the proposals that we’ve received and identify the ones that seem to address the greatest need within the county and the ones that also seem to be using the funds that they’ve requested in the most efficient and innovative way,” Zatz said. “We also make sure that the requesting organizations are nonprofit organizations. We go through each of the proposals and discuss their merits. Generally, we have between $12,000 and $15,000 to distribute.”

Organizations receiving 2017 grants are: Ark Preschool, Citizens Who Care for the Elderly, Mercer Veterinary Clinic for the Homeless, Woodland United Methodist Church’s Personal Care Pantry, Yolo Community Care Continuum, Suicide Prevention of Yolo County, Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network, NorCal Tryker, Meals on Wheels Yolo County, Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter and Make It Happen for Yolo County. A recognition gathering for the recipients will take place in the presence of the synagogue’s Religious School students in early 2018.

“We are very happy to make these awards,” Biberstein said. “We think they will make a meaningful difference to the organizations selected and to the Yolo County community. And it’s important to show our Religious School children the value of supporting the needs of their community.”



Written by: Prachita Chawla — city@theaggie.org


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