Jewish Community

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation honors its Montefiore Hospital legacy, giving special attention to the health needs of the Jewish community.

In Pittsburgh:

  • JHF has contributed more than $26 million – now an annual commitment of $900,000 – to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh since 1990. The Federation distributes these funds to key agencies in the Jewish community, helping to address the community's health-related needs, including the Jewish Association on Aging, Jewish Family and Community Services, the Jewish Community Center and Jewish Residential Services.
  • In 2020, JHF awarded a $2.5 million dollar emergency grant over two years to the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Pittsburgh for COVID-19 relief to ensure essential services remain available throughout the pandemic.
  • JHF has committed $34.5 million to create and sustain the Jewish Association on Aging, a continuum of care for seniors—including assisted living, home-delivered meals, and hospice care.
  • In 2018, JHF approved a two-year grant of up to $220,000 to build on the neighborhood safety net in Squirrel Hill for teens who are experiencing a mental health crisis, and to build resilience among teens with behavioral health needs. The goals include increasing opportunities for teens, parents, and youth-serving professionals to learn about the signs and symptoms of mental health problems; training professionals in the community in Youth Mental Health First Aid and suicide prevention; increasing peer supports for teens and families who are navigating the behavioral health system; and mobilizing community advocates to improve access to and accountability for effective behavioral health services for teens who are experiencing a crisis.
  • Since 2018, JHF has funded and implemented quality improvement training and coaching in its application to an organizational development culture for management and frontline staff at the Jewish Community Center, leading to creation of their first Quality Improvement Committee and enhanced organizational development culture.
  • Additional special grants:
    • Since 2016, JHF has funded and guided a regional Stop the Bleed initiative – a community outreach, training, and action program that empowers the general public with the first responder skills and equipment necessary to stop or slow life-threatening bleeding in the event of emergency or mass casualty events
    • In 2006, JHF funded and guided the development of the Squirrel Hill Health Center – a federally-qualified health center which brings high quality, affordable physical, dental, and behavioral health care to underserved Pittsburgh residents
    • Beginning in 2010, JHF funded education in the Pittsburgh community about Ashkenazi Jewish genetic diseases and ensured access to screening for Jewish genetic diseases in order to provide individuals with the greatest number of options
    • In 1998, JHF funded the planning and start-up of the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry – the only also-kosher food pantry in the Greater Pittsburgh area
    • JHF has maintained the vitality of local Jewish institutions through various grants, including Riverview Towers, The Holocaust Center of Greater PIttsburgh, Friendship Circle, Jewish day school health programs, synagogue and other programs

In Israel:

In nine bi-directional visits between 2009 and 2013, Israeli and American professionals shared best practices and collaborated around the challenge of providing patient-centered, high quality and efficient care against the backdrop of rising rates of chronic disease and resource constraints in both countries. The visits resulted in concrete outcomes:

  • Informed the U.S. healthcare reform debate: We commissioned Brookdale’s Dr. Bruce Rosen to prepare a series of six white papers comparing and contrasting key aspects of the Israeli and American healthcare systems.
  • Brought an important Israeli innovation to the U.S.:  JHF leveraged learning from Dr. Chen Shapira and a visit to Haifa to bring a multi-million dollar grant to create primary care resource centers in six hospitals in the Pittsburgh region.
  • Introduced regional improvement collaborative to Israel: JHF President & CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, introduced the role of regional players in health care at the Fourth International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy in December 2009. The presentation later became a chapter in the publication, Accountability and Responsibility in Health Care: Issues in Addressing an Emerging Global Challenge, edited by Bruce Rosen, Avi Israeli, and Stephen Shortell.
  • Engaged Israel’s large HMO in PRHI’s lean-based Perfecting Patient Care℠ training: Visits to several Clalit Health Services hospitals identified quality improvement opportunities ideal for PPC training. JHF funded five pilot quality improvement projects, brought Clalit staff to Pittsburgh for PPC training, hired an Israeli quality improvement coach to support the improvement projects, and provided PPC training to frontline staff. The early stages of this engagement are described in PPC Goes International: The Israel Healthcare Quality Partnership (Feb 2013).
  • Challenged Israel to eliminate waste and errors: In November 2011, Dr. Feinstein delivered the keynote address, “Can Industrial Engineering Perfect Patient Care?” at the Israel Society for Quality in Health Care’s annual conference, Israel’s largest annual healthcare conference.
  • Documented the fruits of international collaboration: JHF’s quality improvement relationship with Clalit was summarized in a JHF Branches publication, Cross-National Learning: The Ongoing Israel Quality Partnership