Federation Launches Comprehensive Campaign to Strengthen Grass Campus

The Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg is launching the largest fundraising effort in its 100+ year history.

The multi-year Comprehensive Campaign aims to raise an additional $10 million in support of the Jewish community, with a key focus on Grass Campus construction costs, ongoing JCC/Federation operations and programming, security and infrastructure, and Grass Campus endowment.

The campaign is steered by a $10 million gift from the Alexander Grass Foundation, which covered the purchase cost and more for the campus. The Federation hopes to match that figure through community donors as part of the “Grass Philanthropy Challenge.”

“My brother, Roger, and I are thrilled we could be part of this new chapter for the Jewish Community,” said Elizabeth Grass Weese, President of the Alexander Grass Foundation. “Our father, Alex Grass, was a pillar of the Harrisburg community. His legacy will live on through this vision of comprehensive programs and activities, serving the entire community from birth to seniors.  We share our father’s vision and know The Grass Campus will ensure sustainability into the future.”

The campaign is co-chaired by JFGH Board Chair Abby Smith, VP Marty Rogoff, and Past President Sandy Cohen.

“We’re excited to launch this campaign and bring all of the potential of Grass Campus to life,” says Abby Smith. “This is a monumental moment in the history of our community – it is an opportunity for all of our community members to step up and make a statement about the type of community that we want to be now and into the future, and to take ownership in this inspiring Campus that belongs to all of us.”

The Comprehensive Campaign takes the place of the Annual Campaign for the upcoming years. Donors have the ability to make a single commitment to the campaign, payable over multiple years. Information about the campaign and campus was recently mailed to community members, and donors are encouraged to give above and beyond their routine Campaign gift to help ensure that the fundraising effort is successful in capitalizing on the opportunities the Grass Campus presents.

“This is an investment, and every dollar spent now will enhance the community in which we live,” says Marty Rogoff. “It’s a chance to give back, and a thank you for what the Jewish community has done for a lot of us in the past, and ensuring that future generations get to enjoy that even more than we do.”

Major plans for the campus include the construction of a kosher commercial kitchen, swimming pool, and gymnatorium, among other renovation needs across the Campus’ six buildings. The campaign will also support the ongoing cultural, educational, and fitness programming of the JCC/Federation.

A significant portion of the funds will be allocated toward security and infrastructure, an important priority with all four of Harrisburg’s Jewish agencies – Federation, The Silver Academy, Jewish Family Service, and Jewish Community Foundation – residing on the campus.

In addition, an endowment will be created to ensure the ongoing sustainability and honor the legacy of donors for generations to come.

“I started Kindergarten at the original building on 3rd street, and finished at the current building,” says co-chair Sandy Cohen. “A group of people came together and put together the current JCC for my generation – now it’s our turn to step up and do it for the next few generations.”

For more information on the Grass Campus and the campaign, visit grasscampus.org. To give, visit jewishharrisburg.org/give or contact Bradley Seltzer at 717-236-9555 x 3299 or b.seltzer@jewishfedhbg.org.