The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation announced plans to distribute nearly $99 million in grants this year at its Annual Community Gathering, which the organization held at Beth El Congregation on Nov. 16 to celebrate its mission, partnerships and this year’s accomplishments.
The event took place shortly after the 26th anniversary of Harry Weinberg’s death and served to commemorate the lasting impact that he had on Baltimore.
Nearly 1,000 people were in attendance as the Foundation celebrated its accomplishments and highlighted a handful of grants among the hundreds awarded over the past year.
“The Weinberg Foundation asset base is over $2 billion,” said Donn Weinberg, Weinberg Foundation trustee and executive vice president. “Each year, we donate 5 percent of that total, approximately $100 million. We have a lot of focuses — older adults, workforce development, disabilities, general community support — but our newest category is veterans.”
Showcasing the Foundation’s newest area of giving, veterans and military support, Spencer Kympton, president of The Mission Continues, addressed the crowd. His organization “empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact,” according to its website.
“The Mission Continues helps veterans get involved in their communities either through a six-month fellowship or through a platoon system, where people periodically get involved in community activities, which gives vets that sense of belonging and having a mission,” said Weinberg. “Our veterans section is really trying to do things along those lines and provide veterans with opportunities for reintegration.”
At the annual gathering, a video presentation highlighted a number of Foundation grantees including Catholic Charities, an organization that caters to low-income individuals and families in West Baltimore by preparing people for employment; the Naor Foundation’s collaboration with the Israel’s Ministry of Education to support the revitalization of youth villages around Israel that cater to at-risk children; and the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, which runs specialized care facilities for older adults and those with disabilities called Green Houses.
“This event expresses the Foundation’s gratitude for [our many wonderful partners’ and grantees’] important contributions that help make our communities stronger each year,” Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
The organization also announced that going forward, the Weinberg Foundation will be holding its annual gathering every two years rather than annually.
“We want to better maximize the use of our funds to help the poor and impoverished,” said Weinberg. “We felt [the change] wouldn’t hurt our communication.”
Weinberg also mentioned the Foundation’s excitement about a library project that involves creating 24 libraries in elementary and middle schools in Baltimore over time.
“We have been thinking about having a greater impact on the inner city and education using capital grants,” he said. “We gathered approximately 40 different partners and so far have created nine or 10 incredible libraries. It’s like Disney World. There are projectors, computers, nooks and all this great infrastructure that makes it a great place. The project also provides more resources and training to librarians so that they can be the best they can be. It ends up resulting in better literacy and academic performance.”