Behavioral Health Projects Predominate in The Healthcare Foundation of NJ’s $1,719,969 First Quarter Giving

April 2, 2024

The Healthcare Foundation of NJ is pleased to announce that it has awarded $1,719,969 to sixteen nonprofit organizations in its first quarterly grant cycle of 2024. This quarter represents a strong focus on behavioral health, buoyed by responses to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects to strengthen behavioral health support for adolescents in the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest, New Jersey.

“In conversations with community partners throughout 2023, we heard again and again about the growing crisis in behavioral health, and our Request for Proposals issued at the end of 2023 was one way in which the Foundation is taking action to address the crisis in our area and among our community,” said Michael Schmidt, Executive Director and CEO of The Healthcare Foundation of NJ. “While the Foundation historically funded behavioral health services across Newark and its environs and the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest, the attack on Israel on October 7, 2023 and the overt and historic rise of antisemitism prompted us to make a concerted effort to address this pressing and critical need within the Jewish community.”

The RFP yielded eleven applications from organizations which serve children and teens in the local Jewish community, from which five were selected to receive funding this quarter. Rabbinical College of America will receive $150,000 to establish an Office of Emotional Wellness; Jewish Family Service of MetroWest will receive $91,713 to hire a mental health professional to build and implement programming for young people; Temple B’nai Jeshurun will receive $90,196 to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid to area synagogue school leadership, faculty, and young people; Moving Traditions will receive $85,000 to develop a student teacher wellness and inclusion training program; and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest Day School Initiative will receive $73,880 for an intensive summer teacher training focused on increasing listening and counseling skills.

Overall, twelve of the sixteen grants awarded this quarter will support projects that in some way address the growing behavioral health crisis. The largest grant of the first quarter is a $171,152 award to Family Service Bureau to support a second-year expansion of the Bringing Hope to Individuals and Families project. This initiative provides mental health and substance abuse services directly to young people and families in Newark. Several projects will provide behavioral health support to targeted populations, including a $156,890 award to Family Connections to provide support for LGBTQIA+ young people and their families; a $126,924 award to Essex County Family Justice Center to provide counseling for victims of domestic violence; and a $100,350 award to JCC of Central NJ to support the holistic, socio-emotional needs of children in its early childhood and summer camp programming.

Beyond the behavioral health focus area, other grants awarded this quarter will support public health or provide services for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Turning Point Community Services will receive $150,000 to provide clients at Turning Point’s shelter in Irvington, NJ with mental health support, counseling, case management, and family therapy to stabilize homeless women and children. Jewish Family Service of Central NJ will receive $70,000 to support a program aimed at proactively preventing homelessness among older adults in Union County, NJ.

The full list of the grants awarded in the first quarter of 2024 is as follows:

New Community Corporation / Family Service Bureau

Bringing Hope to Individuals and Families


Family Connections

Pride + Counseling & Support for LGBTQIA+ Youth and Their Families in Essex County


Rabbinical College of America

RCA Office of Emotional Wellness


Turning Point Community Services

Clinical and Supportive Services Program for Homeless Women and Their Families


Wynona’s House

Prevention By Design


NJ Citizen Action

Health Care for All Education and Outreach Project


Essex County Family Justice Center

Expanding Trauma-Informed Mental Healthcare for Greater Newark’s Most Marginalized Victims of Domestic Violence


JCC of Central Jersey

Holistic Disability Support – Expanded



The Art of Well-being: Leveraging the Arts for a Healthier Newark


Jewish Family Service of MetroWest

Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Jewish Teens and Young Adults in MetroWest NJ


Temple B’nai Jeshurun

One Community, One Goal – Youth Mental Health First Aid


Moving Traditions

MetroWest Student Teacher Wellness and Inclusion Training Program


Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest

Greater MetroWest Day School Mental Health Initiative


Jewish Family Service of Central NJ

Program to Prevent Homelessness for Union County Older Adults


WNET / NJ Spotlight

Continuing a Mental Health Beat within NJ Spotlight News Healthcare Reporting


Sadie Nash Leadership Project

Creating Sustainable Mental Health and Wellness Support for Newark Youth