To stand with Minnesota’s Jewish community in a time of elevated uncertainty and threats, The Minneapolis Foundation today launched its first Faith In Each Other Fund. This charitable fund will support a Jewish community-wide security initiative, helping local Jewish organizations address security needs in the face of recent anti-Semitic threats.
The Minneapolis Foundation will contribute $50,000 to the Faith In Each Other Fund and is opening it up for additional public contributions to encourage a community-wide demonstration of solidarity with the Jewish community.
“For the past 100 years, The Minneapolis Foundation has been working toward creating a community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” said R.T. Rybak, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation. “Religious intolerance has no place in our community, and it is essential that everyone who lives here stand up against the deeply distressing instances of bias and hate that we have seen in recent months.”
In addition to supporting the Jewish community, The Minneapolis Foundation is planning a second Faith In Each Other Fund to benefit the Muslim community that will launch this spring. The Foundation is working with members of the Muslim community to develop this second fund to ensure that proceeds effectively address the Muslim community’s needs during this uncertain time.
Telephoned bomb threats to Jewish community centers in St. Louis Park and St. Paul and a rash of anti-Semitic fliers and postings on the University of Minnesota campus are among the threats and intimidation that Jewish Minnesotans have faced in recent months. Nationwide, some 150 bomb threats have been made against Jewish schools and community centers this year, including those in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.
In light of these incidents, “We must strongly reassert the core values of inclusivity and diversity that make our community a great place to live,” Rybak said.
Through recent conversations with members and leaders in the Jewish community, The Minneapolis Foundation has learned of a tremendous need for enhanced security and training so that organizations can remain strong and continue to serve their communities during this challenging time.
Proceeds from the Faith In Each Other Fund will be used to support the community security initiative of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Minnesota and the Dakotas. The JCRC serves as the official Jewish community liaison with federal, state, and local law enforcement. It provides security guidance to Jewish organizations, working with law enforcement as well as private security organizations to develop and implement monitoring, prevention, response, and training programs.
“Law enforcement and security professionals emphasize that one of the most effective ways to prevent or mitigate emergencies is a prepared and dedicated staff,” said Steve Hunegs, executive director at the Jewish Community Relations Council. “The Faith in Each Other Fund will help provide Jewish community professionals with the tools they need to better respond during an emergency. The Jewish community also praises The Minneapolis Foundation for its efforts to support the Muslim community,” added Hunegs.
The Faith In Each Other initiative is just one of the ways The Minneapolis Foundation works to build a stronger community and address critical needs though advocacy, research, convening, and grantmaking. Last year alone, the Foundation distributed nearly $60 million to effect positive change in Minnesota and beyond.