Temple Beth Shalom in New Albany will use a $500,000 gift from Matt Romanoff and Karen Miner-Romanoff to make participating in Jewish life more affordable for individuals and families.

TBS announced two new needs-based programs, one supporting Jewish life and the other supporting youth programming, Oct. 4 after working with the Romanoffs to develop the programs since the gift was first announced in December 2020.

The first program provides financial support to individuals and families for dues, religious school tuition and other aspects of living Jewishly, such as burial services for indigents. The other needs-based program subsidizes the costs associated with Jewish camps, youth group weekends, trips and other youth experiences.

TBS will also implement the Romanoff microgrant program, which provides funding for new or ongoing social justice initiatives, including b’nai mitzvah projects.

The gift is the second largest in the synagogue’s history, topped only by a $600,000 gift made from the estate of Dorothy Fenburr and Penny Davenport in 2009 as part of TBS’ capital campaign.

Bobby Covitz, TBS’ executive director, told the Columbus Jewish News that the Romanoffs’ gift is especially important now during the pandemic.

“This is a challenging time in our world, and livelihoods have been affected,” Covitz said. “This transformative generosity from Matt and Karen couldn’t have come at a better time. Accessibility is a core value for TBS. These new initiatives will help remove barriers for individuals and families to participate in Jewish life, and support great ideas that will have an impact on the local community. When one considers the number of TBS families that this gift will affect, as well as the number of people that could be supported over the course of 10-plus years via projects funded by the Romanoff microgrant program, the potential impact is immeasurable.”

Covitz told the CJN the Romanoffs had cited the impact Rabbi Emeritus Howard Apothaker had on their lives, and the fact that TBS was there for the Romanoff family during challenging times, in making the gift. He also cited the Romanoffs’ dedication to tikkun olam, or repairing the world, as the reason behind the programs.

For more information, contact Covitz at 614-855-4882 or bobby@tbsohio.org.

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