Sylvan Baer’s legacy continues through his grants
Photo: Lisa Rothberg 
Temple Shalom’s Munchkin Minyan is among the previous recipients of a Sylvan T. Baer Grant. Pictured are Hannah Flynn and Rabbi Andrew Paley from the January 2023 installment.

In 1965, Sylvan Baer established the Sylvan T. Baer Foundation to honor his parents through charitable giving. The original mission — to assist needy and deserving Jews in the Dallas community — has broadened in subsequent years. The Baer Foundation has shifted its focus from individuals to agencies and it now supports Jewish organizations of religious, scientific, literary, medical, educational or other charitable purposes in North Texas.

In its nearly 60 years of giving, the Baer Foundation has distributed over $7 million. Though the projects and organizations it has supported have varied widely, each makes an important contribution to the community. In its most recent grant cycle, the Foundation gave grants to: URJ Greene Family Camp, Israel Scouts/Kochav Chapter, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Maayan Chai Foundation, Mikvah Israel Dallas, Temple Shalom, The Legacy Senior Communities and Torah Day School of Dallas.

The Baer Foundation’s grants are administered through Bank of America. For close to 50 years, the bank has worked in partnership with the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation (DJCF) to run the grant-application process and to identify grant recipients. Like the mission of the Baer Foundation, the grant-application process has evolved over time.

This year, the bank has introduced two new changes. First, the process has been streamlined from two phases to one. Recognizing that the previously bifurcated process could be burdensome to some agencies, the bank has eliminated the first vetting phase of the application. Second, the application itself is now hosted on the DJCF website, where it can be downloaded. Applicants will need to fill it out and return it by email.

Mona Allen, DJCF’s director of development and legacy, welcomes the changes: “The bank’s decision to simplify the application process will really help agencies that would benefit from this grant. We hope that every eligible organization will consider applying for a Baer grant this year.” At a June 1 information session held at the Aaron Family JCC, a number of agency representatives also expressed appreciation for the new, one-phase process.

Allen adds, “All the feedback we’ve received so far about this change has been positive.” She notes that agencies that received grants in last year’s cycle are ineligible to apply this year.

Organizations that support the North Texas Jewish community continue to grow and thrive. Thanks to Sylvan Baer’s foresight in establishing and endowing the Baer Foundation, he has continued to support that growth even beyond his own lifetime. Our community is richer for his gift.

More information can be found at Applications are due Aug. 11.

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