About Us


What is Federation?

What is (a) Federation?

What does the Federation do?

What does the Federation do compared to other Jewish organizations?

What is the mission of Federation?

What is the Metropolitan Detroit Jewish community’s relationship to Israel?

Where does my money go?

How are funding priorities in Israel and elsewhere determined and met?

Can I designate where my money goes?

What are you doing to mobilize the community in support of Israel and against inaccurate, biased media reporting on Israel?

How can I get involved?


Q: What is Federation?

A: The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (Federation) has been a vital part of our culture for over 100 years. Thanks to you, we will continue to be a safety net for everyone in our community. From youth camps that build lifelong skills, to helping seniors live with grace and dignity, your contributions ensure our community thrives. | back to top

Q: What is (a) Federation?

A: Federation is the heart and soul of Jewry’s philanthropic and humanitarian activities. It embodies a 3,500-year-old tradition of caring that goes back to the giving of the Torah and sustains us in the bold pursuit of Jewish community, Jewish values and Jewish peoplehood. Federation is the people who care enough to want to perfect an imperfect world. Federation is the passion of commitment, where tzedakah and a sense of social justice can make a difference in someone’s life. | back to top

Q: What does the Federation do?

A: Federation builds and strengthens Jewish community; from your hometown to our homeland, from the homebound to the homeless, from elderly Jews in Russia to Metropolitan Detroit teens discovering their birthright in Israel. Whether the task is reducing Jewish poverty and hunger, rescuing and resettling new immigrants, or spurring Jewish renaissance worldwide, Federation is committed to seizing this moment in Jewish history to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people. | back to top

Q: What does the Federation do compared to other Jewish organizations?

A: Federation is the one place that belongs to every Jew, the place where philanthropy, volunteerism and shared commitment come together to make a difference, to repair the world. As part of a continent-wide system, Federation has the capacity to reach every Jew in need with a social-service network unparalleled in the world. These resources, and the experience and reach of its two preeminent overseas partners – the Jewish Agency for Israel and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, enable Federation to bring life-saving and life-sustaining caring to all Jews in need. And it brings metropolitan Detroit Jews into direct, personal, meaningful partnerships with the people of Israel through many innovative programs. Among them: Partnership 2000 community-to-community programs; birthright Israel, providing free first-time trips to Israel for Jewish youth; OTZMA volunteer opportunities in Israel for recent college graduates, and much more. | back to top

Q: What is the mission of Federation?

A: Federation was established to chart a new course for the Jewish community: to improve the quality of Jewish life worldwide, nurture Jewish learning, care for those in need, rescue Jews in danger, and ensure the continuity of our people. Federation is committed to meeting today’s and tomorrow’s challenges with a bold new model of Jewish community and philanthropy, a framework for new opportunities and new partnerships that will challenge the Jewish people to continue the traditions of education, leadership, advocacy, and responsibility that have inspired the world. | back to top

Q: What is the Metropolitan Detroit Jewish community’s relationship to Israel?

A: A strong, secure Israel is the bedrock of the global Jewish community. Through our overseas partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Federation and North America’s Federations have played – and continue to play — a pivotal role in Israel’s remarkable story of immigration, renewal and growth. While the federation system advocates for Israel and its desire for peace, it remains a non-partisan organization un-aligned with any particular political party in the United States or abroad. | back to top

Q: Where does my money go?

A: A gift to the Federation provides unrestricted funds to meet urgent, ongoing humanitarian and social service needs of the global Jewish people, to encourage and support Jewish education and Jewish community, and to strengthen the relationship between Metropolitan Detroit Jews and the Israeli people. Part of your gift remains right in your own community, helping to strengthen your Federation, a premier provider of programs to safeguard and enhance Jewish life at home. Part goes to meet overseas needs through our partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. These dollars help build the Jewish homeland and rebuild strong Jewish communities in over 60 countries around the world. | back to top

Q: How are funding priorities in Israel and elsewhere determined and met?

A: To meet ongoing needs as well as support programs that benefit diverse populations and circumstances, Federation has put in place a revolutionary approach to overseas funding — an overseas needs and assessment system. This system ensures that a significant amount of the money allocated for overseas purposes will be provided for core services, such as rescue, immigration and absorption, with an increasing amount in the future earmarked by the Federations for other specific, creative projects. | back to top

Q: Can I designate where my money goes?

A: Federation is the primary means of meeting the ongoing needs of the Detroit Jewish community. Beyond the annual campaign, a number of other philanthropic opportunities offer a wide variety of programs and projects that stress people-to-people connections in supporting unmet social and human needs in Israel and Jewish communities globally. Supplementary giving opportunities include everything from domestic abuse centers and day care centers to hospitals and universities. Endowment gifts enable donors to support a general or specific area of interest. And participating funds allow donors and their families to partner with the Federation in funding those areas of the Federation mission most deserving of additional support. | back to top

Q: What are you doing to mobilize the community in support of Israel and against inaccurate, biased media reporting on Israel?

A: Both in the local community and across North America, the Federation Federation system has been strongly proactive and vocal in support of Israel and its desire for peace: rallies have been staged; petitions and letters sent to government officials; fact sheets, briefings, updates and press releases produced and distributed, and top-level speakers from Israel dispatched throughout the continent. Importantly, Federation is also sending solidarity missions to Israel, allowing thousands of Metropolitan Detroit Jews to show their support by being there at this critical time, and speaking out on Israel’s behalf when they return. | back to top

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

A Special Screening of LIKE: Please Note the Date Change to March 26

PLEASE NOTE: Due to an unforeseen scheduling issue, Jewish Federation’s screening of the film LIKE is being moved to Tuesday, March 26. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to seeing you at the Maple Theater on the 26th.

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What’s a Jew to Do? The Jewish Response to the Rise in White Nationalism.

March 28th | 6:30 to 8:30 PM The Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills. As Jews, we are painfully aware that antisemitism is on the rise. In 2017, our country saw a 57% spike in incidents motivated by anti-Jewish bias including physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions according to the Anti-Defamation League. In […]

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JFamily Detroit and NEXTGen Detroit present: The Havdalah Hang Out

Add some light to your Saturday night! Saturday, March 30, 2019 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM Temple Emanu-el 14450 W 10 Mile Rd, Oak Park, MI Help us say goodbye to Shabbat and hello to new friends at our first ever Havdalah Hang Out! What better way to start a new week than with an […]

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Making Moves: A Morning of Strengthening Your Body and Mind

Sunday, March 31st | 11:00 AM-1:00 PM The Lean Body Studio 29924 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak 48073 Cost: $10 Making Moves Join NEXTGen Detroit for this ladies-only event as we reimagine how we… THINK Hear Ricki Friedman of BREAK the Weight discuss how to implement sustainable healthy habits into your life. MOVE Experience The Lean […]

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes this trip unique among other teen trips to Israel?

Detroit Federation has been committed to a biannual, community teen mission since 1996. The mission is in partnership with our metro Detroit Reform and Conservative congregations and Tamarack Camps. The mission is an in depth, 4 ½ week educational, experiential itinerary with pre- and post-mission programming.

Our community clergy partner with the mission during all phases of planning. They are talented educators, devoted to our community teens, and have many years of experience in Israel travel. The mission is also staffed by the clergy members and young adults, many of whom were previous teen mission participants.

Detroit Federation has an almost 20-year relationship with the Central Galilee region, our home in Israel. Our Michigan teens travel with Israeli teens from the region for the entire mission. They will enjoy home hospitality, experience JFMD’s funded programs first hand, and create long lasting relationships.

2. How is TM16 different from Taglit – Birthright Israel?

Birthright Israel is a brief 10-day introductory trip for young adults, ages 18 – 26. There is no guarantee that the Birthright experience will be available in the years to come. Teen Mission is a 4 ½ week, in depth educational experience.

3. Is it safe to travel in Israel?

Yes. Please see our Safety and Security information.

4. What if I have trouble with the online application or have other questions?

Contact the Teen Mission office at 248-952-9030 during regular business hours or email jyashinsky@teenmissiondetroit.org.

5. What if I don’t feel comfortable paying online?

You may make payments by check or cash by mail or in person to the Teen Mission office. Checks should be made payable to Tamarack Camps.

6. What if I need financial assistance?

It is our goal that no teen is denied this Israel experience because of a lack of funding. In consideration of the subsidy from JFMD, need-based scholarship applications from Detroit Federation are available only after exhausting all other financial sources. Families are encouraged to contact their congregation, community organizations, and family members for potential resources. The Teen Mission office will advise families as to the date when applications can be received.

7. What if I don’t belong to a congregation, can I still go?

Detroit Federation’s 2014 Teen Mission is a community- based mission for Jewish teens from metropolitan Detroit. Congregation affiliation is not required.

8. Can I bring my cell phone?

Teens may not bring a cell phone or internet ready device on the Teen Mission. Teens will have access to a staff cell phone to call their family approximately once per week. The TM16 staff will monitor calls home to insure that the teens are connecting with families. In case of emergency, parents will always be able to reach the bus clergy, onsite coordinator or local staff contact person. All emergency contact information will be provided prior to departure.

9. Can I be on the same bus as my friend?

Bus placements are made according to congregational membership and space availability. Placement may also be affected by date of completed application and up-to-date payments. Although bus placements cannot be guaranteed, all mission participants are generally together for dinner each night and reside as a group in the same accommodations. The mission is designed to experience Israel as a community. We celebrate Shabbat together and provide many group opportunities.

10. When will I know my bus assignment?

Prior to departure and following the parent- teen packing meeting in the spring, bus assignments will be announced.

11. Does the mission fee include all of my food and activity?

The mission fee includes all food and activity except additional snacks and spending money.

12. Will I be able to visit my friends/family in Israel while I am on the mission?

If you would like your teen to visit with family members or friends who are in Israel, you must arrange this prior to departure with the Teen Mission Coordinator. The form for an online request will be made available prior to departure.

The visit must be on Shabbat, between 1:00-5:00 pm, and occur at the location where the mission is currently residing. Drop in guests will not be permitted. TM16 participants will not be allowed to leave the group location for visits.

13. How will I know what to pack?

A packing meeting for teens and parents will be held in the spring. A detailed packing list will be reviewed and you will have an opportunity to ask any additional questions. A parent handbook will also be posted online for your information.

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