the high beige dome of Congregation Emanu-El against a blue sky
Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, which received a $1.3 million PPP loan, has managed to avoid any layoffs. (Photo/Flickr-DoNotClick CC)

Bay Area Jewish groups got at least $28 million in federal payroll loans

Dozens of Jewish nonprofits, schools and synagogues in the Bay Area received Payroll Protection Program loans ranging from $150,000 up to $5 million, according to data released by the Small Business Administration.

Released on July 6, the data includes the amount each borrower received in a set of ranges. The total in loans to local Jewish institutions was somewhere between $28.4 million and $47.8 million.

About 3,200 Bay Area jobs were retained as a result of the loans, the data shows.

The PPP loans are part of the federal government’s coronavirus relief program, known as the CARES Act. They are intended to help businesses and other organizations keep paying their employees and manage other expenses in response to the pandemic’s economic impact. They do not have to be paid back as long as the recipient organization lays off no more than 25 percent of its employees within a defined time period.

The federal government has so far given out nearly 5 million PPP loans nationwide totaling $521 billion, with an upper limit of $10 million per borrower. The original deadline to apply for the loan was June 30 but was extended to Aug. 8.

Here are Bay Area Jewish recipients that J. pulled from the statewide data. It is a partial list, and will be updated. Organizations that provided exact loan amounts to J. are listed first; others are listed within a range. Each loan amount is approximately 2.5 times the borrower’s monthly payroll costs.

• JCC of San Francisco ($3.6 million)
• Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto ($2.55 million)
• Jewish Community Federation, San Francisco ($2.01 million)
• Peninsula JCC, Foster City ($1.8 million)
• Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael ($1.47 million)
• Jewish Vocational Service, S.F. ($1.3 million)
• Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco ($1.25 million)
• Addison-Penzak JCC, Los Gatos (almost $1.1 million)
• Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay, Berkeley ($755,200)
• JCC of the East Bay, Berkeley ($750,000)
• The Contemporary Jewish Museum ($678,000)
• J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco ($278,400)

Organizations that received $2 million to $5 million:

• Jewish Family and Children’s Services, San Francisco

Organizations that received $1 million to $2 million:

• Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Palo Alto
• Jewish Community High School of the Bay, San Francisco
• The Brandeis School of San Francisco
• Kehillah Jewish High School, Palo Alto

Organizations that received $350,000 to $1 million:

• Contra Costa Jewish Day School, Lafayette
• Brandeis Marin, San Rafael
• Oakland Hebrew Day School
• Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School, Foster City
• Camp Tawonga, San Francisco
• Jewish Voice for Peace, San Francisco
• Congregation Beth El, Berkeley
• Temple Isaiah, Lafayette
• Temple Sinai, Oakland

Organizations that received $150,000 to $350,000:

• Congregation Bet Haverim, Davis
• Congregation Beth Jacob, Redwood City
• Beth Jacob Congregation, Oakland
• Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills
• Temple Beth Abraham, Oakland
• Congregation Beth Ami, Santa Rosa
• Congregation Beth Sholom, San Francisco
• Congregation B’nai Shalom, Walnut Creek
• Congregation Kol Emeth, Palo Alto
• Congregation Kol Shofar, Tiburon
• Congregation Shir Hadash, Los Gatos
• Congregation Rodef Sholom, San Rafael
• Congregation Sherith Israel, San Francisco
• Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley
• Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, Los Gatos
• Jewish LearningWorks, San Francisco
• Hillel at Stanford
• Hebrew Free Loan, San Francisco

Institutions that responded to J. and received PPP loans, and that have so far managed to avert any layoffs, include Congregation Emanu-El, Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay, Jewish Community High School of the Bay and Jewish Vocational Service.

The Jewish Community Federation eliminated three positions among its approximately 90-person staff. The organization earlier helped provide consultation to Bay Area Jewish nonprofits on applying for PPP loans.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum laid off or furloughed 11 staff members on July 7 after its PPP loan, which it received on May 6, ran out and could no longer support some of its payroll costs, spokesperson Nina Sazevich said.

Layoffs have hit JCCs the hardest, since their business models rely heavily on fitness centers that are now unable to operate under current public health restrictions.

Even with the PPP loans, the JCCs in both Palo Alto and San Francisco laid off over 200 employees; other centers may be forced to follow suit as coronavirus cases rise in California and county health departments are forced to roll back reopening plans.

According to the Palo Alto JCC’s CEO Zack Bodner, his organization’s PPP funds covered “about one month” of operating expenses and were exhausted by mid-June.

Nationally, more than 1,000 Jewish institutions received PPP loans, totaling between $540 million and $1.3 billion, according to a data analysis conducted by Jewish technologist Russel Neiss and published by JTA.

Some organizations, such as the Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox Union and the Union for Reform Judaism, received between $2 million and $10 million in PPP loans, but still laid off employees.

Those that responded to JTA stated that their loans also went toward expenses other than payroll, including severance pay for laid-off employees.

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler is a staff writer at J. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter @ggreschler.