The Covenant Foundation invests $1.75 million in new grant projects

We are currently accepting 2024 Signature and Ignition Grant applications. Visit our website for information and guidelines. The deadline for submitting an initial Letter of Inquiry is February 27, 2024.

New York – Jan. 11, 2024 – The Covenant Foundation announced $1.75 million in new grants today, continuing its decades-long commitment to recognizing and supporting visionary and inclusive projects geared toward every Jewish learner.

“Reading through the descriptions of the 2023 slate of Covenant Foundation grants, I am struck by the words ‘expand,’ ‘enhance,’ ‘develop,’ and ‘envision,” said Deborah Meyer, Chair of the Board of The Covenant Foundation.

“These adjectives reveal both the potential of these projects as well as the mission of the Foundation: To grow the field of Jewish education in every direction. And we are endlessly grateful to have the opportunity to support the creative and devoted educators who are dreaming up new ways to do just that.”

Foundation grants are divided into two categories: Signature grants, which generally provide funding of up to $150,000 over three years, and Ignition grants, of up to $20,000 for one year to support new and untested approaches.

“The lineup of new grants this year reflects the Foundation’s abiding commitment to new approaches to learning and teaching for adults, children, and families,” said Joni Blinderman, Executive Director of The Covenant Foundation.

“Both the 2023 Signature and Ignition grant projects also indicate the Foundation’s continuing priority of welcoming everyone across the spectrum of Jewish life to learn and grow as individuals and in community. Addressing issues as varied as divorce, environmental education, disability inclusion, civic engagement, and theater arts, these ambitious projects will undoubtedly serve and strengthen our community as a whole.”

The 2023 Signature Grants:

Adamah, Reisterstown, MD. Shamati. To train Jewish educators to address all dimensions of climate anxiety through a Jewish lens in order to cultivate the spiritual health and empowerment of Jewish teens and young adults nationwide.

Project Director: Liana Rothman; $86,460 (2 years).

Divorce and Discovery: New Visions for Jewish Healing, Berkeley, CA. Divorce and Discovery Expansion. To support a national expansion of retreats, trainings, and curricula that harness the rich traditions of Judaism to engage, educate, and invigorate those affected by divorce.

Project Director: Rabbi Deborah Newbrun; $90,000 (2 years).

Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, Jackson, MS. Hineinu Y’all: Reimagining Jewish Education in the South. To re-envision ISJL’s educational model and to create a cohort program and resources to help educators reimagine religious school education throughout the South.

Project Director: Molly Levy; $100,000 (2 years).

GrowTorah, Teaneck, NJ. Anafim Expansion: National Torah Gardens. To support educators with training and resources in order to expand the Anafim school garden program to include 15 additional Jewish day schools across the United States.

Project Director: Sara Just-Michael; $134,000 (3 years).

Hebrew at the Center, Westborough, MA. Pritzat Derech: Ensuring Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities “Break Through” to a Positive Hebrew Journey. To convene Hebrew language learning experts who will develop and pilot a systematic strategy to increase the effectiveness of day school Hebrew instruction for students with language-based learning disabilities.

Project Director: Rabbi Andrew Ergas; $85,000 (2 years).

Inheritance Theater Project, New York, NY. Jewish Wisdom for Civic Playmaking. To expand and enhance the Jewish learning components of its collaborative theater-making process by producing a codified textual methodology and training additional educators and facilitators in this approach.

Project Director: Jon Adam Ross; $150,000 (3 years).

Jewtina y Co., San Francisco, CA. Advancing Latin-Jewish Educators Through Integrative Leadership and Values-Based Learning. To develop PUENTES Fellowship cohorts designed for Latin-Jewish educators to deepen their connection to Jewish and Latin values and support their development as leaders within their diverse communities.

Project Director: Dr. Analucía Lopezrevoredo; $139,500 (3 years).

Keshet, Newton, MA. Training Jewish Educators for LGBTQ+ Equality. To develop a regional initiative in the Southwest that will bring resources, trainings, and cohort-based learning opportunities to Jewish educators and institutional leaders to support them in building communities of LGBTQ+ belonging.

Project Director: Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael; $150,000 (3 years).

The 2023 Ignition Grants:

Civic Spirit, New York, NY. Student Delegates Program Expansion. To expand the Student Delegates Program to additional day schools and to provide cohorts of educators across the country with the tools and support to facilitate programming in student clubs based on the intersection of Jewish values and civic engagement.

Project Director: Hillary Gardenswartz; $20,000 (1 year).

Embrace Community Programs, New York, NY. Shabbat Show: A Children’s Jewish Theatrical Adventure. To enhance the Shabbat Show program through curriculum expansion and the pilot of a weeklong camp in order to empower children to co-create original theatrical performances based on Jewish stories.

Project Director: Sage Ramadge; $20,000 (1 year).

Foundation for Jewish Camp, New York, NY. L’Hadlik: Igniting a Deeper Connection to Shabbat at Day Camps. To create meaningful and joyful Jewish experiences at day camps by training art specialists to facilitate and design Shabbat-themed art programs.

Project Director: Amy Meltzer; $20,000 (1 year).

Mishkan Chicago, Chicago, IL. Post-Conversion Support for Jews by Choice. To launch an initiative that supports the ritual, learning, and communal needs of Jews by Choice in order to empower them to take an active role in their Jewish journeys beyond the conversion process.

Project Director: Rabbi Steven Philp, $20,000 (1 year).

Zumwalt Acres, Sheldon, IL. Rooted Jewish Community for Young Adults. To expand and formalize the Jewish educational curriculum of the Emerging Jewish Climate Leaders apprenticeship program to empower young adults to apply Jewish wisdom to contemporary agricultural and climate challenges.

Project Director: Sophie Lieberman; $19,000 (1 year).

Since 1991, the Foundation has provided more than $43 million to support Jewish education in North America. Past grantees are highlighted on the Foundation’s website.

The Covenant Foundation is currently inviting 2024 Signature and Ignition Grant applications. Visit our website for information and guidelines. The deadline for submitting an initial Letter of Inquiry is February 27th, 2024.

The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family Philanthropies.