The Covenant Foundation Announces New Grants

The new grants touch across the spectrum of Jewish educational venues – from museums and synagogues, to high-tech classrooms and summer camps – and underscore commitment to innovation and ideas redefining the scope, reach and depth of Jewish education.

“We are going where bold ideas and dogged implementation reside,” said Eli N. Evans, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Covenant Foundation. “These new grantees hold great promise for success, and are positioned to be change makers and models of creativity.”

Foundation grants are divided into two categories: Signature grants, which provide funding for up to $250,000 for up to five years, and Ignition grants, of up to $20,000 for one year to support new and untested approaches.

The grants announced today are part of approximately $1.8 million to be distributed this year.

“Those in Jewish education have great visions for now and the future,” said Harlene Winnick Appelman, Executive Director of The Covenant Foundation. “We welcome the opportunity to dream with these impressive practitioners in the field and help them turn these visions into reality.”

Signature grantees include:

  • 14th Street Y, New York, NY: $150,000 over three years to strengthen the downtown Manhattan Jewish community through inclusive, “open tent” public programming.
  • Abundance Farm, Northampton, MA: $120,000 over three years to fully integrate experiential, farm-based education into Jewish educational life on its campus.
  • Beit Hatfutsot of America, New York, NY: $35,000 over one year for Curating Your Story – Educational Encounter with Jewish Artists in the Community, a program to enhance and extend the creative experience and community dialogue of the My Family Story initiative.
  • Brandeis Marin, San Rafael, CA: $150,000 over three years to support creation of a Jewish Studies curriculum that is integrated with a maker’s program and core academics.
  • Capital Camps and Retreat Center, Rockville, MD: $100,000 over two years to develop the Institute for Leadership and Learning, a national fellowship program for veteran counselors at Jewish overnight camps.
  • The Center for Pastoral Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY: $140,650 over three years to train groups of congregational leaders across the country in the fundamentals of pastoral care and establish sustainable bikkur holim (visiting the sick) groups.
  • G-dcast, San Francisco, CA: $50,000 over one year to train a national cadre of educators and b’nei mitzvah students to use animation as a tool for Jewish text study.
  • Graduate Center for Jewish Education at American Jewish University, Bel Air, CA: $100,000 over two years for Dream Lab, an initiative cultivating
    “creative Jewish education” as a field.
  • JCC Manhattan, New York, NY: $150,000 over three years to create and establish Circles of Welcome, an initiative offering a portal for engagement in Jewish life and community within small, supported groups (chavurot).
  • Jon Adam Ross, New York, NY: $20,000 over one year to support communal creation of five theater productions combining stories of Jewish matriarchs and patriarchs with the stories of members of local Jewish communities.
  • Shinui: National Jewish Education Innovation Network, Philadelphia, PA: $25,000 over one year to support the continuation, expansion and deepening of the work of the Network.
  • Tiferes Bnos, New York, NY: $40,000 over one year to create and implement a professional development program to train teachers in Project Based Learning.
  • Ilana Trachtman, Philadelphia, PA: $30,000 over one year to work with the Seattle Jewish community on a collaborative theater/video performance that explores the Biblical narrative of Rachel and Leah.
  • YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood, New York, NY: $67,500 over two years to launch a globally informed cooking program for children and their families.

The new round of Ignition grantees include:

  • Be’chol Lashon, San Francisco, CA: $20,000 over one year to develop and expand the reach of its Passport to Peoplehood (P2P) program.
  • BIMA/Genesis at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA: $20,000 over one year to develop teacher training and curricula integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) with Jewish Studies.
  • Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago, IL: $20,000 over one year to assess the landscape of Hebrew language instruction in public high schools and create a national framework to expand it.
  • Kulanu NNJ, Woodcliff Lake, NJ: $20,000 over one year to train congregational school teachers to effectively integrate educational technology in classrooms.
  • Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, Washington, DC: $16,000 over one year to develop DIY: Design Identity Yourself, a program for young adults that combines Jewish text study with collaborative learning and creative self-expression.
  • The Well, West Bloomfield, MI: $20,000 over one year to support and expand CSI: Coffee. Study. Interpret., a Beit Midrash-style learning initiative.
  • Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY: $20,000 over one year to create and implement educational programming connected to How a Poem Begins, an exhibit examining pre-state Israel poet Rahel Bluwstein.

Since 1991, the Foundation has provided more than $28 million to develop and support Jewish education and community-building projects and programs in North America.

Past grantees with creative and trailblazing approaches to Jewish education across denominations and settings are highlighted on the Foundation’s website, and in Sight Line, the Foundation’s new digital journal.

The Covenant Foundation is currently inviting 2016 Signature and Ignition grant applications. Applicants should visit for information and guidelines. The deadline for submitting an initial letter of inquiry is Feb. 25, 2016.

The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family Philanthropies

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