With $37,000 awarded to 10 community-wide programs, the Community Innovation Grants initiative sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the North Shore (JFNS) continues to make a significant impact as it enters its second year. Through the Community Innovation Grants (CIG) program, which is designed to foster creativity and collaboration between North Shore Jewish organizations, JFNS will award a total of $60,000 in 2012, up from $40,000 in 2011.
To be eligible for the grants, programs are required to demonstrate innovative and collaborative effort among at least two North Shore Jewish 501C-3 organizations and focus on one of four strategic priorities: engaging the next generation in Jewish life; inspiring adult Jewish education; caring for the most vulnerable; and connecting with Jewish culture.
The following programs were awarded grants in the first round:
- The Dressing Room, a program promoting economic independence for disadvantaged job seekers by providing good quality, used, professional attire for free to those who have been referred, sponsored by Congregation Ahabat Sholom and Jewish Family and Children’s Service.
- J-Experience, a program to introduce children and teens to the JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest in the local community, sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore and the North Shore Teen Initiative.
- Jewish Boston Parenting Conference, a program offering Jewish parents the opportunity to examine the everyday challenges of child rearing through the lens of Jewish tradition, text, and wisdom, sponsored by Chabad of the North Shore, Cohen Hillel Academy and Gann Academy.
- Intergenerational Programming Pilot Initiative, sponsored by Aviv and the North Suburban Jewish Community Center (NSJCC), designed to develop a comprehensive intergenerational living and learning curriculum to mutually benefit the youth of the NSJCC pre-school and the seniors of Aviv.
- Newburyport Jewish Film Festival, sponsored by Congregation Ahavas Achim, North Shore Teen Initiative and Camp Menorah, designed to showcase Jewish life and culture for adults, teens and children through films in conjunction with educational programs and discussion.
- Passover Expo, a comprehensive program designed to enhance the Passover celebration of families including workshops, displays, demonstrations and performances, sponsored by Temple Sinai and Cohen Hillel Academy.
- Rockfest, a day of master music classes for Jewish teens with Jewish rock musician Rick Recht followed by a concert, sponsored by North Shore Teen Initiative, Congregation Shirat Hayam, Jewish Community Center of the North Shore and Temples B’nai Abraham, Ahavat Achim, Beth Shalom, Emanu-El, Sinai and Ner Tamid.
- Orthodox/Reform Collaborative Program, sponsored by Temple Emanu-El and Congregation Ahabat Sholom, featuring guest Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus and the study of the mystical aspects of food and eating with the goal of bridging divides between Orthodox and Reform communities of faith.
- Jewish Response Series, workshops exploring the Jewish response to hunger, homelessness, disabilities and the humane treatment of animals and their slaughter, sponsored by Temples Shalom and B’nai Abraham.
- Family Table Food Revolution, a program designed to add nutritional and educational components to the local kosher food pantry, sponsored by Jewish Family and Children’s Service and Temple Ner Tamid.
“The Community Innovation Grants Committee is excited to support our local nonprofit organizations with funding from the Federation for the second year,” says Ilana Mogolesko, who chairs the committee along with Cory Shauer. “The committee, made up of volunteers from a diverse range of North Shore communities, was impressed with the level of innovation, collaboration and creativity that went into the 11 proposals submitted, a record number. We are proud to be able to provide funding to these new programs that will ultimately be available to a vast number of Jews within our community.”
The deadline for the next round of Community Innovation Grants is June 4. Members of the Community Innovations Grant Committee include: Cynthia Talkov Boyd, Ariella Levy, Jon Marcus, Ellen Schiller, Rob Schuller, Dave Sheris and Tamar Skowronski.