Innovation and Impact
Federation has the unique ability to mobilize the many parts of our community towards comprehensive change and collective impact.
Through a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) and Task Force process, initially launched in 2019 and expanded for 2020, Federation has called on organizations across Greater Washington to dream big and think strategically about the impact they can make in strengthening Jewish life and furthering the community. We remain eager to see new initiatives take root, to cultivate new partnerships, and to increase collaboration between our communal organizations in alignment with Federation.
As we continue to focus on our strategic priority areas of Engaging the Next Generation, Strengthening Jewish Life in Northern Virginia, we are grateful for the generosity of the donors who have contributed more than $1 million to dedicate to this important work in the coming year. In partnership with our Task Forces of volunteer leaders for Next Gen Engagement and Strengthening Jewish Life in Northern Virginia, our second Innovation & Impact Request for Proposals was released in December 2019.
In 2019, Federation received 68 striking and inspiring proposals from 49 unique organizations. During our first-ever Pitch Night, 47 organizations brought their proposals to life for an engaged and eager audience. Watch the 2019 pitch videos. In 2020, Federation received 71 proposals from 56 unique organizations. Each proposal focused on increasing impact and generating innovation for Jewish Greater Washington.
They came from established institutions—local and national— including synagogues, new startups, and everything in between. They came from the fields of social justice, Jewish learning, experiential programming, and more.
During our second annual Pitch Night, 56 organizations brought their proposals to life for an engaged and eager stakeholder audience. 22 showcased their proposals for renewed funding in our exhibition hall, and 49 pitched brand-new proposals.
We want to take what we started, build on it, and generate collective community impact. We must continue executing our strategy, while remaining agile, open-minded, and humble in our work to serve as a central facilitator of vibrant Jewish life.
The process will continue as Task Force members review the proposals for their viability, impact, scalability, and innovative thinking. They will then make funding recommendations to Federation’s Strategic Planning & Allocations Committee and the United Jewish Endowment Fund Grants Committee.
Grant decisions will be made in Spring 2020.
Explore Applications for 2020 Funding
Growth Rings: Celebrating Across the Calendar • Innovation Grant
Growth Rings: Celebrate Across the Calendar will invite and engage families with young children to participate in a series of programs and activities at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation. Beginning with the High Holidays and traveling through the year—Sukkot, Chanukah, Passover, etc.—participants will celebrate the holidays through interactive programming that engages parents in learning about Reconstructionist values and environmental justice and sustainability. This program will give families tools to bring Jewish and “green” content home and gives the children the chance to engage all of their senses in celebrating our rich traditions.
Agudas Achim Young Families Outreach Initiative • Impact Grant
The number of young Jewish families in the Arlington/Alexandria area has increased significantly in recent years, and further growth is expected with the arrival of Amazon’s HQ2 development. This population growth has created the opportunity for Jewish community building, as well as increased demand for young family programming. Agudas Achim Congregation has responded to the demand with a wide range of engaging programs. These activities are, by necessity, led by volunteers; however, it has become increasingly difficult to meet the growing community needs solely with volunteers. Therefore, we seek funding to hire a part-time Director of Young Family Engagement to:
- Maintain, enhance, and expand existing programming
- Advance marketing and outreach to increase the number of area families engaged in Jewish activities
- Meet and build connections between families throughout Alexandria/Arlington through smaller gatherings
- Develop resources to guide families on engaging in Jewish home rituals
- Plan high-caliber holiday programming
Coffee House JAM • Innovation Grant
Am Kolel and partners seeks to create monthly Jewish Artistic Meetup (JAM) sessions for young adults based in Montgomery County. Each meetup will operate in one of two ways:
- An artistic medium will be chosen for the monthly JAM session, such as music, writing, visual arts, media art, etc. A local professional artist working in the selected medium may be invited as a special guest speaker/presenter. Participants who work in the selected medium may be able to showcase and discuss their process and creations. History of the medium through a Jewish lens may be presented by Am Kolel staff or the guest presenter.
- A theme will be chosen for the monthly JAM session, such as a holiday, Torah verse/character, etc. Participants may be able to present their takes on the theme in a variety of mediums. Local clergy and Jewish artists may be invited to showcase their take on the theme.
The Shtetl Experience • Innovation Grant
The purpose of the Shtetl is to provide youth, young families, and young adults with a fun and multifaceted experience of Jewish life in an East European shtetl. The Shtetl, located on the grounds of Am Kolel’s Sanctuary Retreat Center, would provide a learning experience that would include seeing a replica of a shtetl, hearing the Yiddish language, learning Yiddish songs, baking challah in a stone oven, learning in a Cheder, eating shtetl foods and pastries, meeting a scribe and a tailor (shneider), and petting goats and visiting a chicken coop. The staff would be dressed in shtetl clothing and include student actors sharing stories. Among the Shtetl’s thatched roof structures would be housed a shul and museum of Eastern European ritual objects.
Jewish Student Union (JSU) NOVA Expansion • Impact Grant
NCSY runs more than 250 Jewish culture clubs on secular high school campuses. Locally, Atlantic Seaboard NCSY runs 35 clubs, with 14 in the Greater Washington area. The clubs provide Jewish teens with programs that strengthen their Jewish identity and connection to Israel. The teens also partake in leadership opportunities outside of the club meetings on behalf of the JSU student board by involvement and participation in AIPAC, StandWithUs, Federation and JCC events, Jewish internships, social action experiences, and trips to Israel. Three years ago, we began reaching out to the Jewish community of teens in Northern Virginia. We would like to continue to have a coordinator on staff to focus on the teens in the Northern Virginia area to create a network of JSU clubs and the associative programs with the goals being to increase their Jewish identity and connections to the organized Jewish community.
Avodah DC Alumni Leading our Communities in Jewish Social Justice Learning • Impact Grant
Avodah will expand their Alumni Justice Ambassador (AJA) program in Northern Virginia communities. The AJA program pairs Avodah fellowship alumni with opportunities to become teachers for communities seeking to engage in meaningful social justice learning, strengthen their Jewish identity, learn skills to confront hate and bias, challenge anti-Semitic myths with facts, and explore the history of anti-Semitism.
NOVA Expansion • Impact Grant
NOVA Council BBYO serves the Northern Virginia community by meeting teens where they are, both geographically and thematically with programming and events. NOVA Council BBYO offers leadership development, Jewish identity building, and community building for Jewish teens in Northern Virginia. With this expansion, BBYO will be able to recruit more members, start new chapters, and provide more meaningful Jewish experiences to teens and families in Northern Virginia.
JTown • Innovation Grant
JTown is a community of individuals in their 20s with intellectual, developmental, and/or physical disabilities. Through affordable, social, cultural, and recreational opportunities at the Bender JCC and offsite throughout Montgomery County, JTown fosters independence and enhances connection to the Jewish community, while encouraging participants to make and deepen friendships with one another. Individuals in JTown can use the program as a complement to their vocational and volunteer experiences as a way to expand social, physical, and life skills. This program will begin by conducting a three month needs assessment to determine program structure and offerings, followed by hiring a program professional to guide the journey, and establishing benchmarks for success. The subsequent months will focus on program implementation, marketing, evaluation from a JTown committee, and strive to meet the metrics set forth at the inception of the program.
j.family Ambassadors • Impact Grant
Based on the success of the first year of the j.family Ambassador program in Montgomery County, the Bender JCC will continue to provide neighborhood-based j.family ambassadors to connect new parents to each other and to the community through one-on-one meetings with parents of children ages 0-3. The ambassadors will welcome parents to the Jewish community and connect them to others and to Jewish life.
Jewish Racial Diversity, Education & Equity Audit • Innovation Grant
Beth El seeks funding to conduct a thorough audit of the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at all levels of our congregation—leadership and management; congregational membership and community; education, learning, and worship environments; and organizational culture with the guidance and support of an organizational DEI consultant. While we don’t yet know the results of the audit, we anticipate they will include the need to educate the Jewish people about our racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity, as well as becoming cognizant of our own racial biases and stereotypes that inhibit us from being a fully inclusive Jewish community, especially for Jews of color in Northern Virginia.
Birthright Israel Leadership Staff Training • Impact Grant
The most important factor in achieving an impactful Birthright Israel (BRI) experience for young Jewish adults is the education team that travels with each group. In 2019, BRI began to expand its madrichim (staff) development model from training 100 North American madrichim annually to eventually train nearly 2,000. BRI is currently investing over $1 million annually in North American staff training initiatives. To implement trainings, BRI must secure dedicated funding.
BRI will begin to pilot local one-day trainings in 2020 and 2021 in select cities. We want to choose the Greater Washington area as one of the initial pilot cities because of the historic strong support of the Federation, significant population of young Jewish adults, and many local colleges and universities. Each training will have a unique focus, like Jewish Values and Leadership, with emphasis on how these topics fit into the BRI experience and modern Jewish life.
Camp Gan Israel Expansion • Impact Grant
Our request is for two modular cabins. This will allow us to expand our availability for an additional 30 children. Camp Gan Israel (CGI) attracts youth from across all denominations and from all communities in Northern Virginia. The enthusiasm is evident by the fact of CGI being maxed out of our space year after year. Presently we can accommodate 175 on a daily basis. We are in desperate need of more space.
George Mason University Jewish Wellness Initiative • Innovation Grant
With alarmingly high U.S. rates of depression and anxiety in college-age students and beyond, mental health programming is the call of the hour. We want to create a comprehensive, preventative, and responsive Jewish Mental Health Initiative, combining Jewish wisdom, tools for wellness, and community collaboration. We hope to empower young Jewish college students, NOVA Jewish Next Gen, and the wider community, with Jewish tools for self-growth and healthy living. We hope this will increase not only Jewish community engagement, but will deepen people’s connection with Jewish learning and its personal relevance. This initiative will also creatively expand our Jewish value of bringing healing and goodness to the world in a uniquely Jewish way. The programming includes a Mental Health Awareness Shabbat Dinner; Wellness & Jewish Wisdom workshops, courses, and training days; Yoga and Jewish mysticism events; a new Wellness Intern; and more.
Young Jewish Professionals of Alexandria-Arlington • Impact Grant
The Young Jewish Professionals of Alexandria-Arlington (a project of Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington) will greatly expand its programming to the many YJPs in the area. We plan to have monthly Shabbat dinners, four holiday mega-events, an annual Shabbat under the stars, biweekly adult education opportunities and social learning, and individualized learning experiences. This will greatly increase the ability of young Jewish professionals to meet other YJPs from the area in a warm, welcoming, and wholesome Jewish atmosphere.
Giving Millennials an appreciation for Jewish Day School Education • Impact Grant
We would like to hire a dedicated young couple who will engage millennials in NOVA through social and educational events with a strong emphasis on transmitting a value for Jewish day school education. With events like Friday night Shabbat dinners, Sunday morning brunch and learns, and holiday get-togethers, the camaraderie is conducive to inspire and transmit the value of a Jewish education. Our experience has shown that a peer-to-peer friendship is very effective to connecting with young families.
Young Jewish Professionals (YJP) of Bethesda • Impact Grant
Our program recognizes that the young Jewish professionals demographic community is not just located within the boundaries of DC, but in Bethesda and beyond as well. We create high-end Jewish user experiences for young Jewish professionals of our area to participate in their Judaism in a way that is attractive and meaningful to them, from holiday parties like Sushi In the Sukkah right on Bethesda Row and Chanukah After Dark in a penthouse party room to Scotch & Scripture learning sessions and lively Shabbat dinners. We introduce these young people at the crucial point in their lives when they begin to establish their household to the idea that Judaism can be fun and relevant, setting them up to embrace a Jewish life and community.
Shabbat on the Block • Innovation Grant
Chabad of Olney aims to bring young families together to share a Shabbat experience. This shared experience is appealing as being both social yet within the comfort of their own homes. The relationships and strong Jewish experience Shabbat on the Block will create can help shape the Jewish identity of a young family.
L’harchiv • Impact Grant
L’harchiv, meaning to expand, seeks to make Jewish learning and identity accessible to Jewish children, young adults, and young families. The program will be implemented throughout all of the operations of the organization. Chabad of Silver Spring will expand its existing Hebrew school in Downtown Silver Spring and its programming for singles and young couples to help maintain or create a new Jewish connection as they enter adulthood . Camp Gan Israel of Silver Spring will seek to enroll more young Jewish families in the Downtown Silver Spring area and offer scholarships and subsidized bus transportation to provide more children from this area with a Jewish summer experience. The Gan Montessori will offer parentchild programs throughout the Downtown Silver Spring area that will provide a Jewish connection point for young families and help foster a relationship that furthers a family’s interest in teaching Jewish peoplehood and identity to their children.
Springfield – Burke Jewish Connections • Impact Grant
To create a youth center and programming for kids in the Springfield and Burke area. Children and teens often need a place to call their own separate from their home or synagogue. Our goal is to provide educational programming and an appreciation of community to our youth. Programs will include family Shabbat meals, cooking club for shelters, teen engagement, and kids in action mitzvah club.
Cteen High School Clubs & Teen Leadership • Impact Grant
Cteen aims to empower teens to be empowered to adopt leadership positions in their public schools and in their daily lives. There is a vital and immediate need to engage Jewish teens with transformative Jewish experiences that enable them to create a deep connection to and understanding of their rich heritage, Jewish pride, and the land of Israel.
In order to reach teens, we need to offer them a space that feels totally and completely their own on their own terms: A high school club in their own high school campus. Cteen would bring in Kosher food and set up a whole program in one of their classrooms and engage the teens on their ground.
Everyone Can Connect • Impact Grant
We will create programs and intitavies to meet Jews where they are comfortable and, from there, strengthen their Jewish observance and identity. Our initiatives will include:
- Shabbat dinners for young families
- Shabbat dinners for young professionals
- A mitzvah in your home (they will choose the mitzvah)
- Family Shabbat
- Mommy and me
- Torah for nesters (10-minute a week Torah study over the phone for young parents)
Bringing Judaism Home • Innovation Grant
The synagogue creates many barriers for families. They often feel judged internally or uncomfortable or just simply unfamiliar. The goal of this program would be to invite the families of the 84 children in our Hebrew school, none of whom have any other Jewish education, to our home for a Shabbat meal at least twice a year. Parents are extremely receptive to new ideas when they excite their children, and the children have been learning about Shabbat in Hebrew school. It will be a chance to show their parents what they have learned and to experience it together. From there, we will empower the families to create Friday night Shabbat meals at home by teaching them how to bake challah, how to do the blessings, and giving them a guide through the Hebrew school of moral ethical Torah-based conversations to have around the table with their children each week.
Hand-Off to Jewish Education • Innovation Grant
This grant will support an eight-week program taught by CESJDS teachers for moms and their new babies that provides information about how to teach Jewish social and ethical values to children. The project will allow these families opportunities to experience the comprehensive, innovative, and meaningful education of Jewish day school.
DC Day Camp NOVA Partnership • Impact Grant
The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and Ramah Day Camp of Greater Washington are working to maximize the reach of each organization through collaboration and partnership. The complementary nature of Jewish day school and Jewish camping will allow these organizations to work synergistically to lower barriers and encourage year-round Jewish engagement of the next generation. Specifically, through these proposed approaches, we hope to enroll new families in each organization, reach underserved or marginalized populations in the Jewish community, and expand our reach in Northern Virginia. We’ve developed a three-pronged approach to meet these goals.
Ner Shalom Early Learning Center • Innovation Grant
Ner Shalom Early Learning Center offers a program that fosters holistic child development of each individual child. Using basic principles of early childhood and Jewish education, we help children grow in a safe, welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment, where children experience and learn love and acceptance. Much of this is accomplished through play situations and social interaction. Close rapport between parents and teachers allows the child to develop to their potential and satisfy their basic needs, including social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual growth.
Ner Shalom Early Learning Center is operated as an outreach program of Congregation Ner Shalom and is subject to all synagogue policies. Our mission is to build a foundation for lifelong Jewish learning and strengthening Jewish life. Through positive experiences and core Jewish values, the children will appreciate God’s love, which will stay with them throughout their lives. Staff is hired on an equal opportunity basis.
Young Professionals Hiddur Mitzvah Series • Innovation Grant
The Young Professionals Hiddur Mitzvah Series will engage Jewish young professionals in Northern Virginia in social and creative Jewish spaces. The series will be comprised of three events, which will capitalize on the hands-on crafting interest among young professionals today while providing a Jewish outlet for creativity and a social activity to engage with their Jewish peers. The proposed series will include making a challah board, a cooking class, and making pottery Pesach tableware.
Young Families • Impact Grant
This funding will enable Olam Tikvah to expand its Young Families program to provide area Jewish families with opportunities to meet and socialize through playdates at Olam Tikvah and Fairfax county and city parks. The expansion will allow additional programming for holiday celebrations and workshops for parents.
The Mindfulness Initiative • Innovation Grant
At the Den, we have spent the last few years learning firsthand about the spiritual needs of the Next Gen demographic throughout the entire DC area. In our organizing, gathering, and engagement, we have learned this fundamental truth: that people yearn to discover themselves, to be seen by others, and to exercise their heart as much as they exercise their mind. We regularly encounter Jews who are amazed to find that the mindfulness practices they have been seeking outside of Judaism are actually an authentic part of our own tradition. For some, their mindfulness practice has been intimate learning cohorts that join study and soul-exploration; for others, it’s a chance to explore prayer through collective singing; and for even more, it’s an experience of meditation that coalesces with our Jewish heritage, ancestral or chosen. The Den’s Mindfulness Initiative brings together mind, body, and spirit that reaches the core of the Jewish endeavor.
Families Serving Together • Impact Grant
Families Serving Together (FST), a program of the EDCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility, is the only opportunity in the DC Jewish community for young families to give back together on a monthly basis. Every month, families with children ages three and over can engage in service learning through projects such as food preparation, trash cleanups, visiting homebound seniors, creating activity kits, and much more. Through FST, families explore Jewish values around sharing, tzedakah, and serving others, as well as the community need each program is addressing (i.e., food insecurity). When possible, FST programming is also tied to a Jewish holiday, and learning about the holiday is included as part of the program.
Shabbat Clusters Outreach & Engagement Coordinator • Impact Grant
The Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (EDCJCC) respectfully requests funds to support the expansion of Shabbat Clusters, a popular signature program of the EntryPointDC Department at the EDCJCC that engages young Jewish adults living throughout DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Shabbat Clusters bring together cohorts of Jewish people in their 20s and 30s to meet for monthly potluck Shabbat dinners at each other’s homes and at local restaurants. The program works to build intentional micro communities among participants, while strengthening their connection to and understanding of Jewish culture and values. For many participants, the program serves as their first entry into the Jewish world, helping to excite their interest and encouraging them to deepen their engagement.
j.family Ambassadors • Impact Grant
Based on the success of the first year of the j.family Ambassador program in DC, the Edlavitch DCJCC will continue to provide neighborhood based j.family Ambassadors to connect new parents to each other and to the community through one-on-one meetings with parents of children ages 0-3. The ambassadors will welcome parents to the Jewish community and connect them to others and to Jewish life.
Jewish Cooking Mastered, EntryPointDC and NOVA Tribe Series • Innovation Grant
Edlavitch DCJCC will pilot Jewish Cooking Mastered, a joint project of EntryPointDC and NOVA Tribe Series, including a cooking class series and a peer-to-peer holiday meals program in Northern VA and DC. Jewish young professionals will learn from popular local and national chefs and bloggers how to craft traditional dishes with a modern twist (e.g., a farm-to-table Passover seder) and learn the Jewish history and rituals of each dish.
30s Engagement • Impact Grant
GatherDC will expand their 30s Engagement Impact program to connect individuals in their 30s with their peers and Jewish communal partner organizations. The project also funds dedicated learning and leadership experiences for this population, including comprehensive follow-up and evaluation.
NOVA Engagement Impact • Innovation Grant
GatherDC will hire a NOVA engagement staff person to help form relationships among hundreds of Jewish young adults in Northern Virginia, and develop a grassroots network of thousands of young adults as a pipeline to existing programmatic offerings.
Trainings Innovation • Innovation Grant
A training series for local lay-leaders and Jewish institution staff about how to engage peripherally-involved Jewish young adults. The series will provide service to a large group of young adult lay-leaders and intensively serve a select group of professionals serving Jewish institutions.
The Pipeline Project • Innovation Grant
We have found that our recent graduates continue to seek relationship-based engagement spaces to foster their evolving Jewish identities. The Pipeline Project works to build a more interconnected DMV Jewish community so that these individuals can more easily plug into similar types of relational Jewish spaces beyond their college years. The Pipeline Project aims to do this through two core means:
- Build a consortium of organizations that cover multiple stages of development, crafting best practices to help individuals address the ”spaces in-between” of their Jewish journeys. Work with a shared language and commitment that prioritizes the needs of individuals over the needs of organizations.
- Create and implement a mentorship model to act as the key means of connecting individuals from one stage to the next. Utilize the rich relationships from the consortium and wider community to help individuals navigate their personal and professional lives, keeping Jewish values at heart.
#PARENTINGTRUTHS – A Parenting Life Hacks Series & Engagement Initiative • Innovation Grant
We are thrilled to feature, #PARENTINGTRUTHS – A Parenting Life Hacks Series and Engagement Initiative. We have gone broad; our attendance numbers are strong and consistent; now we want to go deep. Parenting Life Hacks topics:
- Budgeting and Planning
- Affording Your Lifestyle Without Going Broke
- A Clear Path Forward: Estate Planning & Guardianship 101: Mealtime, Bedtime, and Self-care
- Get Them to Eat and Sleep Without Losing Your Mind
- Holiday Craze
- New Year, New You (Reclaiming Rosh Hashana)
- Interfaith Households (Tangible Takeaways)
- Passover with Purpose
- Fostering Positive Relationships
- Self, Sibling, Parents & Peers: Finding Your Village; You Are Not Alone
- Making Meaningful Connections and Getting to Know the Resources That Support Our Community
Transportation Expansion in Northern VA • Impact Grant
Gesher will expand their bus service from 4 to 5 routes in order to cut ride time and improve service. With improved transportation, Gesher will be able to offer more families in Northern Virginia the opportunity to benefit from the school’s secular and Jewish education.
Virginia is for Lovers of Learning • Impact Grant
The Haberman Institute for Jewish Studies (formerly the Foundation for Jewish Studies) will expand the programs we offer in Northern Virginia on an annual basis, planning a minimum of four Melton and other classes, a Day of Learning, a Learning on Wheels (field trip), a cultural event, and four lectures (two fall, two spring) for academic year 2020-21. We currently provide all our DMV programming with four parttime staff out of our office in Rockville. This grant will allow us to hire one more part-time staff person located in Northern Virginia to facilitate these programs and to continue building partnerships in NOVA with synagogues, Gesher, Pozez JCC, and others to provide these quality learning opportunities to the community.
Engaging Young Adults • Impact Grant
Hadar will create two interactive holiday class series—3 parts each—about Passover and the High Holidays. This engaging series will be taught by Hadar faculty using ancient Jewish texts made relevant and meaningful to young adults.
Young Family Engagement on the Hill • Impact Grant
Hill Havurah will continue to engage the wonderfully growing population of young Jewish families on Capitol Hill and beyond by expanding our programming to include more opportunities just for them. A Young Family Engagement professional will help build community and foster learning through events, such as Havdalah ceremonies, Shabbat gatherings, late afternoon Sunday programming, additional holiday programming, a more accessible preschool pilot program, and more. All weekend and holiday programming will be free for all participants.
Each of these programs will share and celebrate Jewish learning and ritual and connect Jewish and interfaith families to one another through their children. These programs will be specifically crafted for children of different age groups, from 0-5 and their families, so that folks have natural ways into the Jewish community once their children have graduated from preschool or tot Shabbat.
Alumni and Family Engagement • Impact Grant
Hillel at Virginia Tech seeks to bridge the gaps between college graduation and immersion into Jewish life in the community where your career and family begins. Our initiative seeks to utilize the relationships we’ve built through four years on campus to smoothly transition those who are new to the DC area by connecting them to local services and programs. While the majority of Hillel’s primary focus is on campus, we would argue that our Hillel wants to be involved in a student’s Jewish journey for the long haul, helping them navigate the Jewish community of the DMV much like how we worked with them during their time on campus.
Honeymoon Israel • Impact Grant
This grant will fund follow-up programming in the local community after young married couples participate in Honeymoon Israel’s 10-day Israel experience. The programming is designed to keep couples connected to one another and help each family find meaningful connections to the broader Greater Washington Jewish community.
IAC DC EDGE • Innovation Grant
IAC EDGE is a national cutting-edge community of Jewish-American and Israeli young professionals, ages 22-42, who are passionate about Israel and seek extraordinary networking opportunities as well asprofessional development and business accelerators. It is taking place in different IAC communities across the country along with online events, Linkedin/Facebook member groups, regional EDGE summits, and a National EDGE summit. EDGE members are invited to exclusive events, have mentorship opportunities, and have access to a national network of successful professionals and trail blazers. IAC EDGE also serves as a national platform for thousands of Birthright alumni who seek to stay connected to Israel.
We would like to create a significant membership base with young professionals in the DMV area who are looking to maintain their connection to Judaism and Israel while seeking professional development. This will be done through organizing local events and providing professional networking opportunities (locally and nationally), along with creating social connections.
Gvanim Limmud • Impact Grant
Israeli American Council (IAC) DC will create a Limmud group in Northern Virginia, providing a platform for Israeli and American Jews to connect and strengthen the community. Gvanim Limmud is modeled after the traditional Beit Midrash – a dynamic place of engaging with traditional Jewish text to debate the most significant questions.
L’Chaim • Impact Grant
The L’Chaim (Shishi Israeli) program brings together Israeli and Jewish American families into a communal experience that combines Jewish traditions and Israeli culture through a series of celebratory events. Each event is led by a committee of community leaders and volunteers, and includes Shabbat dinners, holiday gatherings, and children’s activities in a multi-generational environment.
Northern Virginia Public School Project • Impact Grant
JCrafts is a nonprofit that provides innovative and educational enrichment programs focusing on cultural diversity, science, and the arts.
The Northern Virginia Public School Project consists of a series of workshops designed to introduce elementary through high school students to key aspects of Jewish life, fostering tolerance and increasing cultural awareness. There are two tracks:
- Geared primarily toward Jewish students, this track addresses the Jewish engagement gap among families with school-age children and ensures they can access high quality, engaging, and immersive Jewish learning experiences.
- For the full diversity of a school’s student body, this track explores the positive elements of cultural diversity, enabling students to discover the rewards that come from overcoming prejudice and acquire the early skills for learning from those who have different beliefs and ways of doing things. We believe that together we can empower our region’s next generation to leverage difference as a powerful force for good.
NOVA Jewish Vegan Holiday Initiative • Impact Grant
Jewish Veg is the Jewish voice of the plant-based movement, the fastest growing social movement in the world.
Our vision is a kinder, healthier, more sustainable world.
Our mission is to inspire people to embrace plant-based diets as an expression of the Jewish values of compassion for animals, concern for health, and care for the environment. Established in 1975, we are one of the first plant-based organizations in this nation.
Jewish tradition places a tremendous emphasis on the compassionate treatment of animals and establishes a plant-based diet as Judaism’s ideal. We promote and uphold Jewish values that would otherwise be ignored. And we build a warm and welcoming Jewish community celebrating ancient traditions in new ways.
Next Gen Jewish Vegan Holiday Initiative • Impact Grant
The Next Gen Jewish Vegan Holiday Initiative will work with local Jewish institutions to engage new members in Jewish life and enable the Jewish community to celebrate all of our major holidays 100% plant-based. It will inspire those who are currently uninvolved in Jewish life to experience ancient Jewish traditions in new ways and have a deeper appreciation of our values and their Jewish identity.
Support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington will enable us to organize plant-based celebrations of Shabbat, Tu B’Shvat, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashana, Sukkot, and Chanukah throughout Greater DC and bring new members into our growing Jewish community.
Each experience connects the food we eat with our health, environmental activism, Jewish values, and impact on the world. We have been successful because we provide a complete annual experience of Jewish life and build a warm, welcoming community here in Greater DC.
Financial Fitness for Young Women in the Greater Washington Area • Impact Grant
Jewish Women International is requesting funding to launch a financial literacy cohort for young Jewish women in the Greater Washington area. This program, which was piloted in our Chicago Young Women’s Leadership Network to great success, is a five-part series with sessions focused on tackling complicated financial concepts in an accessible way. Sessions will be led by established speakers in the field, all of whom will be Jewish women, to foster an environment of intergenerational learning. These sessions will cover a wide variety of financial concepts and, combined, will lead to a well-rounded financial education for the cohort. Partnered with session content, participants will read and discuss the best-selling book, Picture Your Prosperity. Each two-and-a-half hour long session will include an opening networking activity, a guided discussion on the assigned reading, content delivery from speakers, and catered dinner.
Playdates for Change • Innovation Grant
Our organization will collaboratively design playdate curricula and hold 7-10 playdates that educate young families about a social justice issue in Montgomery County. Playdates for Change will appeal to a broad spectrum of families with young children and teens. Each event will engage new parents in local social justice issues and provide an opportunity for them to learn and take action. The playdates will also include children in a relevant age-appropriate craft that will also be used to educate lawmakers. Participants in Bonimot Tzedek, a youth leadership development program of Camp Moshava, will plan, develop, and execute the playdates, and they will each be held in a different Montgomery County synagogue. JUFJ and PJ Library® staff will guide the teens in curriculum creation and share age appropriate ways to engage young children and parents in advocacy. PJ Library will lend its marketing expertise in accessing local families with young children.
Torah on Tap • Innovation Grant
Torah on Tap would bring together Jewish young adults in the downtown Washington, DC area for pluralistic Torah study and discussion in local bars eight times per year. The bar venue enables individuals to enter who might not otherwise feel comfortable in a Jewish organization and makes the Jewish study, though deep and from original sources, more accessible and discussion oriented. This process enables Jewish young professions to find Jewish history, thought, and tradition relevant in a way they never thought possible, connecting them to the Jewish community and leading them to value Judaism in a new and surprising way. This will be a partnership between Kesher Israel and Moishe House.
Café Nite Extra • Impact Grant
Mesorah’s Café Nite program will expand the organization’s breadth and depth among millennials in the community. Café Nite programs provide Jewish enrichment experiences including classes, workshops, “getaways,” and service projects.
MoEd NOVA • Innovation Grant
Building on seven years of success and national recognition since introducing a new model of Jewish supplemental education to the Metro DC area, MoEd, a Jewish after-school community, is now respectfully seeking an additional investment of $70,000 to support the opening of a new Northern Virginia location of MoEd’s after-school care program. Locations are expected to be self-supporting with earned revenue after three years of operation at an enrollment of approximately 45 students. Opening a new site will bring MoEd’s presence in the Metro DC area to three locations. We believe in celebrating Judaism, embracing diversity and inclusion, changing the face of Jewish education, building confidence in one’s Judaism. MoEd provides children with creative tools, while building passion for Israel and its complexities, teaching critical thinking skills, focusing on fun-loving informal education, embracing Hebrew language immersion, while incorporating movement and full body experience.
Sustaining Jewish Life in Fairfax • Impact Grant
This funding will allow for the development of a second Moishe House in Northern Virginia. The residents (3 to 5 Jewish 20-somethings) will receive extensive training and resources to turn their rented home into a communal focal point through dynamic and relevant programming such as Shabbat dinners, Jewish holiday celebrations, and more.
Big Questions, Many Answers: Moment Institute’s Fellow in Residence • Innovation Grant
Moment Magazine will provide programming based on innovative and thought-provoking content. Moment Institute’s Days of Learning will examine big-picture issues and questions important to the Jewish community. Each session will include a lecture or presentation, a cultural/books program, and a facilitated conversation. Moment will offer five Big Question program tracks for partners to choose from.
NOVA Tichon • Innovation Grant
NOVA Teen Tribe is a community-wide educational program for post bar and bat mitzvah-aged teens. Sponsored by congregations across NOVA and led by a full-time Program Director, NOVA Teen Tribe will offer a diverse array of opportunities designed to meet teens where they are in terms of interests and talents and provide them with chances to come together to learn with and from one another. Opportunities will include a mix of options including theater, arts, and STEM experiences; thoughtful text study; conversational Hebrew; and an exploration of the historical and cultural sites in the larger DC area through a Jewish lens. Some programs will meet for just a few dates while others will be semester long. The goal of NOVA Teen Tribe is not to replace teen educational programming in individual synagogues but rather offer additional opportunities for teens to engage with Jewish learning and with one another in new and innovative ways.
NOVA Field Fellow • Innovation Grant
This grant will support a new NOVA Field Fellow who will work to engage the approximately 36,000 Northern Virginia-based Jewish young adults. OneTable’s program encourages singles in their 20s and 30s to engage in Shabbat practice.
for Seder in NOVA • Impact Grant
2 for Seder is a grassroots, family-friendly event helping the average NOVA Jewish resident take action to fight anti-Semitism. 2 for Seder encourages all Jews to invite two people of a different faith to their first seder, either at home or a community seder. Celebrating our Jewishness at Passover becomes a way to fight back against anti-Semitism and build bridges to our neighbors. This program is accessible to all generations, young and old, bringing Jewish families together to fight anti- Semitism in the most positive manner.
We support home seders with a free kit, our partners’ community seders with special printed discussion cards, and are piloting a special campus program with our partners. To reach unaffiliated Jews, we plan to advertise on social media targeting NOVA. These methods of support all need funding in NOVA.
PJ Library • Impact Grant
This grant will ensure that the PJ Library program has the necessary funds to serve the entire Greater Washington community. The program provides families raising Jewish children from 6 months to 8 years old with free Jewish books and music and co-produces events for families across the region.
j.family Ambassador Program • Impact Grant
The JCC or Northern Virginia will continue j. family Ambassadors program in Northern Virginia to support new parents to connect with other young families raising Jewish children. The j. family ambassadors foster connections and relationships by providing access to communal experiences and institutions.
Fairfax Eruv • Innovation Grant
Establish and maintain an eruv to unite geographically contiguous portions of the NOVA Jewish community in Fairfax, thereby providing a necessary unique and foundational element of Jewish communal life, which has been lacking.
An eruv is a ritual enclosure constructed in a neighborhood to facilitate activities otherwise prohibited on Shabbat. An eruv accomplishes this by symbolically integrating a number of properties into one larger “private domain” by physically surrounding it using a combination of existent and new physical elements. Often a group constructing an eruv obtains a lease to the required land or objects from a local government or utility. An eruv allows community members observing Shabbat in a traditional way to transport babies in strollers or carriers, carry personal items, use canes, etc. The presence of an eruv thus especially affects the lives of Jews with limited mobility and caretakers of babies and young children.
Pop Up J • Innovation Grant
The Pozez JCC seeks to open one or more “Pop Up J” locations in commercial spaces by taking advantage of available inventory on a short-term basis. Programming experiences will be geared toward families with young children, and we will look to secure real estate in Arlington and/or Reston/Herndon, both of which contain high concentrations of this cohort seeking Jewish experiences, many of whom fall under the cultural, holiday, and minimally engaged patterns of Jewish engagement as defined in the recent community demographic report. The “pop up” concept creates an agile environment in which each experience is evaluated for effectiveness and immediate adjustments can be made to maximize return on investment.
Jewish Northern Virginia • Innovation Grant
We think Northern Virginia is a great place to live a Jewish life; so do 120,000 other people, as estimated by Federation’s recent community study. Those already engaged recognize the vibrancy of our community and think it’s an amazing place to live. Those who are less or not yet engaged in Jewish life often do not realize the dramatic changes that have occurred and how much is really available in our community. Many outside of our region don’t think of Northern Virginia as a great place to live a Jewish life. Why? Because we are not telling our story. It’s time for us to tell the story of Jewish Northern Virginia.
Meeting Young Jewish Families Where They Are • Impact Grant
This program will serve young families in areas without Jewish life infrastructure, including Clarskburg and Damascus. The project will allow the synagogue to grow partnerships with JPlay and PJ Library® of Greater Washington to help fill a void in service and provide families in those areas with relationships, community, and programming.
Sixth & Wee • Innovation Grant
Sixth & Wee connects young, unaffiliated families with low-cost, content-rich Jewish programming and local synagogue clergy in a welcoming, inclusive environment. While not ready to become members of a synagogue, this group still seeks meaningful opportunities to engage with Jewish life. However, they feel challenged to find a Jewish home for their families because they have never been affiliated with a synagogue, and the thought of synagogue membership feels intimidating and expensive. This group includes people who have recently rediscovered Judaism, converted, or are in interfaith marriages. Through monthly Shabbat morning services, High Holiday services, and an annual Chanukah party, we will introduce families to resources available outside of Sixth & I and throughout the Jewish community, help them bond with other families, and provide meaningful Jewish experiences for parents and children.
Jewish Womanhood in Northern VA • Innovation Grant
Beginning with 3-4 NOVA-dedicated SVIVAH gatherings in varied locations, we want to know the women of Northern Virginia and build a community of women from all backgrounds, ages, affiliations, who deliberately and generously engage in conversation and meaning making with each other. Through grassroots collaboration and women-led community building, we will engage NOVA Jewish agencies and community leaders to create opportunities for cross-pollination and collaboration across organizations, giving more women opportunities to experience the rich Jewish offerings available across the DMV while fostering nourishing, multigenerational, diverse, personal connections. SVIVAH is a meaning-maker and connection-facilitator. We are a pipeline-expander and an amplifier. We are a room-builder and a gatherer of a beautiful sisterhood where differences intrigue us and help us grow, and where our commonalities unite us and help us flourish. As we simultaneously grow SVIVAH in MD/DC, we will weave the women of NOVA into our existing powerful community of women.
The Storefront Project • Innovation Grant
The Micah Storefront Project provides communal Jewish experiences in spaces of the everyday, including in coffee shops, on rooftops, and around open tables. The project incorporates prayer, study, conversation and action, bringing people together for relevant, highly accessible Jewish learning.
NOVA Co-Working Space • Innovation Grant
This grant will seek funding for a programmatic space in Northern Virginia empowering Next Gen Jews to curate experiences, build community, and define their Jewish sense of self. The space will bring together the best of traditional and non-traditional entities to empower Next Gen Jews to embody living Judaism through the seamless integration of work and social life.
Trybe DC Community Launch • Innovation Grant
Trybe is a local community model designed for and by Jew-ish millennials that offers unique, immersive Jewish ritual-based programming with a modern/spiritual/universal twist. Trybe programming is structured according to the Jewish calendar and offers fresh interpretations of Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh (new moon commemorations), and holiday ritual experiences and communal prayer practice, thereby serving as an innovative alternative to the traditional synagogue model. Each Trybe experience partners with local community artists to integrate arts and wellness into these multisensory experiences as well as feature local nonprofits to connect our community to impact opportunities. In our launch year, Trybe will offer our flagship Immersive Shabbat Experiences, New Moon Womens Circles, and co-created lay-led Shabbat experiences. Trybe will offer online resources to connect our community to educational tools and content and to each other.
Next Gen Lawyers Division: A Collaboration Between Tzedek DC & The Network • Innovation Grant
Next Gen Lawyers Division is a collaboration between Tzedek DC and the Network. Tzedek DC is a Jewish community-organized nonprofit providing free legal help, financial empowerment materials and classes, and systemic advocacy in support of local families of all faiths and backgrounds with lower incomes. The Network is a division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington that convenes professionals to strengthen their personal, professional, and charitable networks. Next Gen Lawyers Division focuses on three things: (I) creating compelling events and follow-up electronic and other ways of engaging DC-area Jewish lawyers, ages 45 and under, to learn more about Jewish community opportunities and professional relationships through the Jewish community; (2) providing meaningful opportunities to engage in pro bono work through a Jewish lens and framework at Tzedek DC and allied organizations serving vulnerable families; and (3) creating opportunities for mentorship of Next Gen lawyers by other lawyers in the Greater Washington Jewish community.
Mem-Powered: The future of Jewish networking! • Innovation Grant
Mem-Powered seeks to create a robust professional and social networking scene for young Jewish alumni and graduating seniors in the Washington, DC, area. Some 1,500 Jewish students graduate annually from the University of Maryland. Too many actively engaged Jewish students struggle to find a niche within the broader Jewish community upon graduation, becoming alienated from the Jewish community until later in life. (Additionally, many alumni gravitate to New York City. Mem-Powered seeks to keep higher levels of alumni local.) By leveraging relationships Hillel already enjoys with this population, it aims to keep young adults Jewishly active beyond their time in College Park. Additionally, the resources proposed will allow Hillel to serve
as a more effective bridge to other Jewish organizations in the region. Outputs might include Hillel-hosted Shabbat dinners at local synagogues, joint lectures with other organizations, or a business breakfast.