Strengthening Synagogue Leadership Grants
Federation’s Investments in Synagogues
In 2020-2022, Federation provided $238,888 in direct aid distributed through rabbinic discretionary funds to 653 individuals in need, and $341,211 in Early Childhood Education 89 families and 66 students at Synagogues.
35 Synagogues participated in Good Deeds Week this year, which ran over 70 volunteer opportunities, mobilizing over 1,500 volunteers.
Since 2020, $7.35 million of Federal Security grant funds were infused into the DMV – including synagogues and Chabads – with the help of Federation and SCN experts.
In 2022-2023, Federation’s 2 community shlichim connected 4,000+ people to Israel through more than 171 programs.
14 grants totaling $285,000 to synagogues through our Impact and Innovation Grants supporting Families with Young Children and Next Gen engagement for FY24.
Federation allocated $75,000 in microgrants to 37 participating synagogues implemented 30+ programs, reaching an estimated 4,500 community members.
Grants Process Overview (2023-2024)
In the Spring of 2023, Federation launched a pulse survey and series of stakeholder meetings to better understand the relationships between Synagogues and Federation and with each other. Based on the results of the survey and the focus group discussions, we are pleased to provide opportunities for strengthening synagogue leadership, in alignment with Federation’s mission to inspire, build, and sustain vibrant Jewish life by empowering synagogues.
These grants will incentivize collaboration, partnership, sharing of resources, and strengthening the congregations and congregational leaders. Cohorts of professionals will be convened by Federation to learn more about the impact of these grants in this pilot year, and to share resources, best practices, and foster relationships within and among synagogues. Federation looks forward to elevating and empowering synagogue lay and professional leadership and supporting synagogues to utilize funds for opportunities suited to their needs.
These grants generate and provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and/or congregational lay leadership to engage in ongoing, purposeful, and meaningful professional development like executive coaching, governance training, and leadership development. Grant funding may be requested for the following:
- Individual professional development for executive directors or rabbis, group professional development for staff or lay leadership, and capacity building for strengthening the skills, abilities, processes, and organizational resources within a particular congregation.
- Partnering on trainings for leadership cohorts with other congregations (e.g., synagogue presidents, synagogue executive directors, clergy). Applicants are responsible for forming their own cohorts.
Grant Process 2023-2024
- Grant applications will open and be available on a rolling basis starting October 16, 2023 until December 22, 2023.
- Grant status will be communicated within 2-3 weeks following a submitted application. Awarded grants will require a signed funding agreement to begin the payment process.
- Grant checks will be disbursed by June 30, 2024 to synagogues that have complied with the grant requirements outlined in the application. Funds will be disbursed sooner for programs completed earlier in the year.
- Following completion of the program (no later than July 15, 2024), the Program Evaluation form is due.
To qualify for support, all congregations participating in a grant must meet these basic criteria:
- Be part of a Jewish communal organization in Greater Washington with 501(c)(3) status.
- Funds must be used for new opportunities, not as a substitute for resources in core operating budget, existing programming, or compensating time of participants.
- The community receiving a grant must implement a process of evaluation that references how the program met its goals and what impact it had on the participant(s).
- The lead professional should be prepared to share the program and evaluation with Federation’s Impact Department.
Grants will be awarded in amounts of up to $2,500 per individual synagogue application and up to $6,500 for two or more collaborating synagogues. congregations are encouraged to collaborate or form a cohort of professionals or lay leaders and apply together to address a shared need. Grants are competitive and will be considered based on available funds and fulfillment of stated criteria and categories.
One grant will be awarded per community/congregation. Please discuss with your professional team if there are multiple possibilities for grant application.
- October 2023: Grant applications open
- December 22, 2023: Grant applications close (or as long as funds are available)
- June 2024 (latest): Payment of grant awards
- July 15, 2024: Program evaluation forms due within two weeks after completion of programs and no later than July 15, 2024.