Inaugural grants focus on dialogue and programming beyond politics and religion to draw communities together
NEW YORK —JCC Association of North America, through its inaugural Israel Engagement Fund: A JCC Association of North America Program Accelerator, in 2019 awarded a total of $100,000 to 10 JCCs (Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps) that are using proven or emerging program models to broaden Israel engagement in their communities.
This new funding model, made possible with generous support of several JCC Association board members, affirms the Association’s commitment to provide greater resources to the field than it draws from the field. It also enables enable JCCs to expand the scope of their own Israel engagement endeavors and offer models that can be scaled and adopted to strengthen connections to Israel in other communities throughout North America. This paradigm—modeled after venture capitalist funding for commercial start-ups in the private sector—helps ensure JCCs can readily adapt to the changing needs and demands of a rapidly evolving Jewish community.
The Israel Engagement Committee awarded these 10 JCCs grants from the Israel Engagement Fund: A JCC Association of North America Program Accelerator for novel, replicable programming initiatives:
- The Louis JCC, St. Louis, Missouri, received funds for its first Zionism 3.0 conference.
- The Miles Nadal JCC, Toronto, Ontario, received funds for “On Tap Ted Talks,” which are held at downtown Toronto bars and focus on Israeli-themed “hot topics” and innovations.
- The Indianapolis JCC, Indianapolis, Indiana, received funds to bring in their first-ever shinshinim, post-high-school, gap-year Israelis who serve as young emissaries in English-speaking countries.
- The Kings Bay JCC, Brooklyn, New York, received funds to develop Hebrew clubs at local high schools as a way to engage local teens, both Jews and those from other faith communities, with Israel.
- Tamarack Camps, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, received funds to offer camp seniors a year-long leadership program following their summer Israel trip.
- Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Portland, Oregon, received funds to implement a first-ever Israel-themed day, planned for each week of camp.
- The Charlotte & Dick Levin JCC, Durham, North Carolina, received funds for a month-long Israeli artist-in-residence to promote Israeli art and conversations.
- The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, Houston, Texas, received funds to bring Israel to the community through three Israeli artists-in-residence throughout 2020.
- The Lawrence Family JCC of San Diego County – Jacobs Family Campus, La Jolla, California, received funds to plan a wide Arts & Ideas season with robust offerings of Israeli content.
- The Addison-Penzak JCC, Los Gatos, California, received funds to deepen connections between Israelis and Americans and between Americans and the land of Israel through a series of art programs.
JCC Association’s Program Accelerator initiative is the first of many new and innovative ways the Association is empowering communities across the movement to create strong Jewish life in North America for the more than 1.5 million people who walk through the doors of JCCs each week.
About JCC Association of North America
JCC Association of North America leads and connects the JCC Movement, advancing and enriching North American Jewish life. With 1.5 million people walking through the doors of JCCs (Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps) each week, the JCC Movement represents the largest platform of Jewish engagement on the continent. JCC Association is the convening organization of this powerful network, partnering with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the JCC Movement, which includes 6,000 full-time skilled professionals and more than 32,000 part-time seasonal staff. By supporting them, together we enhance and strengthen Jewish life throughout North America. Learn more at jcca.org, Facebook, and Twitter.