Chicago’s JUF awards more than $1m to Encourage Smart Growth and Innovation

Breakthrough-Fund-550For the third year in a row, the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s Breakthrough Fund is giving a boost to innovative, leading-edge initiatives that meet local human needs, engage Chicagoans Jewishly, and strengthen Jewish communities in Israel.

This summer, $1.06 million will be awarded to programs focusing on themes ranging from inclusion of teens with special needs; educational programs to raise awareness about mental illness; crisis intervention and self-sufficiency for at-risk Israeli young adults; professional development for those working in the Jewish community; and engaging new Jewish experiences for local bar and bat mitzvah students, college students and congregants.

Some $781,000 will fund 16 new initiatives, with awards ranging from one-year grants of $10,000 to multi-year grants totaling $200,000. An additional $282,000 will support two programs in the third year of multi-year grants awarded in 2014.

Encouraging smart growth and innovation in the Jewish nonprofit sector is the goal of JUF’s Breakthrough Fund, which launched in fall 2013 and has since awarded more than $3.3 million to nearly 60 local initiatives.

A list of the grantees can be found here.