Covenant Foundation Announces New Grants

The Covenant Foundation today announced nearly $900,000 in new grants as part of its mission to support and advance excellence and impact in Jewish education.

The new round of grants underscores a commitment to initiatives across the landscape of Jewish educational experiences, settings and audiences, and propel innovative work in technology, new media, youth engagement and community building through education.

Foundation grants are divided into two categories: Signature grants, which provide funding for up to $250,000 for up to five years, and Ignition grants, of up to $20,000 for one year to support new and untested approaches.

The grants announced today are part of approximately $1.7 million to be distributed this year.

Signature grantees include:

  • The Center for Jewish Living and Learning, Oakland, CA: $50,000 for one year to further develop and expand its Edah program, which brings after-school, supplementary Jewish education programming to children and families in the East Bay region of Northern California.
  • ConverJent, New York: $65,000 for two years for the design, development and rollout of the first Jewish-history focused mobile game app to engage students, families and educators, and to encourage the use of location-based, mobile technology as a Jewish educational tool.
  • G-dcast, San Francisco: $100,000 for two years for the Media Beit Midrash program, which will engage college-age animators to study and learn about the Minor Prophets and their teachings, and to creatively interpret and present these in short films distributed on G-dcast social media and digital platforms for use by individuals, families, schools and organizations.
  • Hannah Senesh Community Day School, Brooklyn, NY: $161,486 for three years for SmallCity@Senesh, a initiative to offer JCC-style programming to the school’s surrounding community of Jewish individuals and families, especially those who are unaffiliated or nominally so, and to build Jewish identity, knowledge and connections.
  • Hebrew at the Center, Newton, MA: $25,000 for one year for Opening the Gates, an initiative to create and activate technological tools and platforms to reach and engage Hebrew language educators, strengthen their approaches and enhance their skills.
  • Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, OH: $42,280 for one year to establish the Thinking Together project, which will use an international model linking philosophical debate and Jewish text learning, including the Parshat Hashavuah, to build Jewish identity and equip students with a Jewish lens for their lives.
  • Limmud NY, New York: $173,950 over three and one-half years to establish a diverse community of emerging Jewish educators for professional development within the Limmud model of engagement, learning and growth.
  • National Ramah Commission, New York: $59,000 for one year for design and development of Ramah365, mobile networking and gaming apps for Ramah movement staff, young adult alumni and campers to maintain and build engagement, connections and program participation throughout the year and to coalesce the Ramah community.
  • Union for Reform Judaism, New York: $102,000 over two years to expand and enhance the Adult Jewish Living and Learning Journeys Project, a series of free Jewish adult education modules enriching current adult learning opportunities in Reform congregations and other formal and informal settings.

The new round of Ignition grantees include:

  • Citizen Film, San Francisco: $20,000 for one year to establish a program for university Jewish Studies educators enabling them and their students to enhance the use of digital media and storytelling in their scholarship, and to communicate, share and disseminate it widely using social media platforms.
  • Institute for Jewish Spirituality, New York: $20,000 for one year to create a pilot program for Jewish baby boomers – those in their 60s and 70s – allowing them to examine the particular challenges of their lives through a Jewish spiritual lens. The pilot initiative will lead to development of a curriculum for an ongoing program.
  • Merage JCC of Orange County, Irvine, CA: $20,000 for one year to establish The Paradigm Project for Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership – creating communities of practice for early childhood educators in South Florida, Southern California and New England, strengthening the field in these regions and nationwide.
  • Mishkan Shalom, Philadelphia: $20,000 for one year to expand and enhance the Celebrations! program, which brings Jewish educational programming to children with special needs and their families. The grant will also allow for training for other synagogues that want to replicate the program for their communities.
  • Not-A-Box Media Lab, Cambridge, MA: $16,550 for one year to develop and launch the Alpha-Bet mobile app, designed to engage young children and enhance their basic Hebrew literacy.

Since 1991, the Foundation has provided close to $22 million to develop and support Jewish education and community-building projects and programs in North America.

The Covenant Foundation is currently inviting 2012 Signature and Ignition grant applications. Applicants should visit for information and guidelines. The deadline for submitting an initial letter of inquiry is Feb. 29, 2012.

The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family Philanthropies and the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA).