First Grants Through Jewish Social Change Matching Fund Announced

Jewish organizations that fight human trafficking, promote environmental sustainability, and train community organizers are among those to receive more than $490,000 in grants from a matching fund supported by seven foundations in partnership with the Jewish Funders Network.

The $1 million Jewish Social Change Matching Fund was designed to increase philanthropic investment in one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Jewish community.

The remaining $500,000 of the matching fund pool will be awarded this spring. Applications for the second round are being accepted through April 28. More information is available at

The fund will provide 1-to-1 matches of grants to organizations and projects that address root causes of injustice from a particular Jewish context and advance social change through education, service learning and organizing. These programs provide an explicitly Jewish framework for addressing social justice issues such as poverty, hunger and the safety and security of women, children and families.

Among the organizations and projects to receive matching funds are:

  • Jews for Racial and Economic Justice – This New York City-based organization will use the matching funds to pursue racial and economic justice by engaging Jewish individuals and institutions in partnership with immigrants and people of color.
  • Urban Adamah – An educational farm and community center in Berkeley, Calif., it will use its grant to help build a new campus for programs that emphasize sustainable agriculture and environmental education.
  • T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights – An advocate for human rights, this national organization uses the Torah and Jewish historical experience as foundations for its work supporting campaigns against slavery, trafficking, and prolonged solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.
  • IKAR – A progressive, egalitarian Jewish community based in Los Angeles, Calif., will use the funding to expand its Minyan Tzedek project which engages members of its community to work for justice while collaborating with national leaders on policy change.

In all, 17 organizations will be awarded grants in the first round: Amir; AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps; Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice; Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice – LA; IKAR; Jewish Council on Urban Affairs; Jewish Disaster Response Corps; Jews for Racial and Economic Justice; JOIN for Justice; MAZON; National Council of Jewish Women; Shalom Bayit; T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; Tivnu: Building Justice; and Urban Adamah. The matching grants range in size from $15,000 to $50,000.

For more information about the matching fund, and to submit an application for the second round of grants, go to, or email

The foundations supporting the fund are: the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation; Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation; Nathan Cummings Foundation; Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation; Dorot Foundation; Walter & Elise Haas Fund; and Righteous Persons Foundation.

JFN’s matching grants initiatives are part of an innovative strategy to increase the base contributions of major funders for a given field of Jewish philanthropy. Since its inception in 2004, matching grant initiatives run by JFN have generated more than $80 million in new funding for such causes as Jewish education and day schools, helping the Jewish elderly and poor, environmental protection in Israel, and Israeli nonprofits.