Jewish Funders Network announces recipients of Matching Grants in honor of Genesis Prize Laureate Michael Douglas

JFN - VerticalJFN initiative to fund 28 innovative programs targeting greater engagement of intermarried families in Jewish life

New York, May 22, 2016 – Jewish Funders Network (JFN) today announced the recipients of funding under the matching grants program, created in honor of 2015 Genesis Prize Laureate Michael Douglas. The announcement, made at the 5th annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, identified 28 projects under Michael Douglas’ chosen theme, Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and their Families. The projects will result in $3.3 million in new funds being dedicated to this philanthropic area.

“Today the Jewish world opened its doors a little wider,” said Andrés Spokoiny, President & CEO of JFN. “And the impact goes beyond these grants. The gifts being matched, as well as the whole range of amazing projects that were submitted, represent new donors and newly increased levels of giving that this area has never seen before. I want to express my gratitude to the Genesis Prize Foundation and other philanthropists, who were inspired by Michael Douglas, to support this critically important initiative that will have a transformative effect on Jewish life all over the world.”

Genesis PrizeAcademy Award winning actor, activist and supporter of Israel Michael Douglas won the Genesis Prize in 2015. In lieu of accepting the prize money, he redirected the funds to promote inclusion and diversity in Jewish life, including a $200,000 gift to the Jewish student organization, Hillel International.

The remainder of the award, combined with an additional $1 million gift from philanthropist Roman Abramovich, created a matching grant initiative that was administered by Jewish Funders Network.

The winning projects due to receive funding are:

      • Be’chol Lashon
      • Big Tent Judaism
      • Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University
      • European Janusz Korczak Academy (Germany)
      • Friends of Rodeph Sholom School
      • Hebrew College
      • Hillel at UCLA
      • Honeymoon Israel
      • IKAR
      • InterfaithFamily
      • International Jewish Student Organization “Hillel” (Ukraine)
      • J-ArtEck Youth Education Center (Germany)
      • JCC Manhattan
      • JCC Warszawa (Jewish Community Center of Warsaw) (Poland)
      • Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival (Israel)
      • Jewbelong
      • Jewish Family Service of the Cincinnati Area
      • Judaism Your Way
      • Kidum Le-Aliyah (Israel)
      • Memphis Jewish Federation
      • PJ Library
      • Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
      • Temple Shaaray Tefila
      • The Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism (Israel)
      • The United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong (China)
      • Union for Reform Judaism
      • United Israel Appeal of Canada (Canada)
      • United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

Grant Background:

The goal of Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and their Families was to mobilize the philanthropic community to increase the number of funders and grant dollars, supporting organizations and projects that foster a culture of acceptance within the Jewish community. The particular focus of the grant program was to enhance opportunities for Jewish involvement available to intermarried Jews, their life partners and their children.

The matching grant’s review committee received 81 applications from 14 countries representing over 100 unique funders for this grant opportunity. The 28 winning recipients span seven countries: the United States, Israel, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and China. Each of the organization’s projects will run for up to two years, with periodic assessments of their success and impact to be submitted to JFN.