New Grantmaking Organization Launches in Phoenix Jewish Community

Phoenix | March 11, 2013: To strengthen the metro-Phoenix Jewish community, ten young leaders have joined together to launch a new grant-making organization via a giving circle. The new group, Young Jewish Funders of Arizona, will pool donations from its members, leveraging their shared resources to build a better and more engaging Jewish community in the Valley of the Sun. All of the members are under 40 with the majority in their early 30’s.

In its inaugural year, Young Jewish Funders of Arizona will make grants totaling at least $50,000 to local organizations. The group is focused on supporting projects that provide impactful, community-building events, and those that engage individuals who are not yet connected with the Jewish community.

The idea for the group came from Jay Chernikoff, who learned about the giving circle concept during a Jewish Funders Network conference in Phoenix. Said Chernikoff, “Many of my friends are entrepreneurs whether in business, real estate, or even in their own law practices, and we tend to come at problems in a direct way and like to see results. At the same time, many of us shared a desire to improve our community, increase our sense of engagement and do something potentially impactful that could be felt, not only by us, but our peers and the community as a whole. This seemed like a great fit for our ambitions.”

Organizations interested in funding from the new giving circle are invited to apply at To be considered, funded projects must be scheduled to take place during 2014, and the application must be completed by April 30, 2013. Grant recipients will be notified by May 30th.

The group sees its launch as the first step in an effort to strengthen the Phoenix-area Jewish community.

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