The Center for Leadership Initiatives announced that 35 young Jewish innovators would receive seed funding for their projects to support the realization of innovative Jewish ideas worldwide. The funds, alongside general support of the overall ROI program, were provided by philanthropist Lynn Shusterman.
Selected projects range from web initiatives to music, art and film, and from community activism and education to environmental projects. Grant recipients are in their twenties or early thirties, and hail from Europe, South America, North America, the FSU, South Africa, and Israel.
According to Yonaton Gordis, Executive Director of the Center for Leadership Initiatives, “The ROI Grants were created to serve as seed funds that will enable ROI members to kick-start their creative projects with minimal paperwork and bureaucracy. Our experience shows that small, very targeted grants can make the difference between an idea and its implementation on the ground. The recognition of these innovators and this fiscal support is often critical to keeping their energies focused on Jewish community.”
The 35 grants were selected from nearly 60 applicants. Special consideration was given to projects that were international collaborations between ROI members. Submitted projects were evaluated for their innovation, their ability to impact audiences beyond the project’s managers, and their potential for future expansion and replication.
Gordis concludes, “These grants demonstrate that there is creative thinking out there that is rooted in strong values. In the hands of these young innovators, the future of the global Jewish community looks very bright.”