Sunday, March 25, 2012

Friday's Innovation Celebration a Huge Success!

More than 50 community and Federation leaders, professionals and grant recipients came together today to celebrate innovation in the Jewish community. In 2011 and 2012, Federation has awarded about $200,000 to seed and support projects that stimulate increased Jewish engagement and deepen Jewish identity. Ten, 2011 grantees were honored for their accomplishments in improving the lives of people with disabilities and mental health issues, training college students how to respond to anti-Israel movements, helping Jews who are struggling in today's economy, and other projects. New 2012 grantees also were announced (see chart). 

2011 Grantees Awarded 2nd Year Funding - $50,000

Fiscal Sponsor
Chesed Home
Hope Village San Diego
First home for Jewish adults with mental illness in San Diego County. In year one they secured property with 4 homes, developed business plan, website and marketing collaterals. Leveraged close to $200,000.
Emergency Fund
G'mach - Jewish Gift Closet
Collects and provides services, money, used goods for those in need. Secured location and committed to initiate tracking of numbers served, in first year of funding. Leveraged $27,000.
Friendship Circle of San Diego
Enables Jewish teens to provide in-home Jewish holiday training for children with disabilities. Trained teens to educate Jewish children with disabilities about holiday celebrations, established 26 weekly teen visits with Jewish children, and developed evaluation program including a parent phone survey. Leveraged $2,500.
I-Pitch for Israel: Jewish Student Leadership
Anti-Defamation League
Jewish student leadership classes for college students to respond to anti-Israel rhetoric on campus. Increased numbers served and doubled training sites (UCSD and SDSU). Participants include students from Miramar, Palomar, Mesa, Southwestern and National University. Leveraged more than $3,000.
Jewish Culture and Hebrew Class Subsidies
Provides educational programs emphasizing Israel, Israeli culture and Hebrew. Increases cultural exchange and understanding between Israeli-born and Diaspora-born Jews through wide variety of classes in modern Hebrew and Israeli cultural heritage. Provided scholarships for children to attend two different types of classes and increased student enrollment in holiday program to 84. Leveraged $14,500.
Jewish Discovery Expo
Chabad Jewish Student Life
Focus is on uniting Jewish young adults through hands-on Jewish experiences. Developed strong social media to engage young professionals in shofar factory, olive oil press and other events. More than 180 participated. Leveraged $4,000.
Jewish Gene Screen Outreach
Victor Center
Creates awareness among Ashkenazi Jews about the 19 heritable diseases and connects families to local screening services. In year one, trained more than 30 representatives of Jewish organizations about the prevalence of Jewish genetic diseases and secured significantly reduced cost of testing from $500 to $25, increasing accessibility.
Pathways to Judaism
For unaffiliated and intermarried families to engage in community. Thirteen families began participating in 11-week course, taught by six rabbis representing three movements. Leveraged $40,000.
Shabbat Vibes
Congregation Beth El
Engages young professionals with fun, educational and social Shabbat experiences. Committed to increasing tracking in year two. Leveraged $3,500.

2012 New Grantees - $50,000
Fiscal Sponsor
National Conference of Synagogue Youth
Fuses rap music with Jewish discourse to engage and educate Jewish teens, building and strengthening Jewish identity. Teens from current NCSY programs, JCC Teen space, Young Judaea and Hand Up Youth Food Pantry at JFS will be targeted for participation.
Camp Gan Israel
Chabad of Oceanside
Provides the only summer day camp experience for Jewish children in North County’s northernmost coastal and inland communities (Oceanside, Vista and San Marcos) in an informal Jewish educational setting.
Israel Engagement and Education
House of Israel
Showcases the history and culture of Israel to the San Diego Community and general public using multimedia displays and special exhibits. The House of Israel will expand its hours of operation, increase local access and provide part time staffing to support volunteer force.
Jewish Culture Club
National Conference of Synagogue Youth
Engages Jewish Teens in exploring their Jewish identity, inspiring them to create a connection to the State of Israel and to become more involved in the San Diego Jewish community through leadership-building activities.
Jewish Multimedia Xperience
National Conference of Synagogue Youth
Uses theater and mixed-media to convey Jewish concepts and values to Jewish teens, addressing issues such as anti-Semitism, body image (shmirat haguf) and greed. Post-production workshops are geared to fostering thoughtful and robust discussions.
Jewish Family Service
An outreach program developed to counter deceptive proselytizing tactics by Jews for Jesus currently impacting elderly Russian Jews in downtown San Diego.
Social Action Leadership Institute
Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
Israeli advocacy teen leadership program in which participants will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with prominent political leaders and implement three, year-long advocacy projects in San Diego.

 David Cygielman, CEO of Moishe House, which Federation was instrumental in bringing to San Diego in 2010, presented on his experiences expanding to 46 Moishe Houses in 14 countries.  He challenged Jewish funders and organizations to develop a systemic approach to sustaining post start-up or "mezzanine" innovation projects to maintain an enduring impact and further strengthen the Jewish community.