Jewish Funders Network Awards $3.3 Million for Jewish Engagement

The Jewish Funders Network has announced grants totaling $3.3 million in support of twenty-eight projects through its Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and Their Families initiative.

Avenues to Jewish to Engagement is a matching grants program that was created in honor of JFN's 2015 Genesis Prize laureate and Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas. In lieu of accepting the $1 million Genesis Prize money, Douglas asked that the prize funds be used to promote inclusion and diversity in Jewish life, and stipulated that $200,000 be awarded to Hillel International, the Jewish student organization. The remainder of the award, combined with an additional $1 million gift from philanthropist Roman Abramovich, created the matching grant initiative, which is administered by JFN.

Additional grant recipients include Honeymoon Israel, a program that provides subsidized trips to Israel for couples with at least one Jewish partner early in their committed relationship; Jewish ArtEck, a summer camp in Berlin, Germany, open to Jews from intermarried families; and JCC Manhattan, which will establish a program to engage intermarried couples and their families in Jewish life and community through mentor-led learning groups.

"Today the Jewish world opened its doors a little wider," said JFN president and CEO Andrés Spokoiny. "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."

Violinist Itzhak Perlman, who will receive the Genesis Prize in June, has announced that he will direct his $1 million, plus another $1 million matched by Abramovich, to philanthropic projects that support individuals with disabilities and those in the field of music. Details will be announced in June during his trip to Israel to accept the prize.