The Jim Joseph Foundation in San Francisco has announced grants totaling $23.7 million to twenty-one organizations working in one of two areas of critical importance in Jewish education: educator professional development and leadership development. The foundation, which works to foster compelling Jewish learning experiences for young Jews in the United States, issued a Request for Proposals in April and received a hundred and fifty-four Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) in response.
Jewish Educator Professional Development grants totaling nearly $16.7 million were awarded to a diverse group of organizations and programs and will provide more than five hundred Jewish educators over the next four years with quality professional development opportunities. Recipients include the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in support of its Executive Master of Arts in Religious Education program for Jewish educators with at least five years of experience; the iCenter for Israel Education, in support of its Academic Certificate in Israel Education Program; M2: the Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, for a series of professional development modules, each focused on a central curricular theme; and the National Yiddish Book Center, whose Great Jewish Books program is focused on middle and high school teachers.
The foundation also awarded Leadership Development grants totaling $7 million in support of leadership training programs and initiatives. Recipients include the American Jewish World Service, for its Global Justice Fellowship for early- and mid-career rabbis; Bend the Arc: a Jewish Partnership, in support of its Justice for the Selah Leadership Program for Jewish leaders of color; Habonim Dror North America, whose Bonimot Tzedek Leadership Development Program supports teens, college students, and young adults; the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which supports emerging early childhood education leaders and Jewish communal institutions; and the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, in support of its Certificate in Jewish Leadership.
"We were fortunate to receive very ambitious, high-quality LOIs that reflect the diversity and vibrancy of Jewish life today," said Barry Finestone, the foundation's president and CEO. "Now, we are excited to move forward with these cohorts in educator training and leadership development — two areas that the foundation views as critical to creating excellent Jewish education."