WRJ Awards 210,400 in Grants to Youth, Education, Special Projects, and DEI Programs

Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) has awarded a total of $210,400 in grants to 15 programs through its YES (Youth, Education, & Special Projects) Fund. Three of the grants were awarded under a new pilot program to support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) projects and initiatives committed to promoting DEI in the Jewish community.

The 2021-2022 WRJ philanthropic grants were awarded to the following organizations and programs:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Grants

  • Avodah Jews of Color (JOC) Bayit, $10,000: This initiative will provide the opportunity for Jews of Color in Avodah’s Jewish Service Corps to live together in a culturally competent space. The bayit (house) will launch during Avodah’s 2021-2022 program year.  
  • LUNAR: The Jewish-Asian Film Project, $7,500: This grant will help expand LUNAR's community programming by adding Jewish celebrations and ritual events with Asian-American Jews. This funding will also help establish intentional learning spaces for anti-racist education.
  • Tkiya Music: Wee Jam for Justice, $10,000: The Wee Jam for Justice program brings families with young children together to learn about race, privilege, and equity. Tkiya Music curates a curriculum that supports families by having conversations on diversity and differences in a developmentally appropriate way.

Youth

  • URJ NFTY Kol Koleinu Feminism Fellowship, $10,000: This leadership and activism initiative, run by Moving Traditions and NFTY, provides advocacy training to high school students who identify as feminists.
  • URJ NFTY Teen Leadership, $10,000: This grant will underwrite teen programming and leadership training, creating the next generation of Reform and Progressive leaders.
  • Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa DEI Programming, $7,500: This funding supports Leo Baeck’s middle school’s initiative, “Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Starts with Me.” It creates leadership opportunities for young women through student-led projects.
  • Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa Arab-Jewish Summer Camp, $7,500: This grant supports the 30th anniversary of Leo Baeck’s Arab-Jewish summer camp, which brings together Arab and Jewish families for week-long programming.

Education

  • HUC-JIR Student Scholarships, $55,000: WRJ funds student scholarships and awards at each HUC-JIR campus (NYC, Cincinnati, L.A., and Jerusalem).
  • HUC-JIR: Rabbi Sally J. Priesand Award, $500: This award goes to a graduating student from HUC Cincinnati who embodies the qualities that Rabbi Priesand exhibited throughout her career. These qualities include clarity of vision, commitment to excellence, professionalism, passion, and perseverance, and dedication to the continuity of Reform Judaism.
  • HUC-JIR: WRJ Faculty Award, $1,800: This award is given biennially to a faculty member of HUC-JIR who has supported WRJ in their endeavors and whose work exemplifies the values and mission of WRJ.
  • Overseas Rabbinical Scholarships, $25,000: WRJ supports rabbinical students studying at Abraham Geiger College (Potsdam), Instituto Iberoamericano de Formación Rabínica Reformista (Ibero-American Institute of Reform Rabbinical Training) (Buenos Aries), and other overseas seminaries that will serve Reform and Progressive communities outside of North America and Israel upon ordination.

Special Projects

  • Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) Eisendrath Legislative Assistant (Washington, D.C.), $36,000: This grant funds a year-long fellowship for a recent college graduate interested in the intersection of Judaism, social justice, policy, and women’s rights issues.
  • Fundación Judaica Women’s Leadership Programming, $5,000: This grant will aid efforts to increase female participation in the executive committees of Jewish organizations across Argentina.
  • Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) Jewish Renewal for FSU Olim, $6,000: This grant provides access, education, and opportunity for connection that enables olim (immigrants) from the FSU (Former Soviet Union) to forge their Jewish identity through communal programming, leadership training, and the dissemination of Russian language content to participants and main media outlets.
  • Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), $10,000: This funding will help promote equality in the public domain and work to end religious extremism in Israel.
  • Women’s Rabbinic Network (WRN), $5,000: WRJ will support WRN’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of women in the rabbinate.
  • Women’s Torah Commentary Hebrew Translation, $3,600: WRJ will support the dissemination of Dabri Torah, the Hebrew translation of The Torah: A Woman’s Commentary. Israeli Reform rabbis, rabbinical students, and congregations will receive copies.

Since its founding in 1913, WRJ has been a primary funder of Reform and Progressive Jewish causes. We are incredibly proud to announce the above funding to foster opportunities in the Jewish community for connection, learning, and resilience.

Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) is the women’s affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism representing tens of thousands of women in hundreds of women’s groups, strengthening the voice of women worldwide and empowering them to create caring communities, nurture congregations, cultivate personal and spiritual growth, and advocate for and promote progressive Jewish values. Visit www.wrj.org for more information.

# # #

 

 

Published: 04/20/2021