Engaging Jews in Social Justice
Jews in Social Justice grants fall into one of three categories: Jewish
Social Justice, Synagogue Challenge, and Tzedek Partner Program and Synagogue
Challenge grants will be made only in the Jewish Fund for Justice’s
target geographic areas. Other grants will
be made all over the country, but priority will be given to JFJ’s
target geographic areas.
I. Jewish Social Justice grants
Jewish social justice initiatives are efforts developed by one or more
local Jewish groups or a coalition of Jewish groups to educate, organize
and mobilize Jews in sustained local activities to combat poverty and
injustice. Grants in this category will be given only to organizations
that engage primarily in advocacy and/or organizing and work in partnership
with other community-based, faith-based and/or labor groups.
To be eligible for funding, a group will:
Involve large numbers of Jews in grassroots, active, direct methods
of bringing about change;
Involve a diverse range of Jews across the spectrum of age, affiliation,
Engage in sustained organizing campaigns for economic or racial justice
in partnership with organizations led by low-income people and/or
people of color; and
- Have a budget of less than $750,000.
Example: Jewish Community Action
in Minneapolis brings affiliated and unaffiliated Jews together to work
in partnership with multi-ethnic coalitions organized to fight anti-immigrant
policies and to increase the supply of affordable housing. Through the
Tzedak Institute (a three-day workshop), JCA trains synagogue members
and students attending Jewish schools in advocacy and organizing techniques.
II. Synagogue Challenge grants
JFJ provides matching grants to synagogues that participate with community
groups or churches in faith-based community organizing groups. A synagogue
challenge grant may be used to train synagogue members, cover the membership
dues for participation in a faith-based organizing group or coalition,
or pay the direct expenses of organizing/ advocacy activities. JFJ synagogue
challenge grants will match other funds raised by synagogues up to $2,500.
To be eligible for funding, a project will:
Involve the synagogue in organizing and advocating for economic justice
with low-income partners on an ongoing basis;
Involve synagogue members in activities that extend beyond fundraising,
such as leadership training and conducting issue campaigns; and
- Involve low-income partners directly in the leadership, planning
and implementation of the project;
Example: Temple Israel is a member
of Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, a local faith-based organizing
group. The synagogue is active in GBIO’s campaign to build affordable
housing. Temple Israel received a synagogue challenge grant to cover part
of the cost of a part-time organizer who will provide training to Temple
Israel members and involve them in GBIO’s campaign to win state
funding for an affordable housing trust fund. Temple Israel will match
JFJ’s synagogue challenge grant with dues income to pay the rest
of the organizer’s salary.
For information on how to apply for a synagogue challenge grant, click
III. Tzedek Partner matching grants
JFJ will match grants to community-based organizations made by synagogues
and day schools that participate in JFJ’s Tzedek Partner
Program. Tzedekah contributions must be made to
community groups of low and moderate-income residents organizing or advocating
against poverty. Classes may choose the recipient organization themselves,
or JFJ will help classes select a recipient organization. JFJ will match
funds raised by the school up to $500.
The 8th grade students at a suburban Chicago congregation, Oak Park Temple
in Oak Park, IL, participated in JFJ's Tzedek Partner Program.
Students worked throughout the year with youth who are involved in a neighboring
Chicago organization, the South Austin Coalition Community Council, to
advocate for better resources for youth in the South Austin community.
Oak Park students also raised $650 for youth programming at SACCC. JFJ
provoded the matched the funds to SACCC.OUT