From Our Blog

July 2008

By on July 14th, 2008

After two years of grant making, the Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) looks forward to a summer in which many grantee beneficiaries will participate in programs of JJF funded initiatives. This past week, sixteen young BBYO professionals engaged in intensive Jewish study at Boston’s Hebrew College as members of the first cohort in JJF’s supported BBYO’s Professional Development Institute. In the western United States, hundreds of young campers began their first ever residential camping experience courtesy of JJF’s funding for the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s (FJC) JWest Campership Initiative. FJC anticipates over a thousand youngsters will enjoy this experience by summer’s end. Birthright Israel NEXT and Hillel have selected key personnel to direct their Birthright alumni and campus entrepreneurs/campus educator initiatives, respectively, both ...More

June 2008

By on June 14th, 2008

The Jim Joseph Foundation is now actively engaged in several major initiatives, working intensively with grantee partners and consultants to develop frameworks for monitoring and assessing JJF-funded initiatives. JJF Directors have awarded approximately $50 million in aggregate to BBYO, Birthright Israel, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and Hillel. For each initiative, articulating a theory of change, developing a logic model, designing an evaluation plan – these are basic structural elements of JJF’s grant making architecture. At its May 18-19 Board meeting, JJF Directors added four significant new grants to the Foundation’s portfolio. JJF is now sponsoring two pilot projects – a Bay Area-wide Israel education project for eleven Bay Area day schools and a JCC North Shore (Massachusetts) Jewish Youth Initiative. ...More

April 2008

By on April 14th, 2008

The Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) Directors, in their first 2008 Board meeting, approved two major and, we believe, significant capacity building grants together totaling more than 23 million dollars. These grants will strengthen Birthright Israel Foundation and Hillel in engaging young adults ages 18-30. The investment of 12.5 million dollars granted to Birthright Israel and 10.7 million dollars awarded to Hillel (each over five years) will enable both organizations to move forward with the implementation of programs that are of key strategic priority to them. The programs themselves—Taglit-Birthright Israel community trips and alumni engagement in fifteen cities, and Hillel’s expansion of its successful Campus Educator/Campus Entrepreneur program to ten campuses—will be fueled by new types of Jewish professionals. These professionals will ...More

February 2008

By on February 14th, 2008

As we expand Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) philanthropy, we will intensify efforts to show work products that reflect our thinking, doing and learning. The transparency we are trying achieve on this site is meant to give interested stakeholders insight into JJF’s approach to its philanthropy. We want our work to be accessible, understandable, and open to comment and critique. To that end, please find several additional reports linked to the site this month (News and Publications). Of note is the final installment of the research study that JJF commissioned Brandeis University to conduct in mapping the field of education of Jewish youth in the United States, Lessons from Mapping Jewish Education. You can also find a paper authored by ...More

December 2007 / January 2008

By on January 13th, 2008

The Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) was officially incorporated in January of 2006. Throughout the first year, grants totaling $5,709,750 were awarded. The Foundation’s first strategic plan was approved at the year-end Board meeting, conducted on December 15, 2006. Since that December 2006 meeting the Directors approved grants totaling $46,516,847. We are pleased that for the first time on this site, you can link directly to a record of JJF’s major grants. You might be interested to see, as well, how we are fairing relative to our target strategies. The amount of funding granted by the Foundation is a single – and one dimensional - measure of its activity. A more complete profile of JJF’s philanthropy obviously would include descriptions ...More

November 2007

By on November 13th, 2007

The Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) has awarded grants to the DeLeT programs (at Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College) and Pardes. Funds granted to DeLeT are for U.S. educators’ pre-service study while funding for Pardes will enrich its more than sixty alumni teaching in U.S. day schools. At the national level, JJF is a committed PEJE partner, working currently with that organization and the Adelson and AVI CHAI foundations as funders of a process examining a systematic approach to improving the identification, recruitment, preparation and retention of day school heads. Regionally, JJF is set to begin a theory of change/logic modeling project in Israel education for eleven Bay Area day schools. In less than two years, JJF has established itself ...More

October 2007

By on October 13th, 2007

The Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) consistently finds that Initiatives it considers funding involve complex questions of Jewish identity. For each prospective Initiative, JJF professionals examine how experiences a particular organization offer engage individuals and their peer groups in Jewish learning. We try to discern, given our understanding of a substantial academic and growing popular literature on identity formation, if a potentially fundable Initiative involves learning that reliably leads to strengthening Jewish identity. JJF Directors have determined that support of traditional institutions and established organizations in the Jewish community is one effective means for the Foundation to realize its vision. Funding Jewish day schools; BBYO; the San Francisco Federation; intermediaries such as the Foundation for Jewish Camping and PEJE; etc. reflects the ...More

September 2007

By on September 13th, 2007

For an investment-style Foundation such as the Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF), research and evaluation are main stay activities. The former provides data around which hypotheses are formed and grant initiatives ultimately designed. The latter enables the Foundation to assess its achievements and understand how it might improve its philanthropy. Currently, JJF is involved is several research-related and evaluation type projects. For example, while Brandeis University has completed its JJF-commissioned study of the field of education of young Jews in the United States, it is continuing to sort data it collected into what will become a publicly available resource. JJF Directors recently approved a $600,000 grant that provides funding to support the development of this unique database. Once available in the public ...More

August 2007

By on August 13th, 2007

The Jim Joseph Foundation has begun to forge significant partnerships with deserving grantees. These grantee organizations’ implementation of their own strategic plans enable JJF to advance its mission by funding initiatives that hold tremendous potential for inspiring Jewish youth to live Jewishly. JJF Directors awarded 11.2 million dollars to the Foundation for Jewish Camping (FJC) at the Foundation’s July 6th Board Meeting. The grant supports a residential camp incentive program for 11 to 13 year olds. The initiative provides two years of financial support for first time campers who reside in the western part of the United States – a region offering the greatest potential for increasing enrollment at sleep away Jewish camps. Concurrently, JJF and FJC will extend our conversation on ...More

June 2007

By on June 13th, 2007

As we enter the summer months, the Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) anticipates a series of conversations and negotiations that could result in several additional significant grant collaborations. Foundation Directors have urged JJF professionals, building on the JJF – commissioned Brandeis research (report coming soon), to seek out major opportunities in the following areas: expanding the field of Jewish camping; supporting innovative ways to engage teens and young adults in meaningful, modern day, Jewish educational experiences; preparation of Day school leadership. Concurrently, the Foundation is working with its grantees – Bar Ilan University, BBYO, birthright israel, Brandeis University, JECEI, the San Francisco Federation and The Curriculum Initiative among others – to ensure JJF grant dollars are used in ways that directly serve ...More

The Jim Joseph Foundation invests in promising Jewish education grant initiatives. We partner with effective organizations that seek to inspire young people to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.