Grantmaking

We strive to identify grantee partners who are dedicated to achieving positive outcomes and whose efforts are closely aligned with the Foundation's mission and vision. We nurture and sustain deep relationships with these partners and like-minded funders.

The Foundation invests in initiatives, often through multi-year grants, that support Jewish learning experiences for young Jews at key inflection points in life. In particular, the Foundation solicits grants designed for long-term, large-scale effectiveness and sustainability. The Foundation also invests in research and development to catalyze ground-breaking forms of Jewish learning and expression. 

The Foundation’s investments today are informed by two core assumptions

Core
Assumptions

1

In a world that is constantly shifting and changing, there remains a strong and persistent human desire for connection, meaning, and purpose. Judaism has continually evolved over thousands of years to meet these needs.

2

Through investing in Jewish learning experiences, we can help individuals identify new ways to enhance their lives, strengthen their families and communities, and contribute to a better world.

Strategic Priorities

The Foundation's strategic priorities guide its grantmaking.

Powerful Jewish Learning Experiences: Strengthen and grow Jewish learning through investing in program models proven to have deep and enduring effects on participants

Exceptional Jewish Leaders & Educators: Invest in training and developing dynamic, pioneering leaders and educators who are attuned to the needs of young people today

R&D for the Future of Jewish Learning: Catalyze development of ground-breaking forms of Jewish learning and expression by investing in R&D operations, new ideas, and creative partnerships

Jewish Learning

The nature of what defines effective and compelling Jewish learning experiences is continually evolving with the emergence of new approaches for learning, new forms of Jewish expression, and the rediscovery of Jewish traditions and teachings that resonate in modern times.

Young people are seeking meaning, authenticity, relevance, and substance. Learning designed to truly shape who they are as people requires a seriousness of purpose and an investment of time over days, weeks, months or longer. While some forms of effective and compelling Jewish learning can be self-guided, it most often occurs in community with others who they know and trust. Trained educators—whether professionals, volunteers, mentors or peers—generally play a central role in designing and facilitating these kinds of experiences.

Jewish learning occurs in many spaces and takes many forms: formal classroom settings; experiential settings like homes, camps, retreats, service and travel experiences; engagement with Jewish content and ideas through a range of media both online and offline; and through relationships and conversations with friends, family, teachers, role models and study partners.

What it means to live a vibrant, purposeful, connected and fulfilling life informed and inspired by Jewish learning is constantly evolving. But we know that it requires learners to draw their own connections between the wisdom of our past and the relevancy of the now.

Jewish learning can be especially relevant to young people as they navigate through key inflection points in their lives–from passages to adulthood, to early parenthood, to lifecycle moments, to moments of "seeking" spirituality or wellness.

Long-Term Outcomes

The Foundation’s timeframe for achieving its long-term outcomes is ten years.

  • Culture. Throughout the field of Jewish education, a growing culture of excellence, risk-taking, and continuous listening and learning is infused into the values and practices of organizations, communities, and funders.
  • Experiences. Modern manifestations of Jewish-inspired ideas, practices, and experiences emerge and gain widespread recognition for being essential to addressing the pressing needs of young people at key inflection points in their lives.
  • Talent. Increased numbers of dynamic, pioneering Jewish leaders and educators are the driving force behind Jewish learning experiences that inspire young people throughout their lives.
  • Learners. A more diverse and growing number of young Jews, their families, and their friends are participating in powerful Jewish learning experiences that inspire them to lead more connected, meaningful, and purpose-filled lives.

Portfolio Analysis

To hold itself accountable, the Jim Joseph Foundation engages in ongoing conversations with its partners and independent evaluators about how to best measure achievement of targeted grant outcomes.

As a part of this work, the Foundation closely monitors how its investments are allocated across its strategic priorities and the different populations the Foundation seeks to serve. With significant assistance from our grantee partners, we also track the aggregate number and depth of intervention for the educators and young Jews who have benefited from these investments.

The Portfolio Analysis Chart summarizes this information.

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