Process

It is our goal at the Jim Joseph Foundation to enrich the field of Jewish education by supporting effective organizations whose work engages, educates, and inspires young Jewish minds. The Foundation’s grantmaking is focused on these strategic priorities designed to:

Increase the Number and Quality of Jewish Educators and Education Leaders
Grow the number of high-quality professional and peer Jewish educators and Jewish education leaders in positions to support effective, compelling Jewish learning experiences for teens, college students, young adults, and families with young children

Expand Opportunities for Effective Jewish Learning
Increase the number and diversity of teens, college students, young adults, and families with young children engaged in relevant and meaningful Jewish learning and creating and sustaining Jewish peer networks

Build a Strong Field for Jewish Education
Support the field of Jewish education and the organizations working within the field to be better aligned and more successful in promoting Jewish life and learning for teens, college students, young adults, and families with young children.

The Role of Israel Education within Jewish Education: The Jim Joseph Foundation views learning about Israel to be an essential component of all Jewish education.  Israel education is an important, implicit part of any complete set of Jewish learning experiences.

We strive to forge strategic partnerships with proven and promising organizational partners. The Foundation searches for philanthropic opportunities through ongoing conversation with prospective grantees whose organizational mission and goals align with those of the Foundation.

~ Jim Joseph Foundation considers grant requests by invitation only ~

The Foundation invites applications from organizations that serve Jewish youth and young adults either domestically within the United States, or that send youth and young adults from the United States to Israel and other settings of Jewish significance for Jewish educational experiences. All applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) determination letter or otherwise valid tax exempt status under the Internal Revenue Act. The Foundation is unlikely to support individual schools, camps, congregations, or youth groups except in remarkable cases where programs of a unique nature merit Foundation consideration.

The Jim Joseph Foundation awards two primary types of grants:

Major Grants – These are typically multi-year grants, the proposals for which are presented at one of the regularly scheduled quarterly meetings of the Foundation’s Board of Directors

  • From January 2006 through December 2, 2015 the Jim Joseph Foundation awarded $377,966,852 in Major Grants (169 total grants)

Expedited Grants –These are grants of up to $250,000 with a term of up to 2 years that can be processed anytime during a given fiscal year

  • From January 2006 through December 2015 the Jim Joseph Foundation awarded $10,074,681 in Expedited Grants (75 total grants)

Both of these types of grants are subject to a similar proposal request, development, and review process which generally includes:

1) Invitation of Grant Request – Includes overview of organization and proposed initiative and purpose

2) Investigation and Professional Review of the Grant Inquiry – Includes ongoing dialogue with potential grantee to clarify and improve proposed initiative and to develop evaluation benchmarks.

3) Green Paper – A succinct, two - three page description of a potentially fundable idea that is brought to the Board for review following formal conversations with Jim Joseph Foundation program officer(s).

4) White Paper – Initiated only after the Board's approval of a Green Paper, a White Paper updates the Board on a potential initiative the Foundation has explored and begun to develop for possible grant award consideration. At three - five pages, the White Paper explains a more fully developed idea than that of the Green Paper.

5) Proposal to Jim Joseph Foundation Board of Directors – Upon invitation by the Board of Directors, a prospective grantee may submit a proposal to the Foundation consisting of a narrative, a full budget, a specific funding request, and supporting documentation. The proposal will be presented to the Board at one of its four regularly-scheduled quarterly meetings held each year.

6) Grant Agreement – Upon approval, a grantee will receive a grant agreement that consists of two parts: (1) a narrative that describes the purpose and goal of the grant, and (2) a series of deliverables which includes financial documentation and programmatic benchmarks that are tied to grant payments (All grants approved by the Jim Joseph Foundation are "up to" amounts based on budgeted programmatic or organizational support).

7) Ongoing Funder/Grantee Interaction – For the purpose of understanding all aspects of the grant’s implementation:

  • Oversight – The Jim Joseph Foundation is a private, non-operating Foundation, but relationships between the Foundation and grantees are not merely transactional. From the outset of the grantmaking process, grantees work closely with the Foundation professionals in an effort to maximize the likelihood that Foundation funds awarded will lead to the grantee achieving objectives set forth in the proposal.
  • Evaluation – As a Foundation firmly rooted in educational values, we believe that our grants provide a learning opportunity for the Foundation and its grantees, as well as for the field of Jewish education as a whole. For certain major grants, between 6-8% of the total grant award is budgeted for purposes of external evaluation. Our grantees work together with the Foundation professionals to prepare an RFP for project evaluation to retain a highly qualified, independent evaluator. Once that person/team is chosen, the Jim Joseph Foundation contracts with the evaluator in order to determine the grantee’s logic model, evaluation design, metrics of success, and method for tracking and reporting on grantee progress on achieving key qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Often, the evaluation will provide insights to inform future decisions around a particular grant; occasionally, it will provide guidance relating to the greater field of Jewish education. More information about our Evaluations can be found here.

Among the major grants the Foundation has awarded are:

Strategic Priority

Grant

Amount

Purpose of Funding

Expand Opportunities for Effective Jewish Learning

Foundation for Jewish Camps - Specialty Camps Incubator

Up to  $17,667,294 awarded: $10,467,294 for Incubator I and $7,200,000 for Incubator  II

To create a Jewish Specialty Camp Incubator to launch new Jewish specialty camps. Five camps were in Incubator 1  and four additional camps are in Incubator 2.

Birthright Israel

Up to $20,775,000 awarded from 2006-2014

To support the provision of free 10-day immersive experiences in Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18-26 who have never traveled to Israel on a peer trip.

Birthright Israel NEXT

Up to $12,500,000 from 2008-2014

To support an initiative to connect Birthright trip alumni and their peers with meaningful Jewish living and learning   opportunities nationally, locally, and in Israel. The initiative works with communities to receive alumni who possess diverse needs, interests, an   inclinations, investing in and convening those who work with young Jewish adults, as well as offering resources and thought-leadership.

Increase the Number and Quality of Jewish Educators

Jim Joseph Foundation Education Initiative at Hebrew Union College,   Jewish Theological   Seminary, and Yeshiva   University

Up to $45,000,000 in three separate grants of up to $15,000,000 each.

To enable each of the institutions to graduate and   credential a significantly greater number of highly qualified educators to work with Jewish youth and young adults. The initiative is supporting new academic degree and certificate programs at the institutions to attract and train the next generation of Jewish educators and educational leaders.

Build a Strong Field for Jewish Learning

Brandeis University - JData

Up to $3,878,382 awarded in multiple grants to Brandeis University.

To support the creation, maintenance, growth, and   sustainability of JData, a Jewish education database and website that collects and provides census-like information about Jewish educational programs in North America. The data is both collected and accessed via the   JData website, which securely houses it and offers users multiple means to utilize data through reports and analyses.

iCenter

Up to $4,450,000 from 2008 - 2015

To establish and sustain a national Israel education resource center focused on pre-collegiate Israel education in   partnership with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation.

All grants by the Jim Joseph Foundation are intended as one-time gifts, although some grants may be renewed at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

 

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.