Advancing Racial Equity Through Learning and Action: Grants for Jewish Organizations
June 12th, 2020
As cities across the United States and around the world continue to erupt in protests against anti-black violence, Jewish leaders and communities are grappling with how to respond. At the same time, many Jewish organizations are deepening their internal work for racial justice that they began many months ago – before the start of COVID-19 and before the death of George Floyd. These organizations are now better equipped than ever before to navigate the chaos of our present moment.
The Jewish Social Justice Roundtable awarded nearly $100,000 in matching grants to 21 Jewish social justice organizations for projects that address racism and promote racial equity.
These grants, made with the Jim Joseph Foundation and Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, offer critical resources to embed practices of racial equity in organizational systems and cultures, and to honor the multiracial realities of the U.S. Jewish community.
Assessing Unmet Needs
The Roundtable had originally planned to allocate $20,000 to support organizations’ efforts. But the needs and requests for funding surpassed the initial budget. The Roundtable received 21 requests to fund strong and innovative projects related to advancing racial justice and equity, including trainings for staff or board, and retreats for Jews of Color who are stakeholders in the organizations.
Modeling a Spirit of Partnership
Motivated by the strength and urgency of the requests that the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable received, the Jim Joseph Foundation and Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah jointly committed in December 2019 to funding these projects for a total of $98,700.
Adjusting In the Time of a Pandemic
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, most organizations are adapting their work. Led by the principle of “compassionate accountability” in our Racial Justice Framework, the Roundtable extended the time frame of the grants by six months, gave organizations more time to raise matching funds, and asked each grantee for a short update about program changes.
The grantees and their programs are as follows. Most of these were the original programs. Some have changed in response to the pandemic, and we anticipate continued changes.
This list of projects is energizing and humbling. They represent the potential to better model the multiracial multiethnic reality of our Jewish communities. And there is still a lot more work to do to dismantle racism. To learn more about ways to educate yourself and take action, click here.