Request for Proposals

Cohort-Based Educator Professional Development Programs in Jewish Education
Leadership Development for Current and Future Leaders in Jewish Education


To be eligible for support, organizations must be a registered 501(c)(3)
operating within the United States.

Activities of the eligible organizations must be aligned with the mission of the Jim Joseph Foundation: To foster compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews in the United States. The target audiences of the Jim Joseph Foundation are teens, college students, young adults, and families with young children (ages 0-5). Grants eligible for this RFP will focus on educators and leaders serving one or more of these audiences and/or who are themselves members of one or more of these audiences.

Annual budgets of eligible organizations must be at least $500,000.

The Jim Joseph Foundation will not fund:

  • Capital campaigns
  • Endowments
  • Political activities
  • Individuals


The Jim Joseph Foundation is conducting its first-ever Request for Proposals (RFP) in two grantmaking areas: 1) Cohort-Based Educator Professional Development Programs in Jewish Education and 2) Leadership Development for Current and Future Leaders in Jewish Education. This RFP process will begin with submissions of Letters of Interest (LOI). The Foundation views the RFPs as an experiment and an opportunity to identify a diverse group of exceptional programs in these areas. Throughout this process, the Foundation also will continue its previous grantmaking activities. More information on the Foundation and the LOIs are below.


By investing in promising Jewish education grant initiatives, the Jim Joseph Foundation seeks to foster compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews in the United States. In the period since its establishment in 2006, the Jim Joseph Foundation has awarded more than $450 million in grants to engage, educate, and inspire young Jewish minds to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.

The Jim Joseph Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on outcomes that can lead to long-term, systemic change in the field of Jewish education. The Foundation achieves results by building close relationships with its grantees and by driving change through training and professional development, measurement and evaluation, ongoing experimentation and shared learning. The Foundation’s grantmaking fits within three strategic priorities:

  1. Increase the number and quality of Jewish educators and education leaders
  2. Expand opportunities for effective Jewish learning
  3. Build a strong field for Jewish learning

Additional details about the Foundation’s history and grantmaking priorities can be found throughout this website and on our ten year retrospective timeline.

New Opportunities for Grant Seekers

The Foundation distinguishes between 1) training in-service educators (those whose primary work is educating) and 2) training education leaders (current and future leaders in Jewish education organizations), and values supporting both as complementary interventions to sustain organizations that support ongoing Jewish life and learning.

Organizations may apply for the grant opportunities described below independently or in collaboration with others. A collaboration may consist of several organizations, including partnerships between Jewish and secular organizations. Collaboration may take many shapes, including all organizations sharing project work equally and/or one lead organization partnering with other organizations for specific expertise or resources. One organization will need to be identified as the primary contact and recipient of grant funds.

Organizations that work with both educators and leaders may apply for both grant opportunities, but will only be selected for one. Please note that as part of being a recipient of grant funds through this RFP, all grantees will be expected to participate in an external evaluation. As part of a broader effort to support greater diversity, equity and inclusion in Jewish educational life, the Jim Joseph Foundation encourages applicants whose leaders and program participants come from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, particularly those that are currently underrepresented in Jewish leadership and educational roles.

Key Dates

April 25, 2017: Deadline to submit questions re: RFPs to [email protected]
May 2, 2017: FAQs to be answered and posted here by this date.
May 10, 2017: Letter of Interest and Eligibility due to Foundation.
May 30, 2017: Organizations will be notified if they will be invited to submit a formal grant proposal.
Grants will be awarded in early fall 2017 



Educator Professional Development
Investing in Educator Professional Development (Educator Training) is one of the Jim Joseph Foundation's three strategic priorities. The Foundation’s Educator Training grantmaking to date represents over $120 million invested in programs focused on thousands of educators teaching in a variety of educational settings.

In the past, the Foundation's funding has supported a plurality of training opportunities including those focused on experiential educators, day school educators, Israel educators, peer-to-peer educators and early childhood educators. Grantee programs support educators at different stages of development: early-career, mid-career and veteran educators. Despite significant previous investment in high quality in-service professional development and certification programs, there continues to be a demand for more such offerings from Jewish educators across the United States.

The Jim Joseph Foundation is embarking on a pilot program to invest in a cohort of Educator Professional Development programs providing in-service training for Jewish educators. This program will also offer a Community of Practice for the directors of each of the professional development programs funded through this pilot. Funding will support up to ten three-year grants to institutions that provide ongoing cohort-based professional development and training to a select group of Jewish educators serving teens, college students, young adults and/or families with young children (ages 0-5). The proposed program to be funded--whether a new or existing program--must launch no later than September, 2018. Funding may include partial subsidies for educators participating in each of the selected programs plus additional dollars for limited organizational support (e.g., marketing, recruitment, faculty, etc.).

The initiative will include:

  • A Community of Practice for the directors of the educator training programs, to convene them in-person several times over the grant period and more frequently by phone and video-conference.
  • Convening all of the educators participating in all of the professional development programs at least once during the pilot.
  • An external evaluation of the cohort model and Community of Practice.

More information on the Educator Professional Development RFP 


Leadership Development
Over the past decade, it has become increasingly evident that the investment in professional development and training of leaders in Jewish education organizations is an essential long-term strategy for achieving the Jim Joseph Foundation’s broader mission of fostering compelling, effective learning experiences for young Jews. Better supported and trained leaders produce and sustain more successful, sustainable organizations.

The 2014 Bridgespan Group report, Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders for Jewish Nonprofits, articulated the urgent need for appropriately trained leaders in the Jewish community: “Jewish life has benefited enormously from decades of generous support by its members. Community leaders have built durable institutions, and a thriving network of young start-ups is galvanizing a new generation. However, like the general nonprofit sector in the United States, the vast majority of Jewish nonprofits—75% to 90% by some estimates—must find new executive leadership in the next 5-7 years. Finding the right leaders to move immediately into these openings is already proving difficult.”

With this need in mind, the Jim Joseph Foundation has begun to structure a framework for funding a new set of investments in current and future leaders in Jewish education organizations, with the initial over-arching goal for the Foundation to learn more about the field of Jewish leadership and have greater clarity around the most effective ways to invest. The Foundation is seeking to deepen its investment in leaders through supporting leadership development, management skills and technical knowledge. To expand its portfolio of existing leadership grants, the Foundation seeks to fund up to six additional programs over three years through one funding cycle.

The Initiative will include:

  • Support for training of current or future leaders of Jewish education organizations serving one more of the Foundation’s target audiences of teens, college students, young adults, and families with young children (ages 0 to 5) OR programs training current or future leaders who are themselves members of one or more of these target audiences.
  • Support of programs that offer training in the following areas: general leadership development (e.g., developing personal and professional purpose, vision, self-awareness, ability to motivate others, ability to communicate and collaborate), management skills (e.g., board and staff development, project management, strategy and transition planning), and/or technical knowledge (e.g., finance and fundraising, evaluation and research, HR and culture, etc.).
  • An external evaluation of the funded initiative.

More information on the Leadership Development RFP 


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.