From Our Blog

Learning from My Mistakes

By on September 20th, 2012

At age 24, before being eligible to legally rent a car, I became Regional Director of the southeast office of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).  It was a somewhat daunting situation, which I approached with enthusiasm and this set of four assumptions about the role of foundations as an integral part of effective fundraising:

  • Securing major foundation gifts is key to success
  • A foundation that does not give money to my organization is either misinformed or not fulfilling its charitable purpose
  • If a foundation fails to award a grant proposal with funding, it is not worth my time to pursue future conversations with foundation personnel
  • Fundraising is exclusively about bringing money in the door

In time, and through trial and error, I discovered the flaws ...More

Integrating Israel into Jewish Identity – March 2012

By on March 10th, 2012

The Jim Joseph Foundation views teens, youth and young adults who are beneficiaries of the Foundation’s grantees as sovereign, intentional, meaning-making individuals who instinctively desire to belong to supportive communities.  While the Foundation hopes that all these young people connect Israel to their Judaism in some purposeful way, we suspect this does not happen automatically. The Jim Joseph Foundation has a fairly straightforward approach to providing grant support that leads to opportunities for youth and young adults to integrate a relationship with Israel into their Jewish identity.  The Foundation believes that learning about Israel’s history and culture, its politics and people helps individuals to develop informed opinions about Israel.  The Foundation also thinks that an individual who has multiple immersive Israel ...More

April 2007

By on April 18th, 2007

At this time of the year, it is natural to view the Foundation’s activity by contextualizing it within observance of Passover. For Jewish foundations, the themes of Passover—choice, renewal, inclusion, ritual—are worthy of reflection. Passover’s dramatic story of the Jewish exodus from that “narrow place” (Mitzrayim, i.e, Egypt) is a riveting narrative of a people liberating themselves from slavery. Today, the arc of freedom for American Jewry has reached its zenith. Jews enjoy unprecedented access to corporate offices, private spaces, and the public square. For the Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF), this reality necessitates understanding that Jews’ participation in Jewish education is voluntary, fluid, and self-directed. Concomitantly, the Foundation recognizes that Jewish educational experiences must be deeply engaging in order ...More

March 2007

By on March 18th, 2007

Jim Joseph Foundation professionals and its Directors are engaged in countless conversations with representatives of organizations and institutions that provide education for Jewish children, youth, and young adults in the United States. The Foundation’s evolving approach to its grant making is conversational in nature. We view thoughtful, probing, reflective, and ongoing discourse with the field as a vital way to do business. We are currently talking with more than a dozen prospective grantee partners. In each case, we envision opportunity to provide Foundation support that will advance our mission. JJF Directors expect its professionals to manage highly interactive processes of developing promising funding opportunities for the Board to consider. We do not accept proposals, issue RFPs, invite organizations as “vendors” to ...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.