From Our Blog

The Benefits of Making Field Building a Team Sport

By Steven Green on August 25th, 2016

I realize that one of the first rules in communications is, “Don’t bury the lead!”  And yet, I feel compelled to begin with a bit of context before actualizing my metaphor.  As a five-year transplant to the Bay Area, to say that I entered Warriors fandom in the good years would be a drastic understatement.  Stephen Curry, ½ of the Splash Brothers, completed his 2nd MVP season; the Warriors took home the Championship in 2015 for the first time in 40 years following that with the first ever 73-win NBA season; and the ‘Dubs’ claim three All-Stars for the first time since 1976.  The fact that the team is owned by a distant cousin who I have never met is ...More

At the Heart of Jewish Education

By Chip Edelsberg on November 16th, 2015

One of the genuine privileges of working at the Jim Joseph Foundation is the opportunity to see the evolution of Jewish education—from changes that start as ideas and theories, to eventual on-the-ground learning experiences shaping Jewish journeys of our youngest community members. I routinely comment that nothing substitutes for leaving the Foundation’s office, watching talented grantees carry out this important work, and seeing contemporary Jewish education in action. Particularly special moments are when Foundation team members ourselves engage in these learning experiences. Certainly over the last few years an exciting development in our field has been the growth and increased sophistication of the Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) movement. Along with other funding partners, the Jim Joseph Foundation has ...More

From Strength to Greater Strength: How Capacity Building Grants Elevate Organizations

By Chip Edelsberg on February 19th, 2015

In the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to identify and analyze best grantmaking strategies, we have seen grantees achieve outcomes that both strengthen organizational capacity and position organizations for future growth. By virtue of grantees’ strong performance, the Foundation is gaining experience as a capacity building funder. Before I share examples of successes, it is helpful to understand what a capacity building grant actually is designed to do. The term itself is somewhat general and may refer to different types of grants, depending on the context and situation of the potential grantee. Capacity building, broadly defined, refers to “activities that strengthen nonprofits so that they can better achieve their mission.”[1]  Tools exist to help organizations assess their capacity.[2]  Organizations at ...More

New Frontiers: All Kinds of Entry and Re-entry Points for Jewish Engagement

By Sandy Edwards on December 17th, 2013

A new MA program in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts recently launched at George Washington University. Funded by the Foundation, it is indicative of a guiding principle that effective Jewish learning occurs both inside and outside the classroom—and that highly qualified educators are needed for institutional and experiential settings. As the Foundation prepares a model documentation report of the North Shore Teen Initiative (NSTI), a Jewish teen engagement and education model in Boston’s North Shore community, a key takeaway is the effectiveness of Jewish service-learning opportunities with this audience. And finally, my Foundation colleagues are collaborating with other foundation professionals on research about the Jewish Outdoor Food and Environmental Education (JOFEE) movement. Preliminary results of the research indicate significant growth in ...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.