From Our Blog

Reflections on a Big Bet: The Education Initiative with HUC-JIR, JTS, and YU  

By Yael Kidron and Dawne Bear Novicoff on November 9th, 2016

When the Jim Joseph Foundation was founded in 2006, board members and other leaders in Jewish education held a series of meetings to determine a set of “strategic funding priorities.” While the foundation’s generous benefactor, Jim Joseph, z”l, ensured that Jewish education would be the sole focus of grant awards, he did not specify how the Foundation should pursue his vision. Ultimately, the Board identified three funding priorities, one of which is to increase the number and quality of Jewish educators and education leaders. This priority paved the way for the largest bet the Foundation has made to date—the recently completed $45 million, six year investment in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), The Jewish Theological Seminary ...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

Education for the 21st Century: Equipping Jewish Educators with New Tools and Strategies

By Dawne Bear Novicoff on April 29th, 2014

For those of us involved in the field of education—either as professionals or as parents—we are perpetually reminded about how education is rapidly changing in order to stay in step with the 21st century learners—the digital natives who populate our classes, campuses and homes. As these young learners habitually explore the newest ways to connect with their networks using the latest technology, 21st century educators are challenged with adapting and adopting new practices to engage with their students in meaningful learning in a myriad of settings. The Jewish education space is no different.  Yet often our educator training institutions are under-resourced. Compared to other sectors of higher education, we lag in supporting faculty to advance and to explore new technologies and offer ...More

The Benefits of Multi-Year Grantmaking

By on January 2nd, 2013

Cultivating a collaborative funder-grantee relationship takes a concerted effort on behalf of both parties to build trust, value transparency, and share knowledge. In 25 years of grantmaking experience (more than six at the Jim Joseph Foundation), I have also seen how multi-year grantmaking is a catalyst in cultivating this type of relationship, which both helps the Foundation achieve its strategic priorities and vision and can be a key element for a grantee to achieve success. The Jim Joseph Foundation had key decisions to make when it was founded in 2006 and deciding to focus on multi-year grants was a major one. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but for the Foundation it seemed the most viable way ...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.