The Jewish Funders Network, which works for social change, distributed nearly half a million dollars in grants last week through its new Jewish Social Change Matching Fund.
Jewish organizations that fight human trafficking, promote environmental sustainability and train community organizers were among 17 organizations receiving between $15,000 and $50,000 each in grants. Another $500,000 is expected to be given out later this year.
“Jews have been at the forefront of fighting for social change in the United States since well before the civil rights movement,” said Barbara Roswell, a trustee of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation. “This matching fund recognizes the fact that the passion for causes that address our nation’s key social justice issues has only intensified with the passage of time.”
Among the organizations and projects receiving the matching funds are AVODAH: The Jewish Campus Service Corps, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and MAZON.
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, a New York City-based organization, plans to use its matching funds to engage Jewish individuals and institutions in partnership with immigrants and people of color. Urban Adamah, an educational farm and community center in Berkley, Calif., will use the money to help build a new campus for its programs.
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights will continue to support campaigns against slavery, trafficking and prolonged solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.
Also receiving a matching grant were Amir, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, IKAR, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Jewish Disaster Response Corps, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, JOIN for Justice, National Council of Jewish Women, Shalom Bayit, and Tivnu: Building Justice.
The new million dollar fund was designed to increase philanthropic investment. The money comes from the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, Dorot Foundation, Walter & Elise Haas Fund and Righteous Persons Foundation.
“This program is exemplary of JFN’s Matching Grants Initiatives’ power to ‘enlarge the pie’ of Jewish philanthropy and serve as a platform for funders to dramatically impact the social change field,” said Andres Spokoiny, JFN President and CEO.