The Jerusalem Foundation Raises $2.15 Million for Its 2022 Innovation Fund
Second Annual Grantmaking Cycle Recognizes 60 Innovative Models for Navigating Challenge and Surfacing Future Leadership for Community and Culture in Jerusalem
New York and Jerusalem – March 14, 2022 – The Jerusalem Foundation, Inc. (JFI), announced today the awarding of 60 grants for cultural and community-based initiatives throughout Jerusalem in the second year of its Innovation Fund. The Fund, conceived in 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, was designed to ensure Jerusalem’s vitality by encouraging innovative models for navigating challenging times and flourishing beyond. For the Fund’s first year in 2021, the Foundation generated $1.25 million in total support. For its second year in 2022, $2.15 million has been raised.
The Foundation’s second-year Call for Proposals drew more than 200 submissions from across the city’s diverse social and cultural spectrum, notably including proposals from organizations serving such traditionally under-resourced groups as ultra-Orthodox Jews, Palestinians, immigrants and asylum-seekers, the elderly and people with disabilities, and members of LGBTQ+ communities. The Foundation is proud to award 60 grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to initiatives across the city’s geographic, social, cultural, religious, and economic landscapes, each with the goal of encouraging connection among Jerusalemites throughout the city and surfacing rising leadership that will ensure future vitality.
Among the culture and community projects recognized in this second round are:
- Museum on the Seam: “Identities,” a monumental outdoor public art installation transforming a highly visible landmark site on the seamline between Sheikh Jarrah and Mea Shearim, in collaboration with Jerusalem LGBTQ+ Open House and the Paley Art Center.
- Jerusalem African Community Center: Community leadership development for a pilot cadre of asylum seekers, in collaboration with the Jerusalem Intercultural Center.
- Van Leer Institute’s “Conference on Secular Life”: Exploring the wider meanings of secularity from diverse perspectives, in collaboration with the Jerusalem Secular Yeshiva, Jerusalem Women’s Film Festival, and Lekhatkhila.
- Muslala: Redevelopment of the derelict Clal Building in central Jerusalem to become a hub for NGOs serving the social needs of Jerusalemites, in cooperation with the municipality of Jerusalem.
- Bayit L’Kol Yeled: An after-school framework for at-risk Arab youth in east Jerusalem to encourage social and educational advancement.
- Tvuna: Financial literacy training for young Haredi women, in collaboration with the Joint Distribution Committee, Bank Hapoalim, and the Ministry of Labor.
Each of these projects demonstrates the Innovation Fund’s central goals – to support initiatives that foster synergy and collaboration throughout the city and serve the broader community in ways that will also build essential economic strength. The Fund also aspires to support projects that can serve as models for other organizations – in Jerusalem, across Israel, and around the world. A full list of 2022 grantees and projects can be found here.
JFI Chair of the Board Alan Hassenfeld states, “It has been incredibly gratifying to see how the success of the Innovation Fund’s first year has stimulated such a substantial increase in philanthropic participation. We are thrilled to be able to grow the Fund’s impact so meaningfully with the support of individuals and foundations across the U.S. and especially as demands on philanthropy are ever increasing in the face of continuing global uncertainty.”
“The world continues to change in dramatic and unexpected ways, calling for us to re-evaluate previously held assumptions. Definitions of shared social and cultural experience have broadened as new ways to experience communal engagement and the arts continue to emerge,” says James Snyder, JFI Executive Chairman. “Necessity is the mother of invention, and this is our opportunity to build on that reality. It is also gratifying to see how the Innovation Fund is surfacing examples of leadership that will surely bolster Jerusalem’s future vitality, and this, too, adds meaning to its purpose in these times.”
“Given the Foundation’s commitment to strategies for building future strength – and especially in the face of new challenges that continue to emerge today – we are seizing the opportunity not only to expand the impact of the Foundation’s grantmaking, but also to promote critical learning opportunities for the future,” says Shai Doron, President of the Jerusalem Foundation in Jerusalem. “For this, we are hugely grateful for the generosity of friends in the U.S. who have made this initiative possible.”
Ruth Diskin, Chief Program Officer for the Jerusalem Foundation with responsibility for overseeing its grantmaking activities, adds, “The Innovation Fund has dramatically transformed our grantmaking capacity for the audiences we serve throughout the city. We look forward to continuing to extend its impact in meaningful ways.”
Through the Innovation Fund in 2021 and its earlier COVID-19 relief efforts – which touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jerusalemites – the Foundation has been able to catalyze matching support from individual, foundation, municipal, and corporate sources, creating an immediate multiplier effect and providing another model for the power of public-private partnerships on all fronts. The Foundation is deeply grateful to the donors and partners listed here whose essential support made possible the Innovation Fund’s success in 2021.
About The Jerusalem Foundation
Founded by Mayor Teddy Kollek in 1966, the Jerusalem Foundation has worked on behalf of the city of Jerusalem and its people for more than 50 years to shape an open, vibrant, and resilient community that serves as a global destination for the arts, culture, science and technology, and industry, and supports the daily needs and aspirations of its residents. Since its establishment, the Jerusalem Foundation has invested in more than 4,000 projects throughout the city, ranging from the physical—developing parks and cultural centers, neighborhood community and sports facilities, health centers and synagogues - to the programmatic, delivering education and literacy, cultural competency, and economic opportunity; to the spiritual and artistic, restoring and preserving heritage sites including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and the Via Dolorosa; and to social and cultural programming. These ongoing initiatives support the continuing development of the historic city and enhance Jerusalem’s contribution to the world as a model for cross-communal and cross-cultural engagement.
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