Denver, CO – In response to the evolving needs and opportunities facing the Greater Denver Jewish community, Rose Community Foundation awarded 40 grants totaling more than $2.1 million to local Jewish nonprofits this year. The programs and projects receiving funding align with and advance the Foundation’s objectives of encouraging a dynamic and inclusive Jewish ecosystem that embraces a myriad of ways to be Jewish and builds community infrastructure to sustain it.
The grant slate aimed to increase Jewish organizations’ strength and capacity, offer diverse Jewish communities meaningful and relevant opportunities to engage in Jewish life, and support Jewish efforts to advance social justice by engaging Jewish people and using Jewish values and traditions to respond to emerging social and economic issues. Grants were awarded to organizations that demonstrated strategic alignment, a demand for services, and unique programmatic offerings and delivery.
In an effort to advance inclusive practices, new organizations and ideas that advance the Foundation’s Jewish Life priorities were encouraged to apply for consideration. Over 23 percent of grant recipients were new to the Foundation and over 20 percent of grants were awarded to current grantee partners that are piloting a new idea, project or program.
“Rose Community Foundation’s refreshed Jewish Life strategy challenges us to acknowledge and nimbly respond to emerging opportunities in our Jewish community that have surfaced through extensive data collection, community conversations and previous funding opportunities,” said Vanessa Bernier, the Foundation’s program officer for Jewish Life. “This grant slate reflects the needs of our region’s increasingly diverse Jewish communities and represents the Foundation’s commitment to being a pluralistic funder, recognizing that the various Jewish settings, practices and perspectives within our region are critical to fostering a dynamic Jewish ecosystem.”
The grant recipients operate at the intersection of Jewish life and a wide range of issue area pathways, from early childhood education, day schools, teen programming and adult engagement to mental health and wellness to social justice and action. The grantee partners also serve the Greater Denver Jewish community in all its diversity, with organizations serving interfaith couples, Jews of Color, people with low incomes, people with special needs, and Jewish people of various ages, denominations, backgrounds and Metro Denver geographies.
Most organizations received general operating support in an effort to provide maximum nimbleness and flexibility in deploying grant dollars, with the exception of new grantees and nonprofits that requested funding for a specific program or project. Details about the grant recipients and their work are outlined below.
To help 18Doors empower people in interfaith relationships to engage in Jewish life and encourage Jewish communities to welcome them by expanding the organization’s clergy referral network and online services and resources.
Anti-Defamation League – Mountain States Region
To support Words to Action, a program empowering Jewish students and their allies with strategies to respond to heightened antisemitism in high school settings and on college campuses, with a particular focus on encouraging Jewish student groups to partner with other coalition groups to respond to bias-motivated incidents of all types.
BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy via Ramah in the Rockies
To support organizational capacity building as BaMidbar works to promote whole-health wellness in the Jewish community by elevating the conversation around mental health and providing wilderness-based journeys of self-discovery, hope and healing.
To support the Jeremiah Fellowship, a year-long national organizing and leadership development program for Jewish young adults that helps participants gain community organizing skills and access to a network of leaders across the country.
To support the Colorado-based chapter’s efforts to maintain and expand its programming and services, which provide pluralistic Jewish teens with fun, meaningful and affordable experiences that inspire a lasting connection to Judaism.
To support capacity building in areas of data management, information technology and brand identity, in an effort to meet the needs of and deepen their relationships with community.
To help launch a new low-barrier Jewish education program, providing multiple entry points for families and youth to try out a myriad of learning and engagement experiences at little or no cost.
To help expand financial support from parents, alumni and community to meet the additional needs for staff and new and continued programming responding to the evolving needs of university students.
To support a new mental health and wellness curriculum for 7th through 12th graders that proactively addresses issues facing teens from age appropriate, Jewish lenses.
To help pilot and scale a podcast in order to diversify and broaden the Kollel’s adult Jewish education efforts.
To help Denver Jewish Day School begin addressing the pandemic’s financial impacts and explore new sustainability projects.
To help The Efshar Project – an initiative to build Jewish identity, advance quality early learning experiences at Jewish ECE Centers and provide access to Jewish education for all families – continue advancing its programmatic successes of the past three years while developing internal capacity.
To support implementation of a national Hebrew language acquisition program used in day schools across the country at Einstein Academy, a new K-6 learning institution.
To enable Ekar Farm to continue connecting the Jewish community to environmental and food justice through experiential education programs for Jewish community, food production for hunger relief efforts, and community food and environmental initiatives.
To support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion coaching, with a focus on racial equity and inclusion at Colorado Jewish day camps.
Friendship Circle (Chabad Jewish Center of South Metro Denver)
To enable Friendship Circle to enhance local programming for families and children with special needs, with a focus on rebooting in-person programming for this demographic.
To help Honeymoon Israel – a nonprofit that provides Jewish couples with meaningful visits to Israel – enhance local pre- and post-trip programming and resume local in-person gatherings and learning opportunities.
To support digitization for all IJN print publications from 1927 to 1967, increasing the utilization of the currently physical archives while preserving the history of the Colorado Jewish community as documented by the IJN.
To support year-round, multi-generational family programming for local Israeli Americans focused on bringing together local Israeli and Jewish American families in communal experiences that elevate Jewish tradition and Israeli culture.
To help The Jewish Experience provide educational and community connections to families across the spectrum of Jewish life, which include expanding outreach efforts to young couples and families with young children, increasing collaboration with other Greater Denver Jewish organizations, and deepening connection with community members already engaged with TJE.
To support the program’s innovative, values-based Judaic programming for Jewish families with preschool- and elementary-aged children, providing community-based, experiential opportunities to learn about and explore Jewish values, culture and history while connecting families to a welcoming and inclusive community.
To support a new JFS program seeking to advance social and economic justice by raising awareness and seeking stakeholder-informed, community solutions to alleviate systemic and COVID-related poverty challenges faced by Jewish individuals and households.
Jewish New Teacher Project via New Teacher Center
To help JNTP partner with local Jewish day schools to apply JNTP’s observation-based and data-driven mentoring methodology to supporting new teachers and providing in-depth and regular trainings and check-ins with mentors and administrators.
To support JTown’s efforts to offer dynamic, meaningful and relevant opportunities that enrich and enhance Jewish life and create connections through shared experience, with a goal of fostering a culture inclusive of individuals and families regardless of any differences that may be perceived as barriers to participation in Jewish life.
To enable Judaism Your Way to maintain and expand its innovative programming and services to anyone who seeks a connection to Jewish life.
To help Kabbalah Experience – a Jewish adult education school that provides an open and inclusive learning community through an evolving and transformative curriculum – expand its ongoing marketing and branding work to reach a more diverse population of educators and students and increase engagement.
To support Kavod’s post-pandemic efforts to reengage residents and older adults across the community in in-person and hybrid programming, increase the availability of mental health resources for residents, and introduce new technology to streamline health screenings for staff, visitors and residents.
To support Year 4 of Live On | LIFE & LEGACY, an initiative of Rose Community Foundation in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that provides incentive grants, marketing resources, coaching and training to help dozens of local Jewish organizations ask for legacy gifts, and create a culture of legacy giving within the Greater Denver Jewish community.
Merkaz Torah V’Chesed
To help pilot a new intergenerational body of programming to address loneliness and isolation experienced by older Jewish adults as recovery from the pandemic continues.
To support the construction of the new Mikvah, which will open its doors in fall 2021 as an inclusive place for community connection, fulfillment of ritual commandment and revitalization of connection to Judaism.
To support Moishe House’s ongoing peer-led programs for Jewish young adults that help create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences, including a year-long Justice Series focused on exploring contemporary economic, political and social issues through a Jewish lens.
To support research and development of Moving Traditions’ curriculum for multiracial families and Jewish teens of color, as the organization seeks to diversify its community groups for pre-teens and teens.
To help OneTable empower young adults who do not yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable and valuable.
To support a local Jewish service corps, Serve The Moment, which will support up to 30 part-time corps members who will engage in ongoing acts of service, meeting the needs and expanding the capacity of local nonprofits.
To continue helping SCN employ a regional security advisor supporting the local Jewish Security Initiative, a program cofounded by JEWISHcolorado, Rose Community Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League to ensure the safety and security of the Colorado Jewish community.
To help reinvigorate Jewish programming at Shalom Park by hiring three diverse rabbis, ensuring residents’ spiritual needs are met and that there are ongoing Jewish offerings. Additionally, Shalom Park received emergency funding in February 2021 to support the purchase of PPE.
To help launch a Colorado Change Accelerator Alumni program, through which UpStart will reinvest in the 20 current Denver-based alumni of the Colorado Change Accelerator through guidance, tools and support.
To help pilot Valley Beit Midrash programming rooted in current events for young adults in the Greater Denver region, with the goal of improving lives in the communities through Torah learning, social action and leadership development.
To support Yeshiva’s efforts to increase its capacity to install strong Torah values in young future leaders by updating its administrative, communications and technology processes.
About Rose Community Foundation
Rose Community Foundation strives to advance inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy. The Foundation envisions a thriving region strengthened by its diversity and generosity, and it utilizes the varied tools at its disposal – grantmaking, advocacy and philanthropic services – to advance this aspiration. Since its founding in 1995, the Foundation has granted more than $329 million to nearly 2,000 organizations and initiatives, including $55 million in facilitated grantmaking from donor-advised funds. The Foundation has also supported nearly 70 nonprofit organizations in creating and growing endowments to sustain their vital work into the future, currently stewarding $49 million in endowed assets. The Foundation has $330 million in total assets under management, with annual grantmaking of nearly $25 million.