The Fund’s History and Purpose
The Innovations Fund was established in 2018 by a group of recent Wexner Heritage Program graduates, who agreed to support collaborative and innovative philanthropy with a three-year commitment of $150,000 in personal gifts. This inspiring move by emerging leaders leveraged a match of an additional $300,0000 over the next three years from a Grants Committee of JCF.
The Wexner funders and Grant Review Committee work together to determine the Innovation Fund priorities and select final grantees. In the first grant cycle, they chose to fund innovative programs or initiatives that foster meaningful Jewish connections with people who do not feel engaged. Priority areas included single or married individuals without children (ages 21-45), interfaith couples and families, and the LGBTQ community.
2019 Grant Cycle
The Innovations Fund is launching its second grant cycle. We want to fund groundbreaking programs that you’ll want to join, where you’ll create new friendships and build connections to your community.
We’re looking for applicants for our multi-year grants, and we’re also looking for exciting ideas that will encourage people and organizations to apply.
What would motivate you to go out during a hectic week? What kind of activity would inspire you to devote your time, bring your family, or get a babysitter so you can attend without your kids? What kind of Jewish engagement program would YOU create, if you had the time and resources to do it?
2018 Grant Recipients
The Fund made its first round of grants, totaling $150,000, in late 2018. The following three-year grant was awarded:
Honeymoon Israel provides immersive trips for couples with at least one Jewish partner. Each trip includes 20 diverse couples from the same city, so that alumni can maintain their connections, participate in follow-up programming, and build community. The first Greater MetroWest Honeymoon Israel experience will take place in fall 2019.
Target Audience: Couples aged 25-40, in the first five years of their marriage or committed partnership, reflecting the demographics of the Greater MetroWest community.