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 Recipients
The Fund made its second round of grants, totaling $150,000, in late 2019. The following three-year grants were awarded:
BUILD TOGETHER (NCSY/JSU)
$150,000 over 3 years
Hire a family service director who will create parent-student cohorts to engage in year-long study, volunteer, and engagement activities, expanding beyond existing high school clubs. This program is open to all in the GMW community.
RAPPERS AND RABBIS
$97,500 over 3 years
R&R aims to build bridges between the rabbinical tradition of poetic interpretation and hip-hop music through friendraising events, open mics, Torah and rap sessions, and other programs including podcasts and large-scale retreats.