Jewish Journal

Jewish Community Foundation awards $1 million in grants to Israeli nonprofits

by Jonah Lowenfeld

Posted on Dec. 22, 2011 at 4:35 pm

The Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation has awarded a total of $1 million in grants to five Israel-based organizations to support programs aimed at spurring economic development in Israel, offering Jewish education for officers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and job and entrepreneurship training for Jewish- and Arab-Israeli women.

In 2010, the foundation managed $731 million in charitable assets and disbursed $52 million to organizations, most of it ($46 million) at the direction of its more than 1,000 donors. The foundation recently announced the creation of a Center for Designed Philanthropy to help donors personalize their philanthropic giving and maximize the impact of their gifts.

But each year, a committee of foundation members working with staff also award so-called Legacy Grants to various nonprofit organizations. In 2010, these grants totaled $5.5 million, and included $1.2 million in grants to Israeli organizations.

This year’s largest Israel grant, a $250,000 gift to be disbursed over the next three years, will go to the Ayalim Association, which calls itself “the biggest movement for young adults in Israel.” According to the organization’s Web site, Ayalim has established 13 “student and entrepreneur villages” in the Negev and Galilee regions of Israel. The foundation’s grant will support a workshop to teach business entrepreneurship and Jewish values to Jewish students in the Negev.

Beit Morasha, a Jerusalem-based nonprofit that works to promote “a vibrant and inclusive” vision of Judaism in Israel, was awarded a two-year, $220,000 grant by the foundation. The organization will use the 2011 award to run training seminars for IDF battalion officers and commanders in an effort to deepen their Jewish and Zionist identities.

The OR movement, another organization aimed at promoting economic growth in the Negev at Galilee, received a three-year, $215,000 grant from the foundation to promote and fill 13,500 jobs in those large and less densely populated regions of Israel.

The foundation also awarded a three-year, $195,000 grant to New Spirit (Ruach Hadasha, in Hebrew), to advance the organization’s mission of increasing the connection of students who study in universities in Jerusalem to the city, and a three-year, $120,000 grant to Supportive Community/Shurush/Sviva Tomehet, a nonprofit that trains and supports Israeli women entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and gives them microloans to establish new home-based businesses.

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