Western States Center (WSC) is a national organization that trains community organizers to build a more inclusive democracy. Eric K. Ward, the center’s Executive Director, has studied white supremacy for more than 20 years and has made combatting antisemitism central to his work. For WSC, this means helping institutions and activists understand how antisemitism animates White Nationalism and the ways in which antisemitism and other forms of racism are thus inextricably linked. Among other WSC programs, this renewal grant will support the Common Good Fellowship for multidisciplinary leaders led by Megan Black.
With guidance, the American Jewish community has begun to recognize that Jews in the U.S. are a multiracial people. This is in large part thanks to the leadership of the Jews of Color Initiative and its executive director, Ilana Kaufman. The Initiative, which we have proudly supported since 2019, conducts research that illuminates the racial diversity of the American Jewish community, re-grants funds to projects that center and strengthen the leadership of Jews of Color, and works with Jewish institutions to help them become more equitable and inclusive.
When the pandemic hit, it shed light on the depth and breadth of our interdependence. As communities faced unprecedented challenges, Repair the World inspired a youth-led movement committed to volunteering, building bridges across lines of difference, strengthening the capacity of nonprofits, and furthering social change, all through a Jewish lens. By investing in impactful programming, deepening national partnerships, and launching service campaigns, Repair the World has mobilized tens of thousands of Jewish young adults in nearly half a million acts of service and learning to address pressing local needs. The organization is on track to catalyze one million acts of service by 2026.
Fifteen years ago, RPF’s funding helped launch writer-director Sayed Kashua’s hit TV show Arab Labor. The critically acclaimed series, which ran for four seasons and aired in both Israel and the U.S., marked the first time the story of an Arab Israeli family was shown in Arabic on Israeli TV. The program was—and remains—celebrated for breaking down stereotypes and increasing the visibility and humanization of Arab Israelis. Now, Kashua is ready to debut his next project with similar goals; he is currently developing Madrase, a half-hour TV show set in a bilingual Jewish-Arab high school in Jerusalem. Madrase will air its first 20 episodes on Israel’s KAN 11 station in fall 2022. The show is supported, as Arab Labor was, by Gesher Multicultural Film Fund (GMFF), which is dedicated to bringing stories that can help illuminate unfamiliar cultures to the screen.
Co-helmed by filmmaker Roberta Grossman and producer-curator Caroline Libresco, a former senior programmer of the Sundance Film Festival, Jewish Story Partners stimulates and supports independent films of the highest caliber that use fresh, nuanced perspectives to illuminate Jewish experiences, cultures, and encounters in all their diversity—for Jewish and non-Jewish audiences alike.