The Collaborative for Jewish Organizing is a network of nine Jewish groups doing faith-rooted community organizing around the country. Collectively, these groups represent thousands of Jews and non-Jewish allies pushing for racial and economic justice in 19 states and Washington D.C. Founded with the belief that movements are strongest when they are coordinated, the Collaborative gives the leaders and staff of these nine groups the space and resources they need to build relationships, learn together, exchange best practices, address shared challenges, and co-design campaigns and messaging.
Since 2018, funding from RPF has made it possible for the Religious Action Center (RAC), the social justice hub of the Reform Jewish Movement, to strengthen rabbis’ ability to speak out and take action as moral leaders on the justice issues of our day. Building on this work, the RAC has designed a fourth moral leadership track for clergy that will focus over the next 18-months on the most urgent issues of the moment, including antisemitism, toxic polarization, and threats to our democracy. This initiative, which will include national and state-level components, will help hundreds of Jewish clergy sharpen their analysis of current issues, become more effective organizers and communicators, and hone their moral leadership with confidence and skill.
The Jewish Social Justice Roundtable was formed in 2012 to help stitch the field of Jewish social justice organizations together. Today, the Roundtable is a cornerstone for 80 groups (including many RPF grantees) looking to learn and build campaigns together. Seeing a real need to support members dealing with post-pandemic challenges, the Roundtable is developing targeted organizational culture programming for the upcoming year, all with the goal of making the field of Jewish social justice, and its leaders, more resilient and sustainable for the road ahead.
Inspired by the legacy of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, the Witness Institute strives to create a more compassionate and just world by sparking “moral activism.” A newer organization led by one of Wiesel’s mentees, Rabbi Ariel Burger, the Witness Institute piloted an ethics-based fellowship in 2021. Rooted in Wiesel’s core teachings, this 15-month-long program is designed to help leaders cultivate the muscles of introspection, collaboration, and problem solving. With RPF’s support, the Witness Institute will conclude its second run of the program, launch its third, and continue to support its growing network of alumni by amplifying their voices and visions for a more moral world.
Reboot reinvigorates Jewish life by making the old new, and the new inviting and meaningful. Renewal funding from RPF will help Reboot continue to grow its network of artists, activists, and entrepreneurs (now topping 650 members) and double-down on producing the best and most viable projects these Jewish and “Jew-ish”-identifying creatives are making. Nearly 20 projects are already in development. An additional slate of projects will be selected for Reboot’s support next year.
When RPF provided its first grant to Israel Story, the radio program and podcast featuring diverse, first-person accounts of everyday life in Israel had only recently debuted. Eleven years later, their sixth season has been downloaded by more than 1.2 million listeners. Now the “This American Life of Israel” needs funding to support their next season and launch new programs, including a Moth-style in-person storytelling event series that will bring diverse audiences together in Jerusalem.
The Jewish Film Institute’s Completion Grants Program provides finishing funds to emerging and established filmmakers for original stories that promote thoughtful consideration of Jewish history, life, culture, and identity. Launched in 2019, JFI Completion Grants recognize projects that entertain and engage us, build bridges between communities, turn conversations into action, and reframe our understanding of Jewish cultures and identities.
Modeled after a grant program the Durfee Foundation has run outside of the Jewish community for more than 20 years, R&R: The Rest of Our Lives provides funding to select nonprofits so their leaders can take planful sabbaticals. This benefits both the executives who are given the opportunity to step away and also their fuller teams who receive support, develop capabilities, and experience new leadership opportunities as a result.