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Thursday, April 17, 2014 | return to: news & features, local


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10 new projects receive federation micro-grants

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The S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation has announced 10 new micro-grants for innovative Jewish projects in the Bay Area through the #MakeItHappen Micro-Grants Initiative, a project of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network.

MakeItHappen is a global call for Jews to submit inspiring ideas for creating Jewish experiences in their communities. The Schusterman foundation selected 50 ideas from around the world for micro-grants.

The federation then selected 10 additional Bay Area projects. Each will get a $1,000 grant from the federation. The projects are:

Baby & Me Shabbat: Talia Perlman of Redwood City is trying to start a Shabbat program on the Peninsula for parents and their babies.

Bringing San Francisco’s Jewish history to life at the Haas-Lilienthal House: Rebecca Grossman-Kahn of San Francisco aims to show the house’s thousands of annual visitors that the Haas and Lilienthal families were prominent in the Jewish community.

Exploring Forgiveness at San Quentin State Prison: Leslie Schisgall Currier of San Francisco wants to create a workshop at the prison that includes performances of scenes from “The Merchant of Venice” and a discussion led by a rabbi and others about forgiveness and the Jewish tradition.

ParshaNut: A Parsha Hub on the Internet: Rabbi David Kasher of Oakland, who writes a weekly Torah portion blog on Tumblr, plans to start a website with links to parashah commentaries and a format for visitors to offer their own insights.

Pay-it-Forward Shabbat dinners: Benjamin Abram of San Francisco, who hosted his first Shabbat dinner for friends last year and has since hosted more than 20, will use his grant to “encourage eight other people to host Shabbat dinners for their first time next year.”

Reap The Fruit: Irisa and Jonah Charney-Sirott of Berkeley want to offer a quarterly delivery of Jewish-themed literature, music and/or films, modeled on the PJ Library program.

Rock-n-Soul Sunday School: Building on the successful Friday Shabbat Happy Hour, Rabbi Yosef Langer of Chabad of San Francisco plans to present a Saturday night Jewish lifestyle event at the SoMa Shul that includes music, food and drink and multimedia experiences.

Salon with Meaning: Lois Wander of San Francisco aims “to bring people together in an informal and homey setting to learn, to be entertained, to engage, and to be part of a giving experience.”

S.F. Jewish History Tour: Rabbi Moshe Langer of Chabad of San Francisco wants to take local Jews and groups from Jewish organizations on a San Francisco Jewish History Tour aboard Chabad’s “Mitzvah Cable Car.”

The Zingeray: Anthony (Mordechai Tzvi) Russell of Oakland plans to hold a “zingeray, which is a social gathering to sing, listen and pass on Yiddish songs, ballads, lullabies, narratives and romances, performed in a casual, inclusive style and space.”

Jim Offel, interim CEO of the federation, said: “These micro-grants are intended as a big thumbs up for emerging leaders, thinkers and visionaries who seek to contribute to our local Jewish community.”

MakeItHappen is designed to especially help people who otherwise may have received no philanthropic help.


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