The NHC is dedicated to spreading its vision of egalitarian and participatory Jewish living and learning, community building, and tikkun olam. Many participants in the NHC Institute and retreats bring ideas to these events that need support in order to come to fruition. To that end, the NHC developed the Innovation Fund in 2012.
The Innovation Fund is an annual mini-grant making process that aims to harness the creativity and energy of the NHC community to create programs that will align with the NHC’s vision and mission, enhance Jewish learning and living across North America, and engage and develop Havurah community innovators and leaders.
Winners in 2016
- The Hill Havurah (Washington D.C.) – Funding for “Shabbat-in- a-Box” kits for lay leaders being trained to lead services and conduct them at members’ homes
- Hyde Park Teen Beit Midrash (Chicago) – Funding to subsidize tuition for one teen, who will be attending the program as an NHC Young Scholar.
- Kadima Reconstructionist Community (Seattle) – Funding food and drink for participants in Kadima Community Shabbat Adult Beit Midrash, a new program to promote Jewish literacy through Shabbat morning classes.
- National Coalition Building Institute – Funding to subsidize attendance of three (3) NHC-connected young adults at Train-the- Trainer workshops on the intersection of Anti-Semitism and Racism.
- Open Siddur Project – Funding to pay childcare expenses to allow a scholar to create a feminist version of the full traditional liturgy.
- Yiddish Poetry Game (Washington D.C.) – Funding to purchase game sets for use in training volunteers from D.C. area havurot in facilitation of the Yiddish Poetry Game.
Winners in 2015
- Albany Downtown Minyan (Albany) – returning an organized Jewish community to downtown Albany, New York for the first time in approximately fifty years
- Altshul Beit Midrash (Brooklyn) – creating an ongoing inter-generational study program for the Altshul community
- Generous Justice – renewing the Jewish practices of tithing, launching with a special leadership training at the 2015 NHC Summer Institute
- Reclaiming Tradition Inclusive Shabbaton – bringing together young LGBTQ Jews who have been marginalized within Jewish community to foster reconnection with tradition and Jewish ritual around Shabbat.
- Arts Beit Midrash (Toronto) – bringing together participants for five unique sessions of creative exploration of the intersection between Judaism and artistic practice
- Anachnu Survey Project – reaching out to Jews with disabilities about unmet needs, and teaching communities how to reduce barriers to participation and start to rebuild trust with disabled Jews who currently feel unwelcome.
- Detroit Jews for Justice (Detroit) – drawing from Jewish history, tradition, and culture to mobilize Jewish individuals and institutions to engage with communities in Metropolitan Detroit to work toward systemic changes for and with people of color, women, low-income workers, the unemployed, immigrants, GLBT and others affected by inequality
Click here for more information on 2015 projects
Winners in 2014
- Jewish Climate Action Network ?(Boston) – Connecting and organizing Jewish communities to respond to climate change
- What’s Inside? (Chicago) – educational back-packs of materials and activities designed to engage families in exploring Jewish topics
- Generous Justice (Brooklyn) – leadership training to support meaningful tzedakah-giving practices
- Global Sofrot Conference – first public gathering of women Torah-scroll-scribes
- Teen Beit Midrash? (Boston) – high level Torah Lishmah-torah, study for its own sake, for youth
- Sermon Slam (worldwide) – fun outlet for new and creative Torah
- Havurat Shalom Machzor (Somerville, MA) – featuring masculine and feminine God and people language, multiple metaphors for God
Click here for more information on 2014 projects