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Federation Incubator Grants Fund Impactful Programs that Enrich the Community

Now in its seventh year, Federation’s Jewish Incubator Grants Committee awarded $70,000 to sixteen organizations that make a difference in Miami. With an eye toward developing innovative and impactful programs, the 2020 grant recipients enrich our local Jewish community by providing a safety net for the vulnerable, strengthening Jewish identity and building community.

Committee Co-Chairs Edward Beiner, Alexandra Lehson and several committee members dedicated countless hours to reviewing the proposals and funding those programs that enrich Miami’s Jewish community. “Working with the Incubator Grants Committee has been an incredible experience. We have had the privilege of helping innovative new programs launch and expanding top-notch existing programs in order to provide crucial services to the most vulnerable in our community,” said Committee Co-chair Lehson.

The diverse organizations included programs that empower both Jewish and non-Jewish students to combat anti-Semitism on campus, teach children and teens with special needs adaptive life skills, engage the Jewish LGBTQ community, and provide recreational programming for isolated seniors. “It has been such a rewarding honor for me to work with Co-Chair Lehson and the committee on the Incubator Grants. The Grants have a direct effect on the Miami Jewish Community, and we are so proud of the programs which span various generations from teens to the elderly. Jews help Jews and I am proud to do this important work for our local community that impacts individuals and organizations,” added Committee Co-chair Beiner.

2020 Jewish Incubator Grant Awards

A Wider Bridge: A Wider Bridge South Florida seeks to expand engagement between South Florida LGBTQ Jewish and non-Jewish communities and leaders with Israel and the Jewish community. This is accomplished through LGBTQ Leadership Missions to Israel and related local programming featuring Mission Alumni.

American Jewish Committee (AJC): Leaders for Tomorrow prepares high school students for college by giving them the necessary tools and confidence to confront anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on campus.

Beth David Congregation: Miami Jewish Music Festival will bring the community together for a day of different musical genres represented by Jewish artists, with concurrent Jewish food and art.

Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus: Special Mitzvah Seder seeks to provide a special Passover experience for adults over 18 who have cognitive or physical challenges.

Chai Lifeline: I Shine SE is an after-school program that offers social, emotional, and practical support in a group setting for seriously ill children as well as children from families impacted by serious illness or loss.

Conregation Dor Chadash: Shabbat Dinner Club for Jewish Seniors of South Dade/ Jewish Seniors Skills Club/ Intergenerational Group provides essential programs to Jewish seniors 70 years of age and older in the form of opportunities for socialization, shared knowledge, and mentorship of the younger generation.

Dave and Mary Alper JCC: Grand Friends at the J pairs each child in one of the preschool’s four-year-old classrooms with a senior “Grand Friend”. The pair will meet twice monthly in a Judaic-themed activity to provide opportunities for children and seniors to interact with and learn from each other.

Friendship Circle of Miami: Life Skills around Town teaches children with special needs vital social and life skills – such as how to shop for groceries at a supermarket or ride the metro-rail independently-- through field trips to venues throughout the community, all in an inclusive group setting.

Friendship Circle of Miami Beach and North Dade: Cooking Program is a mission-based weekly gathering that teaches fundamental and exciting culinary skills to children and teenagers with exceptional needs.

Galbut Family Miami Beach Jewish Community Center: Camp-Golden Years responds to a growing need on Miami Beach for social and recreational programming for older adults who are otherwise homebound and isolated, providing interactive and stimulating activities.

Hillel at FIU: Diversity University connects Jewish and African-American students at FIU through innovative bridge-building programming in order to combat racism and anti-Semitism while strengthening both one’s identity and understanding of others.

Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center: Ma’agal brings together members of the LGBTQ+ community for socialization and programs within a Jewish cultural context on a monthly basis.

Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation: Bikur Cholim: A Jewish Patient Experience creates a healing environment through the creation of a Bikur Cholim Hospitality Room and programming of a Sabbath elevator where families, physicians, and staff of the Jewish community can be accommodated with proper access to hospital floors and rooms, kosher food, community resources, clergy assistance, and other comfort amenities.

Temple Beth Or: BeJewQ will provide a plethora of differing events and gatherings targeted toward the Jewish LGBTQ+ community.

Temple Israel of Greater Miami: AccessTI will make the Temple Israel more accessible to Jews with various physical and physiologic challenges that may limit their attendance and participation in religious activities and services.

Yodeah, Inc.: The “Did You Know?” Initiative provides educational outreach programs and on-site, low cost, saliva-based genetic testing for BRCA genes and other hereditary cancer mutations in the Jewish community.

Funding for 2020 grants is provided through Annual Federation/UJA Campaign. Organizations and agencies seeking incubator grants may inquire about next year’s grant cycle by contacting
planning@jewishmiami.org or 786-866-8498.

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