JDC Entwine Awarded $3 Million Jim Joseph Foundation Grant

In an organizational first, JDC Entwine has been awarded a $3 million grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, a leader in creating effective and compelling Jewish learning experiences for youth and young adults in the United States.  The grant will increase participation in our global Jewish service experiences – through which a rising number of North American college students and young adults are learning about and impacting global Jewish issues – and intensify educational content and training for participants, staff, peer leaders, and alumni of JDC Entwine programming.

“Entwine has seen growing numbers of Jewish adults, from all backgrounds, looking for powerful, authentic Jewish learning experiences, and this Jim Joseph Foundation grant has come at a critical juncture. It will greatly help our efforts to catalyze a generation of young Jews to live a life of action with global Jewish responsibility at the core,” said Sarah Eisenman, Executive Director of JDC Entwine. “We are thrilled to work together to reach our shared vision for young Jewish adults.”

The grant will exponentially expand our global service programs to reach nearly 2,000 young Jews over three years. It will also enable us to hire a Director of Jewish Learning to create tailored curricula focused on the concept of “Global Jewish Responsibility” and to conduct trainings for alumni, leaders and staff. And in an era of big data, the grant will support JDC Entwine—for the first time ever—to commission an independent evaluation of its service programs and to hire a professional to monitor the continued involvement of Entwine alumni in Jewish life. The grant has a matching element that aims to leverage this investment to attract even more philanthropic investment in Entwine.

“JDC Entwine’s dynamic model combines immersive service experiences, unique leadership opportunities, and Jewish learning in ways that empower young adults and taps into their passion to create change,” says Chip Edelsberg, Executive Director of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “For the Foundation, identifying and supporting these opportunities—tailored for individuals in those formative post-college years—is critical to our vision of more young Jews engaging in ongoing Jewish learning. We are excited to support Entwine through this important period of growth as it deepens its educational content, further professionalizes the field, and continues to inspire young adults to explore the joys of living Jewish lives.”

A 2014-2015 Slingshot Fund awardee, JDC Entwine engages more than 12,000 young Jewish adults each year through its quickly-growing platform of service, educational, and leadership opportunities that involve these young adults in global Jewish issues while simultaneously creating a re-charged Jewish identity.  In addition to its continuum of international service experiences – including short, mid, and long-term options for young Jews to impact global challenges in Jewish communities, Israel, and in developing countries where humanitarian needs exist – our Learning Networks in New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Dallas, and London create volunteer-led events that feature meaningful, peer-to-peer education, combined with socializing and networking.

“There is no more inspiring expression of arevut – mutual responsibility among Jews – than the passionate enthusiasm of the young Jewish leaders involved with JDC Entwine. We are ever hopeful for the Jewish future, especially at this critical juncture in Jewish history, because of their invaluable contribution and love for the Jewish people,” said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill.

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