Monday, May 23, 2016

Sixth & I Receives Jewish Funders Network Matching Grant in Honor of Michael Douglas

We are thrilled to share the news that Sixth & I is one of 28 projects in the world that will receive a $25,000 matching grant from Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and their Families, in honor of 2015 Genesis Prize Laureate Michael Douglas. In lieu of accepting the prize money, the Academy Award-winning actor redirected the funds to promote inclusion and diversity in Jewish life. The Jewish Funders Network announced the recipients on Sunday, May 22 at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York. Eighty applications from 14 countries applied for grants. 

 With these funds, Sixth & I will be able to offer a series of Jewish education classes that aim to provide a continuum of learning to support participants from the first steps of their Jewish journey through the process of integrating Jewish practice and perspectives into their lives and the lives of their families. The outcomes of this grant and our subsequently expanded Jewish education program are numerous, including:

·         An increased number of students will be served each year in our most popular programs for intermarried couples (the Jewish Welcome Workshop and the Interfaith Couples Workshop).
·     New programs to meet the needs of our growing constituency, such as skills-based Jewish learning and relationship-building courses that provide guidance for newlyweds and families with young children.
·         An educational scholarship fund for interfaith couples.
·         Increased engagement of class alumni through community and philanthropic leadership opportunities.

When we learned of this matching grant opportunity for interfaith programming, we knew that we were uniquely poised to leverage these funds to benefit our fast-growing community. The funding opportunity also caught the eye of David Adelman, an alumni of our interfaith programs who understood the impact additional funding would have on allowing us to provide new couples with the same meaningful experiences he and his wife had enjoyed years before. 

Together, we crafted a unique solution to the challenge of raising the initial $25,000: create a giving circle comprised of alumni whose lives had been changed by Sixth & I’s programs, but whom had not yet been asked to significantly participate philanthropically in our community’s future. 

Thirty couples and individuals pledged their support, collectively raising $27,000 in support of our Jewish education programs.
Though many giving circle members have participated in Sixth & I course offerings, Shabbat services, and holiday celebrations, the overwhelming majority had never before given a gift to Sixth & I.

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