By Jenna Soroka
(AJNews) – How do we create a more engaged and connected Jewish community? We need opportunities for people to turn their innovative project ideas into realities.
The Jewish Federation of Edmonton is providing an opportunity for this exact purpose. They are offering financial support for new and original programs in the Jewish community through the Jewish Experience Microgrant program.
The main goals of the program are to build affinity and Jewish identity, inspire Jewish opportunities for engagement (cultural, social, recreational, religious), and increase Jewish communal reach across Edmonton. Jacqueline Medalye, Associate Director, Next Generation Leadership and Advocacy for the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, along with a committee of five volunteers, will be reviewing applications on an ongoing basis. You must be a United Jewish Appeal (UJA) member to apply, which can be fulfilled through a minimum $18 contribution to the campaign. The funding amount is up to $1800 per program, and you can apply up to three times per program idea.
It is important to note that this program is designed for individuals, not organizations. However, Jacqueline Medalye encourages people to partner with organizations if it makes sense with their vision for a one-off event or program.
Although this microgrant is new to Edmonton’s Jewish Federation, it has proven to be successful getting new programs up and running in other Federation cities, such as Ottawa, Vancouver, and across North America. For the first year running this program in Edmonton, the Federation is looking to fund around 10 programs, with the hopes of allocating more funds in the future to make it grow.
“What ideas are out there that people might have that we haven’t thought of?” Jacqueline commented. She acknowledged that the Jewish Federation cannot come up with every program possibility. They understand the value of lay leaders and volunteers developing their own ideas from the ground up. Therefore, having ordinary people, particularly young adults, come together to enhance our community is a core focus behind this microgrant program.
The first step is to create a proposal for your idea, ensure it meets the grant criteria, and then begin preparing a budget. Starting something new can feel daunting though, but don’t let that stop you from sharing your plan. The Jewish Federation of Edmonton is there to help you succeed. Reach out to Jacqueline at firstname.lastname@example.org to get you started on the right foot.
The criterion for approval includes one or more of the following: The initiative engages new people in Jewish life; The initiative is meaningful and impactful for participants; The initiative is relevant and enjoyable for participants. The initiative fills a gap or appeals to an under-served population; The initiative builds on synergies and collaborative partnerships in the community; There is a clear action plan and budget.
With these criteria in mind, the project possibilities are wide-ranging. The Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s website shows a listing of Microgrant distributions from 2019-2022 that demonstrate the countless ideas that you can create. From a Kosher BBQ Cook-Off, paint night, wellness weekend, beer tasting event, to a drag show – the sky is the limit.
You can also donate to the Jewish Federation of Edmonton’s United Jewish Appeal campaign at jewishedmonton.org/your-uja. Your gift will help support the next generation of Edmonton Jewish leaders through opportunities such as the Jewish Experience Microgrant.
Do you already have an idea brewing? Are there questions that you need answered? A launch party was held at the Edmonton Jewish Federation office on June 28. If you missed the party contact Jacqueline at email@example.com to discuss your idea.
Jenna Soroka is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.