How You Ignite Innovation in Our Community

February 21, 2023

By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO

The key to brighter Jewish tomorrows is opening wider the doors to Jewish life today. Communal organizations all over our region get that.

Like our three local Jewish overnight summer camps. Camp Solomon Schechter is planning a retreat with specialized staff that will enable special-needs children to better experience the magic of Jewish camp. In a similar vein, Sephardic Adventure Camp has a program to help special-needs children get the most out of going to camp. URJ Camp Kalsman is planning a Spring Fest to give new families a taste of what camp has to offer.

Congregation Kol Shalom is creating a group for Jewish teens who live on Bainbridge Island and on the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas, where currently no Jewish youth group exists.

Jconnect Seattle is planning a Shavuot seminar that will provide a bracing Talmud study experience tailored for young adults representing a broad cross-section of the community and recognizing the insights of voices on the margins.

What do these projects and programs have in common? They are supported by this year’s round of Ignition Grants from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Every year, Federation provides grants of up to $7,500 to Jewish organizations for new and innovative programs or projects, one-time projects, or pilot programs that meet our diverse and growing community’s evolving needs. You can see the full list of this year’s grants here.

Learning is central to opening more doors to the Jewish experience. This year’s Ignition Grant awards are supporting projects that expand access to the stories of our people: a Holocaust Center for Humanity project to create three-dimensional scans of artifacts from local Holocaust survivors, making them accessible online, and the Washington State Jewish Historical Society’s portal where community members can scan and store family photos and other mementos for future generations.

These and other Ignition Grant-supported projects testify to the spirit of innovation in Jewish Puget Sound that seeds exciting ideas for building community. Innovation is a core value of the Federation. We cultivate new ideas and programs to address the evolving needs of the Jewish people. Your Federation is thankful for the many donors who make the Ignition Grants program possible and we applaud the many communal organizations that continually bring fresh energy and creativity to open wider those doors to Jewish life.