By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
One of the joys of my job is staying in touch with Jewish Puget Sound’s wonderful organizations and hearing first-hand about the innovative ways that they serve our community, whether by providing human services, learning opportunities, cultural offerings, or other uplifting programs.
Your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle supports the creativity of Jewish Puget Sound through our annual Ignition Grants—awarding Jewish organizations up to $7,500 for new, pilot, or one-time projects. Organizations can receive funding for up to two projects. These projects can make a big impact and address needs in our diverse and growing community. Ignition Grant applications for the 2021 fiscal year opened today, October 12! We invite you to share this information with the Jewish organizations that you support and encourage them to apply.
In these uncertain and challenging times, two of Federation’s core values, “innovation” and “community,” have been more pertinent than ever for ensuring that we continue to enable connections and transform lives in our community. I’d like to share with you some examples of the innovative projects that your Federation supported with Ignition Grants in 2020: Bringing together rabbis and African American ministers in thoughtful conversation about racism and othering. A loan fund to help vulnerable women strengthen their capacity to meet their own needs and limit their dependence on others. Fun, engaging Shabbat experiences for preschoolers and their parents. Expanding the diversity of collected oral histories that tell the ever-evolving story of Jews in our state.
Those are just a few examples of the 19 projects that received Ignition Grant funding in 2020. Every year, Jewish organizations applying for Ignition Grants bring forward original ideas for keeping our community connected, expanding the frontiers of Jewish learning, serving people who need a helping hand, and creating experiences that engage people with Jewish traditions in thoughtful, inclusive, and inspiring ways.
The Ignition Grants application period will be open until Monday, November 9. Any Jewish organization in Western Washington that is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, or presumed to be under the tax code, is eligible to apply. Applications from non-profit arts and culture organizations in King and south Snohomish counties planning a Jewish-themed project also will be considered. Our goal is to announce grant awards in late December 2020. Grant guidelines, a sample application, and the application link can be viewed here.
Our community is blessed to have organizations that nurture new ideas to address the evolving needs of the Jewish people. Ignition Grants help to catalyze and bring those good ideas to life. Please spread the word that Ignition Grant applications are now open. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!