Genesis Prize/JFN award grants $3.3M to programs for intermarried families 


JTA – Some 28 projects to increase outreach to intermarried families will receive funding under a matching grants program between the Jewish Funders Network and the Genesis Prize. 

The $3.3 million in grants for the Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and their Families program were announced May 22 in New York. 

The program was launched in honor of Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas, recipient of the 2015 Genesis Prize for his commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people. He pledged then to use the $1 million prize money to reach out to other Jews from intermarried families seeking a connection to the Jewish community, and announced grants to Hillel and the Jewish Funders Network. 

“As someone who is not always welcomed in the Jewish community because my mother was not Jewish, I want to make sure that all those who desire to connect with Jewish culture and heritage have that opportunity,” Douglas said in a statement when the grant was announced in August. “This fund will allow many organizations to continue, or to initiate, important work to engage intermarried couples and their children.”

Douglas’ prize was matched by a $1 million gift from philanthropist Roman Abramovich, creating a matching grant initiative that was administered by Jewish Funders Network.

Among the programs that received funding were Honeymoon Israel, which offers subsidized trips to Israel for couples with at least one Jewish partner early in their committed relationship; Jewish ArtEck, a summer camp in Berlin, Germany, open to Jews from intermarried families, and JCC Manhattan, which will establish Circles of Welcome, a program to engage intermarried couples and their families in Jewish life and community through mentor-led learning groups.