The Rhode Island Jewish community supports an Israel experience as an integral part of a student’s education and growing Jewish identity. Thanks to several area families’ generosity, students and other young adults, along with educators at Jewish Alliance-affiliated schools, can apply for funds to join a recognized study or travel program, volunteer or participate in professional internships in Israel.
The grants and scholarships for travel in Israel are available to residents of the greater Rhode Island area through age 26, and to Alliance-affiliated educators, who may apply at any age.
The Leonard I. Salmanson Fund of the Jewish Federation Foundation provides both non-needs-based grants and some needs-based funds, which are available without full financial disclosure. The Graubart Irving Scholarship Fund, the Lillian and Sidney Ross Fund and The Marochnack Zionist Memorial Fund all provide needs-based grants, with full financial disclosure. The latter fund offers special consideration to immigrants from the former Soviet Union. A few other funds also support travel in Israel.
In addition, the Alperin-Hirsch family funds the Joel H. Zaiman Fund. The award is granted each year to one participant who demonstrates academic achievement and a commitment to community service.
Limited funds are available for educators in affiliated Jewish schools to attend conferences, workshops, courses and travel in Israel to improve their teaching skills and background knowledge. Programs considered for grant funds must be high quality and relevant to the participant’s current and future goals.
Teens, young twenty-somethings and Jewish educators who would like to explore opportunities to visit or study in Israel or get an application for funding may contact the Israel Desk at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, 401-421-4111, or IsraelDesk@jewishallianceri.org. The submission deadline for summer, fall and year-long programs is March 15. Deadlines for winter programs are at the end of October, and at the end of November for spring programs.
In addition, parents who would like to enroll their children in a savings program that would supplement these grants and scholarships should do so while they are in grades three to six. Each year’s annual contribution of $150 may be matched by $250 from the community, a 266% return on the investment. Over the course of eight years, a contribution of $1,200 is matched by up to $2,000 by the community. Parents may withdraw their annual contributions in full at any time. For more information about this program, The Gift of Israel, contact the Israel Desk.
LARRY KATZ (email@example.com) is the director of Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.