The Alliance’s Community Microgrants Initiative funds multiple projects


The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island’s Community Microgrants Initiative has funded two individual and five collaborative projects during its first round.

Felice Winograd and Amy Gaddes lead the individual projects, which focus on improving relationships with ourselves and the communities around us through a Jewish lens.

The five collaborative projects will bring new perspectives, new opportunities for reflection and some exciting new guests to the Rhode Island Jewish community in the new year. Collaborative grant recipients are Providence’s Temple Beth-El; Mitzvah Matzos; the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island; Alexis Dorfman (through Brown/RISD Hillel); Providence’s Congregation Beth Sholom; Shai Afsai in partnership with Core Connects Rhode Island and local temples; Temple Emanu-El; Modern JewISH Couples; and Jewish Collaborative Services. (Some of these recipients are working on multiple projects.)

After extensive community outreach in the fall of 2019, the Alliance created a strategic plan for the next three years and beyond. One of the plan’s primary goals is to enhance Jewish life and connections for all by creating conditions to help Rhode Island’s Jews connect with one another and with Jewish life more deeply.

One way to do this was to create grants to encourage Jews in Rhode Island to come together, on their own terms, by supporting and offering opportunities to grow groups within the Jewish community, including multi-faith families, LGBTQ+ Jews, Jews of color, Jews by choice and Jews with special needs and abilities.

To this end, the Alliance created the Community Microgrant Initiative to support new and meaningful projects that bring the different corners of the community together. The grants are supported by the Bernhardt Foundation and grant awards are determined by a lay-led committee of four community members.

As the committee heads into its second round of review, members of the community, particularly those who are traditionally underserved or underrepresented, are encouraged to apply for a grant. The Community Microgrants Initiative is an opportunity to bring an idea or exciting kernel of a “what-if” into being.

Individual grants are up to $500. Collaborative grants are up to $5,000.

The committee is open to workshopping projects and helping applicants to fully realize the scope and possibilities of a given project. What’s more, with a generous, additional gift, the pool of funding has increased, allowing the initiative to diversify and expand in the coming months.

If you have submitted an application and have yet to hear back, rest assured that your application is now under review as part of the second round of committee meetings.

To learn more about the application process, go to  For questions about the process or for the committee, email Emma Newbery, at, or Lisa Maybruch, at

EMMA NEWBERY ( writes for Jewish Rhode Island and the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.