Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Initiative – Innovation Accelerator

Impact funding and cohort training to scale, expand and diversify innovative program offerings for Jewish teens.

Background and Purpose:

The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund is pleased to invite applications for the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative (Teen Initiative) Innovation Accelerator. The Teen Initiative is a major new undertaking being launched with significant support from the Jim Joseph Foundation, with the primary objectives to build community capacity and spark innovation to meaningfully engage increased numbers of Jewish teens during their high school years. The Innovation Accelerator is a flagship component of the Teen Initiative, and will support eight (8) select organizations poised to scale, expand and diversify innovative program offerings. The approach builds on the understanding that meaningful Jewish experiences offer significant holistic benefits to the lives of teenagers, with Jewish wisdom, values and community as important tools for teens as they explore their identities, pursue their passions, build meaningful relationships and cultivate a deep understanding of who they are at this a critical time of identity formation.

Participation in the Innovation Accelerator includes:

Impact Funding: Grants of up to $150,000 over 2 ½ years to cover program expenses, allow for hiring or increasing hours of staff, marketing and additional strategies for outreach and engagement.

Specialized Entrepreneurial Training and Coaching: Cohort participation over 2 ½ years in workshops and personalized coaching to increase skills in effectively designing and scaling programs that achieve resonance with the target audience. Designed in partnership with UpStart, topics will include outcomes-based program design, marketing and branding, value proposition, partnerships, Jewish content integration, adaptive design, program evaluation, and financial sustainability.

Eligibility and Innovation Accelerator Requirements:

Eligible applicants: Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits or organizations with fiscal sponsorship, serving the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund’s service area (San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties).

Expertise Serving Target Population: Demonstrated commitment to advancing innovative ideas that contribute to the growth and vitality of Jewish teen life, with programs in alignment with the applying organization’s mission, core competencies and plans for growth.

Priority Approaches: Approach to engagement of teens during their high school years that are designed to reach beyond the current population of teens participating (addressing barriers to participation by marginally or under-engaged Jewish teens), and open to all teens regardless of membership or institutional affiliation.

Success Measures: Program designed with the goal of specifically achieving a minimum of three of the Outcomes that Positively Impact the Lives of Jewish Teens.

Evaluation Activities, data tracking and sharing: Accelerator organizations will be required to participate in evaluation activities for the Teen Initiative locally and on a national level, to ensure continued learning about teen participants and the impact of their experience. Organizations will be asked to collect and share basic contact and background information so we can learn who our programs are reaching and link them to future Jewish opportunities, and implement evaluation activities which may include surveys, interviews or focus groups.

Additional criteria:

  • Evidence of “proof of concept”, for example a successful test or prototype, market research, or success in a different community.

  • Availability of competent staff and organizational resources to implement the program.

  • Eagerness to participate as an active Accelerator cohort member.

  • Commitment to sustainability of successful programs following the conclusion of the grant term.

How to Apply:

Applicants are required to participate in an in-person workshop on “Outcomes Based Program Design” taking place Thursday, November 30, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, 121 Steuart Street, San Francisco.

Participation by two or more professionals per organization in the workshop is encouraged. Please confirm participation in this workshop with Sandra Ramirez-Noguchi, indicating names of attendees and organization.

All interested applicants are required to consult with Roxanne Cohen in advance of submission.


November 30, 2017, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Outcomes Based Program Design Workshop (required)
December 22, 2017, 5:00 PM PST: Applications Due
January 26, 2018: Grants and Accelerator Cohort Announced
February 2018: Accelerator Launch

Access Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Initiative – Innovation Accelerator Application





Roxanne Cohen
Senior Program Officer and Philanthropic Advisor