The Federation Announces $788,000 in New Endowment Fund Grants to Community Partners

Grants focus on seed funding for novel approaches for early-stage families looking to connect to Jewish life

San Francisco, CA – The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (the Federation) is pleased to announce that its board of directors formally approved $788,000 dispersed over two years through its Endowment Fund to seven nonprofit community partners actively engaged in building and deepening Jewish community.

In the Bay Area, many Jewish families come from diverse backgrounds and faiths, while others are disconnected from Jewish life and practice. These grants provide start-up funding for new Jewish engagement programs for early-stage families, from those exploring starting a family to those raising young children through age three. 

"New parents starting a family are actively seeking community and meaning, and our Jewish tradition has so much to offer them, said Laura Lauder, Chair of the Endowment Committee. “The Federation is thrilled to invest in new approaches to connecting early-stage families to Jewish life in the Bay Area by supporting this cohort of accessible Jewish programs designed to build relationships and communities among families."

Wendy Verba, the Federation’s Senior Program Officer added, “We hope this grant round will have a multiplier effect, bringing Judaism to life and launching life-long Jewish friendships for hundreds of Bay Area families, while at the same time, creating a networked Jewish landscape in which any family can access and create Jewish life in community.”

The new grants include:

$163,000 over two years to Jewish Baby Network (San Francisco and Marin)
Seed funding for the Millennial Outreach Initiative, a peer connector program to welcome new families and create Jewish group experiences fueled by social media.

$150,000 over two years to Congregation Sherith Israel (San Francisco)
Seed funding for Sherith Israel Littles, a peer connector model to engage Jewish families through accessible events, small groups, and Jewish home practice.

$150,000 over two years to The Kitchen (San Francisco)
Seed funding for the Kitchen’s Playground Communities, which are neighborhood-based micro-communities led by a dynamic Jewish educator to help young families create Jewish life together.

$110,000 over two years to the Peninsula Jewish Community Center (North Peninsula)
Seed funding for The Nest, a welcoming drop-in center within the JCC preschool that offers creative Jewish programs for new families to connect with each other.
$105,000 over two years to Wilderness Torah (South Peninsula, Sonoma, and East Bay)
Seed funding for Wilderness Torah (WT) Tots, Parents, & Future Parents, communal family activities and groups built into WT’s outdoor religious schools and holiday festivals.

$70,000 over two years to Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma (Sonoma)
Seed funding for JSprouts “Rooted in Community” — a welcoming and nurturing community offering a dynamic and hands-on array of experiences and support for young Jewish families.

$20,000 to InterfaithFamily (Marin)
Seed funding to pilot Live. Love. Learn, a 4-part Jewish parenting series for new interfaith parents on infusing Judaism into daily life.


The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power of the Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Learn more at


For immediate release

January 11, 2018