The Federation Announces Support for Capital Projects, Innovation & Capacity Building through Endowment Grants

Endowment Committee provides $1.78M in grants in current round, including $200,000 through its Innovation subcommittee; The Federation welcomes Laura Lauder, new chair of Endowment Committee

San Francisco, CA – The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (the Federation) is pleased to announce that, yesterday, its board of directors formally approved significant support for community partners actively engaging and strengthening the Bay Area Jewish community. The Federation’s Endowment Committee will award $1.78 million in new grants in four impact areas: capital grants for exceptional real estate projects; seed-funding for outstanding new programs to engage Bay Area Jews; innovation grants for earned-income strategies to bolster financial sustainability; and, one-time meritorious grants for significant community-wide needs. Endowment grants are awarded twice each year.

At the same time, the Federation welcomes as chair (beginning January 1, 2017) of its Endowment Committee, Laura Lauder, who brings a deep breadth of experience as a committed lay leader, venture philanthropist, and education advocate. And the Federation thanks and recognizes Dan Safier for his invaluable service as outgoing chair of the Committee, in that role since 2011.

Details of new grants

Capital and one-time meritorious grants. Total: $1,150,000:

Berkeley Hillel, Building Renovation Project
A capital grant to support the $8M renovation of Berkeley Hillel’s home to modernize, make key upgrades, and accommodate significant growth in student participation.

Jewish Home, Campus Transformational Project
A capital grant to support the campus transformation into a financially sustainable, full-service business model that will better serve the needs of an aging population. This grant supplements the Federation’s $1M grant in 2015 to support the project.

Joint strategic planning process by j. the Jewish news weekly and the Federation
Set-aside funds to support a fast-track community planning process, co-led by j. and the Federation, to reimagine a sustainable Jewish media presence in the Bay Area. 


Seed-funding grants. Total: $430,000:

At the Well, Bay Area Jewish Women’s Wellness Hub
Seed-funding for a growing forum for millennial Jewish women in peer-led learning and conversation through Rosh Chodesh circles.

Brandeis School of San Francisco, Ethical Creativity Institute
Seed-funding for a teacher training program in creativity and Jewish learning. Successfully piloted last summer for 10 Brandeis teachers – now expanded to 50 teachers who will serve the broader day school community.

JCC of San Francisco, Youth Inclusion Initiative
Seed-funding for specialized inclusion of children with special needs – enabling participation in meaningful recreational activities, social integration, and lifelong ties to the Jewish community.

OneTable, Bay Area Launch
Seed-funding for a Shabbat dinner platform for Jewish millennials that matches hosts with guests for Shabbat.

Oshman Family JCC, Mitzvah Corps
Seed-funding for a centralized volunteer resource for families, children, and young adults. Builds on successful annual Mitzvah Day: Community Day of Service, with a target to increase numbers of projects and participants.

Slingshot Fund, Slingshot Bay Area Guide
Seed-funding for a local edition of the guidebook highlighting the most innovative Jewish nonprofits in the Bay Area, followed by donor engagement activities to inspire NextGen philanthropists to give Jewishly.


Innovation grants (these grants, selected by the Innovation Committee, support earned income / revenue-building strategies for partners, to be carried out with the assistance of the Federation’s Jenerator program – pro bono consulting on developing earned income ventures). Total: $200,000:

Congregation Beth Sholom
To test Kosher pop-up food booths and explore the feasibility of launching a Kosher food truck.

Congregation Rodef Sholom
To develop a fee structure for Makor Marin, Rodef Sholom’s Jewish outdoor engagement program, to generate earned income and accommodate demand.

Congregation Sha’ar Zahav
To market a one-of-a-kind, broadly inclusive Siddur to grow customer base and generate income. 

JCC Maccabi Sports Camp
To launch an onsite day camp in partnership with local JCCs to create new revenue stream and expand the market for day and overnight camp.

Jewish Circle Theatre
To help fund a move from Campbell to the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, and market to expand the audience and catalyze new earned income.

Jewish LearningWorks, Shalom Explorers
To fund the development of a business plan for Shalom Explorers, a unique experiential Jewish education curriculum that JLW plans to scale and license for national markets.

Oshman Family JCC
To fund an on-site catering cart – a low-risk capital investment that will allow OFJCC to test and scale its in-house food services.

Peninsula Sinai Congregation
To support the transition to a 100% contribution-based business model. Potential to significantly enhance Sinai’s revenue generation capacity and serve as a model locally and nationally.

To explore potential markets for online ReBoot shop and pop-up events in the Bay Area.


“It’s been my great honor and privilege to chair the Federation’s Endowment Committee for these past five years,” said Dan Safier, outgoing chair of the Committee. “I’m so proud of our work supporting the most creative Jewish ideas, ensuring the creation of new buildings, helping our partner organizations become even more successful, and convening philanthropists and thinkers to solve our communal problems while creating new opportunities for our future. I know that Laura will provide tremendous leadership and take the Committee to even greater heights.”

“We’re thrilled to support these 18 exciting programs designed to inspire Jewish life and build Jewish community here in the Bay Area,” said Danny Grossman, CEO of the Federation. “These grants are part of the Federation’s vision of a strong, vibrant, and welcoming Jewish community that meets the needs of Bay Area Jews. We’re proud to partner with each of these organizations as we engage, connect, and grow community together. I am also extremely excited to have Laura Lauder as the new chair of our Endowment Committee, and want to thank Dan Safier for his inspirational service as chair and lay leader.”

The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund 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

December 16, 2016