#MakeItHappen Campaign Extended Due to Significant Response

Schusterman Philanthropic Network’s Global Micro-Grants Initiative Receives 600 Submissions from 25 Countries in 1st Month; 12 Partner Organizations Join the Campaign to Offer Additional Micro Grants.

Washington, DC—November 19, 2013 – One month into its launch, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network (SPN)’s #MakeItHappen micro-grants campaign has received more than 600 applications for creating Jewish experiences in 25 countries around the world. Twelve local and national organizations have also announced that they will offer additional #MakeItHappen micro-grant opportunities in their communities. Due to the response, the deadline for submitting ideas has been extended to January 15, 2014.

"The remarkable interest generated by #MakeItHappen is a powerful indication of the hunger among the young adults in our community for engaging Jewish experiences that reflect their needs and interests," said Sandy Cardin, President of the Schusterman Philanthropic Network. “Empowering and enabling young people to build their own Jewish lives is the best way to ensure the Jewish future, and we are thrilled to welcome so many forward-looking organizations as partners in this initiative." #MakeItHappen is an open call for individuals to submit ideas for creating meaningful Jewish experiences that could make a difference in their communities. SPN is selecting up to 50 ideas around the world on a rolling basis to receive micro-grants of up to $1,000 and five to receive up to $5,000.

Submissions thus far reflect the diversity of Jewish identities, experiences and interests taking root in communities around the world. Examples include: a play in China that illuminates the historic ties between the Chinese and Jewish peoples; a faith-based poetry slam in Israel; a mitzvah team in Munich that will help engage Jewish children with disabilities; an Unreasonable Shabbat dinner in Boulder for technology entrepreneurs; a kugel cookoff in New York; a Jewish running club in Warsaw; and a pop-up clothing store in Florida for Jewish children in need.

As submissions continue to grow, 12 local and national organizations have joined as partners in the #MakeItHappen initiative and will distribute more than 75 additional micro grants in a variety of communities and interest areas.
Partners include: Ruderman Family Foundation; Rose Community Foundation; Emanuel J Friedman Philanthropies; Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties; Jewish Federation of Greater Portland; Minneapolis Jewish Federation; Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York NextDor; Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta; The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore; NEXTGen Detroit of The Federation of Metropolitan Detroit; Jewish Federation of Greater Washington; and Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

“The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that the full inclusion of people with disabilities is essential to a fair and flourishing Jewish community. We are excited to partner with the Schusterman Philanthropic Network to seek out innovative ideas for making full inclusion a reality,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We’ll be funding up to 10 #MakeItHappen inclusion micro grants at up to $1,000 each. We especially like media projects, social justice initiatives and ideas from self-advocates, but all kinds of creative, inspiring and innovative ideas are welcome. Let’s #MakeItHappen for inclusion!” “We believe that these micro-grants will provide support for emerging leaders, thinkers and visionaries who seek to contribute to our local Jewish community,” said Jennifer Gorovitz, CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. “This model is designed to create a foot in the door of involvement and opportunity. I am very thankful to the Schusterman Philanthropic Network for leading this charge, and I look forward to putting a Bay Area stamp on this great effort.”

Micro grants and other small-dollar investment models have taken root in recent years as a way to empower people to explore new experiences, gain valuable skills and even launch small businesses. SPN has piloted micro grants through its ROI Community and REALITY programs, as well as in select communities like Cape Town, South Africa, and St. Petersburg, Russia, as an additional way to invest directly in building the leadership capacities of young Jews.

#MakeItHappen marks the first time SPN has created a pool of micro grants that is open to the general public, inviting anyone 18 years of age and up to submit ideas. The initiative reflects SPN’s commitment to experimenting with new approaches and technologies to advance its vision of a diverse, dynamic Jewish future that is deeply connected to Israel and committed to making the world a better place.

#MakeItHappen projects will begin to take place as early as Chanukah, with celebrations planned in Argentina, China, Israel, Moldova and the U.S. For a full list of projects submitted and selected, visit makeithappen.schusterman.org.

About the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network:
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network (SPN) is a global enterprise that supports and creates innovative initiatives for the purpose of igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create positive change for themselves, the Jewish community and the broader world. SPN includes the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Schusterman Foundation-Israel, ROI Community and REALITY. www.schusterman.org


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 www.jewishfed.org.

For immediate release

November 19, 2013


Rebecca Modell
Puder Public Relations

Roben Smolar
Schusterman Philanthropic Network
404-745-9482 x5