SF-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund Announces Impact Grants for Outstanding Social Venture Enterprise in Israel

In partnership with Israel Venture Network, the Federation creates new template for social venture grant-making, sends delegation of Bay Area Jewish leaders to Israel to select Israel Impact Grant Initiative inaugural winners

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (the Federation), along with the Israel Venture Network, announced three outstanding grantees for its Israel Impact Grant Initiative (IGI), which harnesses the expertise of Bay Area professionals to fund innovative, progressive social venture enterprises in Israel.  These three exemplary organizations were selected by a delegation of Bay Area Jewish community leaders and donors, formed through the IGI – the Federation’s pioneering prototype for community-engaged grant-making.
The awardees, listed below, will each receive $68,000 in funding from the Federation and two years of business mentorship from the Israel Venture Network to help grow the capacity and scale of their new social venture operations.
The Israel IGI team – composed of a diverse group of 10 Bay Area business owners, nonprofit leaders, and high-tech entrepreneurs – gathered monthly in San Francisco beginning in January to learn about the needs and social challenges in Israel, culminating this April in a trip to Israel to meet the finalists from an impressive list of organizations and make their selections.
“Being a part of the Israel IGI has been amazing,” noted Israel IGI team member Randi Shafton. “The level of involvement in the decision-making process is such a rare opportunity.  It truly has revolutionized the way we all think about how to select ventures for funding.”
The Israel IGI team consisted of: Anna Flider, Steve Ganz, Barry Hoffner, Lily Kanter, Gail Karp, Mark Levy, Jed Putterman, Randi Shafton, Leor Stern, and Eric Toizer
One of the primary goals of the Federation is to find innovative new ways to support Jewish life in the Bay Area, across the United States, and internationally.  As part of its new strategic plan, the IGI program was launched in 2011 to engage local community members and donors to lend their professional know-how and participate directly in the grant-selection process for key social venture opportunities for the Jewish community at home and abroad.
The organizations selected by the Israel IGI are the best of the best in a variety of areas representing social ventures that highlight significant social concerns in Israel.  The winners of the inaugural Israel IGI are:

  • Susan’s House: Susan’s House employs at-risk youth in the production and sale of unique glass, jewelry and housewares.  This Jerusalem-based venture is run by a member of the haredi community who mentors and guides the program’s participants to develop self-esteem, communal values, interpersonal relationship, and job skills.
  • Mitam: Mitam provides a variety of human resource services to non-profits in a sector in Israel that typically lacks the knowledge and financial capacity to hire full-time HR professionals.
  • Jobs4Moms: Jobs4Moms is an online job search platform geared toward mothers seeking quality full and part-time jobs that have the flexibility necessary to combine parenting and a career that utilizes their skills and experiences.

“All three of these ventures show tremendous promise and are outstanding organizations,” said Jennifer Gorovitz, CEO of the Federation.  “By helping such a talented and thoughtful group of local donors become experts in the social needs that exist in Israel and then to hand-pick the best ventures to fund, we are not only engaging our donors in innovative ways, but we are also making the biggest possible impact with our grant dollars.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the Israel IGI team’s choices.”


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. Find out more at www.jewishfed.org.

For immediate release

July 08, 2013


Ilan Kayatsky