In a show of continued support of religious diversity in Israel, the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago has made $300,000 in grants for 2013 to fund three new and 12 ongoing programs in the Reform (Progressive), Conservative (Masorti), Modern Orthodox and Transdenominational religious movements.
Of the total, Progressive (Reform) movement programs will receive $102,000; Conservative movement programs - split between the Masorti movement and the Schechter Institute - will receive $102,000; and Modern Orthodox and Transdenominational programs will together receive a total of $96,000.
Since 2001, JUF has allocated $4.4 million to religious movements in Israel, supporting their important work to promote diversity and inclusion.
"I'm proud that our Federation has taken a leadership position for more than a decade on this very important issue of pluralism in Israel," said Debbie L. Berman, Chair of JUF's Israel and Overseas Commission. "Our community values the principles of Jewish pluralism, so we strive to positively impact Israeli society by providing this support."
This year's funding will aid 15 programs offered by nine organizations in Israel. Three of them operate in JUF's Partnership Together region, where JUF supports of wide range of social services and immigrant assistance in one of Israel's most impoverished areas.
Most of the programs have received support previously. The three newly funded ones are Tzahali: A Pre-Army Prep Course for Religious Women; Meitarim Schools, an initiative of Rabbi Michael Melchior; and the Elul Program, operated by Ein Prat.
The full list of fund recipients this year includes:
Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (Reform) programs include: Youth Movement Fellowship; Advancing Pluralistic Education; and Beit Midrash BaDerech
Conservative Programs operated by the Masorti (Conservative) Movement and Schechter Institutes: Ramah/NOAM Camp; NOAM in the Periphery; Midreshet Schechter Jewish Leadership; Schechter Midrashot; and TALI Bar/Bat Mitzvah Seminar at Kibbutz Hannaton
Modern Orthodox programs: Shalom Hartman Rabbinic Enrichment Program; Ohr Torah Stone's Yachad-Jewish Cultural Facilitator; Yaacov Herzog's Tzahali: Pre-Army Prep Course for Girls; and Yaacov Herzog's Project Atid: Taking the Lead for Tikun Olam
Transdenominational programs: Atid BaMidbar's Jewish-Israeli Identity for Russians in Kiryat Gat; Meitarim Schools; and the Elul Program at Ein Prat
Atid BaMidbar's Jewish-Israeli Identity for Russians in Kiryat Gat; Meitarim Schools; and the Elul Program at Ein Prat