Who & What We Support

Natan supports entrepreneurial organizations that demonstrate an innovative approach to addressing the challenges facing Jews around the world. With the exception of Core Grantees (longtime Natan grantees that are past the startup stage), Natan will only support organizations with annual operating budgets of less than US$1.5 million.

Board Discretionary Grants

Natan’s board makes a few discretionary grants every year to organizations whose missions resonate with board members and that advance Natan’s strategic agenda.

 
  Innovation: Africa brings sustainable Israeli technologies to African villages. Its mission is to engage young Jews in fostering sustainable development in Africa, build the reputation of Israel around the world and with its African neighbors, and support Israel’s economic and scientific development.
  Keren Baktana is creating a culture of giving among young professionals in Israel through creating grassroots giving circles. By educating Israelis about the importance and art of philanthropy, the organization is creating a cohort of informed, thoughtful philanthropists who work together to make meaningful social impact in Israel through their own philanthropic donations.
  Let It Ripple utilizes film, technology, discussion, and live and virtual events to engage people in dialogue around complicated issues that shape contemporary life. Its newest film, The Making of a Mensch, seeks to elevate the conversation around what it means to be Jewish in today’s world by taking the ancient teachings of Mussar and recontextualizing them to meet modern-day practice.
  Misdar Dorshei Tovthe veterans’ association of Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s elite counter-terrorism unit, is developing a new generation of socially conscious Israeli leaders through engaging unit veterans in strategic and meaningful community service programs in underserved Israeli towns. 
  Ohel Ayalah engages Jews in their 20s and 30s in free, drop-in, and extremely high-quality Jewish High Holiday services and Passover Seders across New York City. 
  The Sefaria Project seeks to revolutionize the experience of Jewish textual learning and enhance Jewish literacy and engagement by building a free and universally accessible living library of all Jewish sacred texts via web and mobile platforms.
 

Shavei Israel reaches out to and assists "lost Jews" around the world seeking to reconnect to the Jewish people.
  The Shefa School is the first Jewish day school specifically for children with language-based learning disabilities. The school provides a research-based academic program for students in grades K-8 with the goal of remediating their language-based learning disabilities within a pluralistic Jewish environment.
  Soccer For Peace unites children of conflict-ridden nations in their shared love of sport. Its programming enables Jewish and Arab youth to meet, connect, and form relationships in order to strengthen ties and build mutual understanding.
  Toldot Yisrael films firsthand testimonies of the men and women who helped found the State of Israel, capturing and preserving their stories for future generations of students, scholars, and filmmakers.

Core Grants

Supporting a highly selective group of organizations that Natan has funded for more than three years. Core Grantees are those organizations most closely aligned with Natan's grantmaking mission. Their exceptional leadership develops programs with significant and measurable impact, and they have the potential to make systemic change in the field in which they are working.

 
  BimBam (formerly G-dcast) is a new media production company that raises worldwide Jewish literacy, sparks great conversations, and revolutionizes religion by demystifying core Jewish texts through entertaining yet substantive online short films and other new media.
  Gvahim maximizes the "brain gain" that highly-qualified immigrants bring to Israel by helping them to realize their professional aspirations in Israel and by providing an anchor for a smooth transition to Israeli life.
  IKAR is a progressive, egalitarian Jewish community in Los Angeles run by the dynamic Rabbi Sharon Brous.  IKAR’s mission is to reclaim the essence (the ikar) of Judaism and to reimagine what it means to be Jewish in the world today.
  InterfaithFamily empowers people in interfaith relationships to engage in Jewish life and to make Jewish choices for themselves and their families.
  Keshet partners with Jewish institutions nationwide to create spaces where gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews are fully included in Jewish life and can celebrate and strengthen their Jewish identities.
  Moishe House is an international network of 75+ houses led by young Jews who create relevant, fun and meaningful programs for their peers, reaching tens of thousands of Jews in their 20s each year.
  Olim Beyahad transforms the professional paths of Ethiopian Israelis and the role of Ethiopians in Israeli society by enabling Ethiopian Israeli university graduates to find employment suited to their academic training. The organization pairs participants with high-powered mentors in their fields who help them build professional networks, understand their industries, and effectively integrate into Israeli society.
  Paideia: The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden is creating and nurturing a strong base of leaders for the renewal of European Jewish life and culture.
  Tsofen High Technology Centers accelerate the employment of Arab citizens of Israel in the high-tech industry through training and by bringing high-tech companies to Israel’s largest Arab communities.

Economic Development
in Israel

For the past two years, Natan has supported the development of Israeli social businesses as a new methodology for economically empowering disadvantaged Israelis. Social businesses are non-dividend companies with a social mission that generate revenue to cover their costs and perhaps even produce profit, which is reinvested into the same or other social businesses.

 
 

Dualis Social Investment Fund uses the model of a venture capital fund to achieve social impact in Israel through investing in and supporting for-profit social businesses. Dualis supports social businesses that provide personal skills, vocational training, employment and job creation for marginal populations in Israel. 

 

Jindas aims to enhance the quality of life for residents of the city of Lod through a massive urban regeneration program, and by strengthening partnerships between the disparate communities that live in the city. Natan's grant will support the creation of a hub for social and private sector entrepreneurs to support them as they create new businesses, social businesses, and nonprofits in the city.

  PresenTense Israel employs entrepreneurship to grow local economies, enrich community life and solve critical issues facing Israeli society. Through its community-based accelerators, innovation workshops and entrepreneurship consulting, the organization aims to make entrepreneurship accessible to all and accelerate social impact in communities across Israel.
 

Shahaf Foundation is a partnership of foundations and philanthropists that support the burgeoning movement of Young Communities across Israel. Natan's grant is a partnership between Natan and Shahaf to build the capacity of members of Young Communities to start social businesses in their towns.

 

Tor HaMidbar, an NGO run by the Kama Young Community in Be’ersheva, is developing the Negev through social and business entrepreneurship and new community initiatives. Natan’s grant will support a research project to develop and scale social businesses as means to creating social and economic change in the Negev.

Emerging Models of Jewish Connection

Supporting innovative methods for creating new access points to Jewish life, building Jewish networks, and strengthening Jewish communities across North America.

 
  Eshel works for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews in the Orthodox community. Eshel hosts advocacy trainings, community gatherings and bridge-building events that work with LGBT individuals, their families, and Orthodox leaders and institutions to create more open, accepting and inclusive communities.
  Jewish Emergent Network brings together the leadership of several independent spiritual communities (including several current and former Natan grantees) committed to reinvigorating American Jewish life.
  Jewish Farm School teaches and engages young Jewish adults about contemporary food and environmental issues through trainings and skills-based Jewish agricultural education. JFS has refocused its programming in recent years on the Philadelphia area, as it seeks to build a local model that could be replicated in the future.
  Kevah enables adults to explore the spiritual and intellectual richness of the Jewish textual tradition in a comfortable setting of their choice by giving access to high-quality, agenda-free Jewish learning with a DIY twist.
  The Kitchen is a groundbreaking independent spiritual community in San Francisco led by Rabbi Noa Kushner that experiments with new ways of building Jewish community and spirituality through a unique mix of community events, life-cycle and holiday rituals, and home-based programs.
  Mishkan Chicago is an emerging spiritual community in Chicago led by Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann that is reaching new audiences from across the spectrum with its inclusive, stimulating, and invigorating approach to prayer and learning.
  Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programsa Toronto-based environmental organization, offers Jewish and agricultural education at its organic garden, a food conference, a Jewish CSA, and at Bela Farm, the largest Jewish educational farm in North America, just north of Toronto.
  Based in the Bay Area, Urban Adamah is an educational and community center in Berkeley, CA that integrates Jewish tradition, sustainable agriculture, mindfulness and social action to build loving, just, and sustainable communities. It provides educational programs and community celebrations for more than 5,000 visitors a year, as well as a residential fellowship program for Jewish young adults that combines organic farming, progressive Jewish living and social justice internships.

Grants for Initiatives for Russian-Speaking Jews

Supporting initiatives that use innovative approaches to build Jewish community and strengthen Jewish life among Russian-Speaking Jews in North America, especially for those who are not currently engaged in Jewish communal life.

 
  Asylum Arts is a global network of contemporary Jewish artists. It brings greater exposure to Jewish artists and cultural initiatives by providing opportunities for new projects, collaborations, and ways to elevate the level of excellence in artistic activity. With a large number of participants hailing from the RSJ community around the world, Natan’s support will provide microgrants to support the projects created by RSJ artists.
  The Lost & Found Project is an experimental theatre troupe featuring Russian-Jewish actors born in the former Soviet Union who emigrated to the United States. Lost & Found explores the Russian-Jewish immigrant experience through a series of theatrical performances and educational programs that connect past and future generations.
  Jewish Parent Academy bridges the gap in Jewish education between day school children and their parents by offering Jewish education and learning activities to Russian-speaking parents in south Brooklyn. JPA explores diverse approaches to Jewish thought, history, and heritage, taught by renowned educators.
  Powered by Mechon Hadar, Project Zug uses an online platform to create havrutas - learning partnerships - based on mutual interests and to foster relationships between Jews from widely divergent backgrounds. The organization seeks to connect Russian-Speaking Jews with the larger Jewish community and with Jewish tradition through these weekly one-on-one online learning sessions.
  Rjeneration empowers young American Jews from the former Soviet Union to build and engage a community of Soviet-born and Russian-Speaking Jews as they explore their Jewish identity and define their role in the American Jewish community. Natan’s grant will support DIY on the FLY, an extension of Rjeneration’s annual House of DIY Festival, to offer do-it-yourself workshops and activities throughout the year.
  Shalom Education Center aims to build community among Russian-speaking Jewish families through language-based Jewish learning and Hebrew school. Their Maryland Future Jewish Advocates Project seeks to empower Jewish teens with the tools to advocate for Israel and speak publicly about various Jewish communities within the US.
  Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College seeks to inspire Jewish college students to connect to Jewish life and identity. Natan’s grant will support the Da Israel Initiative, which will provide a cohort of Russian-speaking Jewish students with high-quality Israel education and cultivate them as future leaders who will take active roles in furthering connections between their local communities and Israel.

Jewish Peoplehood

Supporting organizations that are building connections between young Jews across national, ethnic, denominational, and ideological borders; that foster a sense of mutual responsibility between Jews; that emphasize the Jewish People's collective responsibility to heal the world; and/or that grapple with the special role that Israel plays in contemporary Jews' identity.

 
  A Wider Bridge inspires lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews to deepen their Jewish identity through connecting with Israel and develops stronger connections between LGBT communities in Israel and North America.
 

Centropa Jewish Network, is dedicated to preserving 20th-century Jewish family stories from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and to building bridges between Jewish communities with the help of new technologies and interactive educational methods. Natan’s grant will support the Centropa Jewish Teacher Network, which is networking and convening teachers from Central and European Jewish schools.

  Challah for Hunger creates low-barrier entry points for university-aged Jews to meet, engage in Jewish community and tradition, and explore their mutual responsibility to heal the world through activism and philanthropy.  Participants bake and sell challah and donate all proceeds to non-profit organizations, especially those working to end hunger around the world.
  Kahal provides American Jewish college students studying abroad with the resources, tools, and connections they need to be part of the Jewish communities in which they are temporarily living.
 

Israel Lacrosse Association, aims to develop lacrosse as a sport in Israel, and to utilize the sport to connect Jewish people from around the world to the country. Natan’s grant will support the Israel Lacrosse Premier League, which brings Jewish American college lacrosse players to Israel to teach the sport to Israeli youth.

  Jewgether is a Jewish take on the popular "couch-surfing" phenomenon, an online hospitality network that is building a global network of young Jews by providing a platform for travelers to connect with local hosts around the world.
  Limmud International builds the capacity and expands the network of Limmud communities and conferences around the world, providing support, connections, and training opportunities.
 

Mitzvah Day International creates positive social change by encouraging Jewish groups across the world to come together to do mitzvot - social action and giving projects. Natan’s grant will support Mitzvah Day Active – Global, which enables groups of young people to set up and take part in social action projects where they live.

  Sugia is a global online platform that integrates Jewish culture and education with new media and popular culture. The organization uses an interactive new media platform to actively engage Jews from around the world in Talmudic-like conversations, discussions, and learning on the web. Sugia US - Talmud to the People will bring this platform to the United States.

Natan Book Award

 

The Natan Book Award pioneers a new model in literary prizes, highlighting an exceptional, not-yet-published, non-fiction book on Jewish and/or Israeli themes that has the potential to catalyze new conversations about Jewish and/or Israeli life. The Award has two stages: a cash award of $15,000 to the author to be used during the writing or final editing of the book; and up to $35,000 to be used to promote and distribute the book. The second stage is what sets the Natan Book Award apart from other awards: Natan will be customizing a publicity, marketing, distribution, and programmatic plan for the book that will leverage Natan's networks within the Jewish community and ensure that the book reaches broad, new, and diverse audiences.

At this time, we are reshaping the mission and vision of the book award, and we are not currently accepting applications. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on and in the meantime, please check back here for updates, or email info@natan.org with any questions.

In late 2013, Natan awarded the first Natan Book Award to:
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, by one of Israel's leading journalists, Ari Shavit.

About This Book
My Promised Land (Spiegel & Grau, 2013), became an instant New York Timesbestseller after its launch in November 2013. Hailed by critics, historians, and political and religious leaders as groundbreaking and transformative, the book is, in the words of the Natan Book Award committee, a "relentlessly fair" new history of Israel. It is a deeply knowledgeable, loving, and honest historical account, told through engaging portraits of some of the many people - famous and not-so-famous - who have shaped this complicated country. My Promised Land chronicles Israel's story up to the present moment, bringing history to bear on current events, and weaving together many varied strands to tell a complex tale of, as the book's own subtitle suggests, triumph and tragedy.

About This Author
Ari Shavit is a leading Israeli columnist and writer. Born in Rehovot, Israel, Shavit served as a paratrooper in the IDF and studied philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In the 1980s he wrote for the progressive weekly Koteret Rashit, in the early 1990s he was Chairperson of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and in 1995 he joined Haaretz, where he serves on the editorial board. Shavit is also a leading commentator on Israeli public television. He is married, has a daughter and two sons, and lives in Kfar Shmariahu.

 
If you are interested in bringing the book to your community, organization, or network, please be in touch with Lisa Capelouto at lisa@natan.org



Natan Grants for ROI Entrepreneurs

Through a partnership started in 2012, Natan makes small grants to members of the ROI Community who are spearheading projects that create new and diverse access points to Jewish life around the world. The ROI Community connects dynamic Jewish leaders from around the globe, enabling them to turn their passion into action by creating transformative work for the Jewish world and beyond.

 

Round 4 Grantees

  Beit Kraków (Poland): Beit Kraków is a progressive Jewish community that seeks to revitalize Jewish life in Krakow, Poland. Its model is rooted in creating meaningful, educational and cultural Jewish programming that fosters creativity and long-term involvement in the Jewish community, with an emphasis on arts and culture programs. Natan’s grant will support Beit Kraków’s effort to secure a theater building to reestablish a Jewish cultural hub in Krakow.
  Israel Hofsheet (Israel): Israel Hofsheet works to promote religious freedom and Jewish pluralism in Israel. By educating the Israeli public about a pluralistic understanding of Judaism, the organization seeks to strengthen Israeli democracy and pave the way for Israelis to make informed, educated Jewish choices. Natan’s grant will support the Havaya Jewish Wedding Workshop, which teaches engaged Israeli couples who cannot or choose not to be married by the Israeli Rabbinate about the basic principles of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.
  Jewish Queer Youth (US): Jewish Queer Youth (JQY) supports LGBT Orthodox Jewish teenagers and their families. Devised and facilitated by licensed mental health professionals who have experience working with the Orthodox community, JQY offers support through a range of initiatives including online, phone and in-person crisis and group programming that is culturally sensitive and tailored to Orthodox, Hasidic, and Sephardic Jewish populations. Natan’s grant will support the expansion of JQY’s teen programming to connect their teens and offer additional support services.
  Uprooted (US): Uprooted seeks to create an inclusive Jewish community that embraces and supports men and women struggling with fertility. Through educational workshops, support groups, mentoring and the creation of resources and national convenings, Uprooted is quickly establishing itself as a national voice, both providing direct programing and promoting others doing important work in this nascent field. Natan’s grant will help Uprooted create a mentorship program that connects people experiencing fertility issues to one another, and provide Jewish perspectives and resources on infertility through a blog and other channels.
  Yidlife Crisis (US/Canada): YidLife Crisis is a Yiddish comedy web series and evolving cultural brand created by Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion. YidLife Crisis seeks to engage diverse and unaffiliated Jews through online content in what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century context and to introduce elements of Yiddish/Yiddishkayt (Jewishness) to Jews and non-Jews globally through the power of the internet.

Round 3 Grantees

  Lior Zalmanson: Digital Shmita: "Digital Shmita" is taking the idea of shmita (fallow) and bringing it to the Internet. Digital Shmita works in collaboration with Labshul's FallowLab and the Print Screen Festival for digital culture in Israel. Digital Shmita’s ultimate goal is to produce free solutions that will allow everyone to experience Shmita in their daily connected lives.
  Mishy Harman: Israel Story/Sippur Israeli: “Israel Story” is a new radio program dedicated to telling the story of a different, diverse Israel. Modeled after National Public Radio's “This American Life,” this show seeks to portray the intricacies of Israeli society and showcase its rich plurality. Israel, it says, is ultimately much more complicated, nuanced and interesting than the usual media coverage it receives. The show seeks to amplify and humanize voices that are rarely heard on the airwaves; to tell long-form, non-fiction tales by, and about, regular Israelis.
  Paola Salem: Judaic Tourism: "Judaic Tourism" is a project that works to strengthen Jewish identity through the preservation and enhancement of Jewish heritage. The project connects people with history, culture and Jewish life in cities around the world, promoting tourism to Jewish sites and communities and connecting visitors to local Jewish culture.
  Elad Shoshan: Yahalom Foundation: The "Yahalom Foundation" will be the first-ever non-profit organization benefiting current and former soldiers of Yahalom, a special forces combat engineering unit in the Israel Defense Forces. The Yahalom Foundation is dedicated to supporting Yahalom commandos during their active-duty service and afterwards, during their reserve duty.

Small Grants for the Renewal of Jerusalem

Supporting Jerusalem-based social entrepreneurs, grassroots initiatives and emerging nonprofit organizations that are spearheading innovative initiatives that revitalize and strengthen Jerusalem as a diverse cultural, spiritual, and educational hub.

 
  Black Box re-imagines public spaces and brings new artistic perspectives directly to viewers through independent art exhibitions and installations in Jerusalem. Natan's grant will support an exhibition that revitalizes an abandoned building, encourages accessible art for the public, and transforms the surrounding neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
  The Jerusalem Parliament is an exclusive network of Jerusalem leaders from the sectors of business, social entrepreneurship, public policy, grassroots activism, journalism and politics. The initiative seeks to create community amongst young leaders and social entrepreneurs in the city in order to strengthen Jerusalem's creative class, enhance relationships, and build a diverse network of peers and colleagues.
  Studio of Her Own is a cultural initiative designed to promote religious women artists and equip them with tools to advance their professional and artistic aspirations. Natan's grant will support the Women and Art Salon; a series of interactive workshops that brings together a diverse group of emerging women artists to meet, discuss, and create art.
  Kaima Organic Farm re-engages young Israelis who have dropped out of school through a multi-faceted program that combines hands-on organic farming, work experience, teamwork, and community building. Natan's Grant will support the development of Jerusalem's first commercial hydroponic greenhouse (HG) and community center as well as a series of educational workshops to complement the center's activities.