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.

 
  Footsteps offers critical services to people who have left ultra-Orthodox communities, including social and emotional support, academic and career guidance, workshops and social activities, and access to legal representation for divorce and custody battles. Footsteps also helps members to navigate a new identity—one that incorporates elements of their Jewish backgrounds, but on their own terms. Natan’s grant will support a new microgrant program to empower Footsteppers to create their own arts and culture, community-building and advocacy initiatives.
  Keren Baktana is nurturing a new culture of giving among young Israeli professionals through creating grassroots giving circles. By educating Israelis about the importance and art of philanthropy, Keren Baktana is developing a new generation of informed, thoughtful change agents who work together to make meaningful social impact in Israel through giving.
  The Lishi’s Love Foundation's, In Our Hearts Project aims to become a comprehensive resource for Jewish families suffering the tragic loss of a child. The project will create and provide access to resources to support bereaved families, community leaders, and community members about ways to support families coping with such traumatic circumstances.
  Misdar Dorshei Tov, the 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 for disadvantaged populations in Israel’s socio-geographic periphery.
  Ohel Ayalah engages Jews in their 20s and 30s through free, drop-in, and high-quality Jewish High Holiday services and Passover Seders across New York City.
  Sacred Spaces is a new organization that will help Jewish institutions to develop robust policies to prevent institutional sexual abuse and properly handle it when it occurs.
  Sefaria is revolutionizing the experience of Jewish textual learning and enhancing Jewish literacy and engagement by building the Jewish textual infrastructure of the future: a free and universally-accessible living library of all Jewish sacred texts via web and mobile platforms.

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.

For the 2016-7 grant year, Core Grants are available for special projects that:

  • build networks, fields, and movements in sectors in which Natan has historically invested;
  • enable long-time grantees to build diverse sources of funding through innovative approaches to resource development;
  • support research that can materially affect the organizations and sectors in which Natan has historically invested; and/or
  • focus on discrete expenditures that enable organizations to evolve into healthy “ post-startups.”
 
  A Wider Bridge inspires lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews to deepen their Jewish identity through connecting with Israel. Natan’s grant will enable the organization to hire a staff person in Israel, strengthening its ability to develop strong connections between LGBT communities in Israel and North America.
  BimBam 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. Natan’s grant will help the organization convene a national conversation about the educational and engagement opportunities that new media provides to Jewish communities around the world.
  Gvahim maximizes the “brain gain” that highly-qualified immigrants bring to Israel by helping them realize their professional aspirations in Israel and by providing an anchor for a smooth transition to Israeli life. Natan’s grant will enable the organization to develop new sources of earned revenue.
  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. Natan’s grant will support the organization’s efforts to build an active stakeholder engagement network in New York.
  Mayyim Hayyim reclaims and reinvents one of Judaism's most ancient rituals – immersion in the mikvah – for contemporary spiritual use, making the mikvah a sacred space, open and accessible to all Jews and those becoming Jewish. Natan’s grant will enable the organization to develop Rising Tide, a new international network of community mikvaot to strengthen and expand the field.
  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. In its 10th year, with over 700 program alumni successfully integrated into leading jobs in their respective fields, the organization will use Natan’s grant to conceptualize a new strategy that puts alumni at the center of the organization’s efforts to completely integrate Ethiopians into Israeli society.
  Paideia: The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden is a pluralistic and non-denominational institute that promotes the flourishing of European Jewish culture and intellectual life. Over 500 people from 40 countries have graduated from Paideia’s programs, becoming a new voice for European Jewish culture. Natan’s grant will support Paidei’s efforts to become the first Jewish Folkhögskola, a Swedish “cultural college,” a prestigious designation that will open its programs to even broader audiences and enable it to receive institutionalized financial support from the Swedish government.
  Tsofen High Technology Centers accelerates 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.  Natan’s grant will support the organization’s first evaluation research, enabling it to measure the social and economic impact of the organization on its participants, their communities, and Israel as a whole.

Economic Development
in Israel

Natan supports 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.

 
  Jindas is enhancing the quality of life for residents of the city of Lod through a massive urban regeneration project and through strengthening partnerships between the disparate communities that live in the city. Natan supports Jindas’ economic development programs, including providing access to services for existing business owners, offering start-up assistance to new entrepreneurs, expanding employment opportunities, nurturing an active business community, and facilitating the creation of socially responsible business investments in the city.
  Noa Tanua is a new nonprofit cooperative operating bus lines in Tel Aviv on Shabbat, creating affordable ways to get to work and leisure activities when public transportation is not available. Its goal is to make freedom of movement in Israel possible for all people, irrespective of their wealth or social status.
  Natan partners with the Shahaf Foundation to build the capacity of members of Israeli Young Communities, a burgeoning social movement, to start social businesses in their towns and cities. Shahaf, a partnership of foundations and philanthropists supporting the Young Communities movement, has recently decided to make developing social businesses a core element of its strategy.

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 is strengthening and expanding the field of emergent spiritual communities by bringing together the leadership of the seven most prominent rabbi-led communities (including several current and former Natan grantees) to collaboratively make systemic change in 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 other communities.
  KlezCalifornia produces and promotes Yiddish-inspired cultural, musical and social events in the San Francisco Bay Area, both independently and in collaboration with Jewish Community Centers, synagogues, and general community cultural venues. KlezCalifornia’s events enable people of all ages to engage actively and intensely with Yiddish music and culture.
  Mishpucha envisions a flourishing and empowered post-Soviet American Jewish community - a network of community hubs throughout the US defined by Jewish values, Russian language, and a passion for adventure, culture, and learning. To this end, Mishpucha offers culturally authentic experiences for Russian-speaking American Jews that foster community building, identity exploration, and Jewish education.
  Museum of Jewish Montreal intends to become a new model for 21st century Jewish museums, educating the public about the Montreal Jewish community’s diverse and vibrant past through creative public programs and groundbreaking online and mobile engagement tools. The Museum recently moved into a physical space in Montreal's historic Jewish core in collaboration with a number of other Jewish cultural initiatives, enabling it to reach broader audiences by offering year-round programming.

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 that provides opportunities for new projects, collaborations, and ways to elevate the level of excellence in artistic activity. The network includes a large number of participants hailing from the RSJ community around the world, and Natan’s grant will enable the organization to provide microgrants to these artists to support the creation of new artistic projects.
  Jewish and Modern (JAM) aims to strengthen the Russian-speaking Jewish community of the Greater Toronto Area by connecting RSJ young adults and professionals to one another. Through social events and educational initiatives, JAM sparks interest in Jewish life in unique and engaging ways among young RSJ adults who have had limited exposure to Jewish traditions.
  Jewish Parent Academy is a high caliber, Jewish adult education program for Russian-speaking parents in Brooklyn. JPA aims to inspire participants to deepen their understanding of Jewish history, heritage and culture, strengthen their sense of belonging to the Jewish people, and create an empowered and learned community.
  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. Natan’s grant supports the participation of Russian-speaking Jews in the platform, connecting them with the larger Jewish community and with Jewish tradition through weekly one-on-one online learning sessions.
  The Speak Memory Project preserves the stories of Russian-speaking Jewish Holocaust survivors through dynamic photography and storytelling. The project highlights personal narratives, connecting generations of Jews through art and history and creating new opportunities for people to reflect on the Jewish past, present and future.
  Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College inspires Jewish college students to connect to Jewish life and identity. Natan’s grant supports the Da Israel Initiative, which provides a cohort of Russian-speaking Jewish students with high-quality Israel education, developing them as leaders who can 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.

 
  Campaign Against Antisemitism is working to combat the rising tide of antisemitism in the UK. Started by volunteers, CAA is a grassroots organization that empowers individuals to work together to expose and counter antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law.
  Centropa 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. For a second year, Natan is supporting the Centropa Jewish Network of educators in European Jewish schools, which is enabling teachers and students alike to co-create lesson plans and cross-border projects, and to strengthen their ability to work together to build resilient European Jewish communities.
  Israel Story is a radio podcast dedicated to telling the story of a different, diverse and nuanced Israel. Modeled on the wildly popular National Public Radio program “This American Life,” Israel Story presents human-interest stories that profile a broad spectrum of Israelis, promoting a greater awareness of and interest in modern Israeli society. Natan’s grant supports the English-language podcast, a version of the Hebrew-language Sippur Israeli, which has tens of thousands of listeners in more than 100 countries and all 50 US states.
  KAHAL provides American Jewish college students studying abroad with the resources and connections they need to be part of the Jewish communities in which they are temporarily living. KAHAL works with hundreds of students in more than 30 countries, enriching their study abroad experiences and deepening their connections to Jewish life and to the Jewish People.
  Limmud International's vision is that any community, wherever it is, can be taken one step further on its Jewish journey through a Limmud experience. Limmud International facilitates the development of new Limmud communities and strengthens the sustainability of existing ones. The organization provides mentoring and advice; international, regional and local development seminars; and online and in-person opportunities to connect to the global network of Limmud volunteers.
  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. Natan’s grant supports Sugia US - Talmud to the People, which expands the platform and complementary in-person programming in the United States.

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 initiatives in Jewish communities and beyond.

 
  Beit Kraków is a progressive Jewish community that is revitalizing 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 supports Beit Kraków’s efforts to secure a physical space to reestablish a Jewish cultural hub in Krakow.
  Israel Hofsheet works to promote religious freedom and Jewish pluralism in Israel. By educating the Israeli public about Jewish pluralism, the organization strengthens Israeli democracy and paves the way for Israelis to make informed, educated Jewish choices. Natan’s grant supports the Havaya Jewish Wedding Workshop, which teaches engaged Israeli couples who cannot or choose not to be married by the Israeli Rabbanut about the basic principles of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.
  Jewish Queer Youth (JQY) supports LGBTQ Orthodox Jewish teenagers and their families. Devised and facilitated by licensed mental health professionals with experience working with the Orthodox community, JQY offers support through a range of initiatives including online, phone and in-person crisis and group programming. Natan’s grant supports the expansion of JQY’s teen programming in New York, including creating the first Jewish LGBTQ Teen Drop-In Center.
  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 programming 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 is a Yiddish comedy web series and evolving cultural brand created by Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion. Using the power of the internet, YidLife Crisis engages diverse and unaffiliated Jews in conversations about what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century, while introducing elements of Yiddish/Yiddishkayt (Jewishness) to the hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world who watch its internet videos.

Small Grants for the Renewal of Jerusalem

Supporting Jerusalem-based social entrepreneurs, grassroots initiatives and emerging nonprofit organizations that are spearheading innovative initiatives to revitalize and strengthen Jerusalem as a diverse cultural, spiritual, and educational hub. In 2016-2017, Natan partnered with Ruach Hadasha (New Spirit), an engine of revitalization in Jerusalem, to provide small grants to social entrepreneurs and grassroots initiatives in this area.

 

Round 2 - 2016-2017 Grantees

  c.a.t.a.m.o.n. is a contemporary dance troupe founded in Jerusalem in 2012. Jerusalem’s contemporary dance scene is small, and many dancers leave Jerusalem upon completing their studies. c.a.t.a.m.o.n seeks to strengthen Jerusalem’s dance scene and keep young dancers in the city through creating unique pieces that are inspired by Jerusalem’s complex social, cultural, religious and political nature. Natan’s grant supports performances of From Jaffa to Agripas, a well-received piece that is performed in public spaces in the city’s famous Mahane Yehuda market.
  Ha’butke Bakatamonim is a community cafe in the neighborhood of Katamonim that focuses on strengthening the local community, its quality of life, and the neighborhood’s public image. The cafe hosts and organizes various cultural and communal activities, such as musical shows, public discussions and debates, lectures, cultural activities for both children and adults, and local fairs and art exhibitions.
  Jerusalem Street Orchestra is comprised of twenty classically-trained young musicians who expose new audiences to classical music and the orchestral genre by giving open-air concerts in public spaces across the city, using a repertoire that integrates classical music and other types of music and art.
  Runners Without Borders harnesses the positive power of sport to connect Jews and Arabs, rebuilding a long-lost trust and setting the ground for a renewed dialogue between the two populations. Founded by Jerusalem-based athletes as a response to a wave of violence sweeping Jerusalem since the summer of 2014, the organization offers platforms for Jews and Arabs to meet, interact and cooperate through running, including the facilitation of mixed running teams for youth and adults, integrated races for all residents of the city, and networking among community members in Jerusalem and beyond.
  Studio of Her Own is a unique cultural initiative designed to promote artistic creations of religious Jewish women artists, and to enrich the public cultural scene by introducing bold artworks through a gendered lens. It is the only organization in Jerusalem - or anywhere in Israel - that focuses on addressing the needs of emerging Jewish religious women artists in advancing their artistic careers and gaining public exposure and recognition.

Round 1 - 2015-2016 Grantees

  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 unique cultural initiative designed to promote artistic creations of religious Jewish women artists, and to enrich the public cultural scene by introducing bold artworks through a gendered lens. It is the only organization in Jerusalem - or anywhere in Israel - that focuses on addressing the needs of emerging Jewish religious women artists in advancing their artistic careers and gaining public exposure and recognition.
  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.

Natan's Jerusalem Renewal grants are made in partnership with New Spirit, a Jerusalem-based organization founded in 2003 with the aim to strengthen Israel´s Capital city and return it to Israel´s economic, cultural, and spiritual center. New Spirit works to create communities of local young professionals: young government workers, students, artists and social innovators, and to grow the city's creative economy by cultivating social, artistic and business initiatives.