Crown Grants awarded to 13 congregations

Information courtesy of Jewish Federation

Jewish Family Education “Crown Grants” have been awarded to 13 St. Louis area congregations for 2010-2011, totaling nearly $78,000. Since its inception in 1996, more than $1 million in “Crown Grants,” administered by Jewish Federation of St. Louis, has been given to 19 St. Louis congregations, the Jewish Family Educator’s Network and the Jewish Family Education Grants Committee for innovative family education program.  The announcement was made by Sue Matlof, chair of the Jewish Family Education Grants Committee. 

“The ‘Crown Grants’ program is a direct way that Federation dollars can impact St. Louis area congregations by giving them the opportunity to try new and innovative programming for families,” said Matlof.

Grants for this year’s programs come from the Crown Trust with a matching half from Jewish Federation’s Rich Endowment Fund. The “Crown Grants” honor the memory of Shirlee Green, mother of Randy Green, who is a trustee of the Crown Trust and the great nephew of the Crowns. Green, who had the vision to establish the Jewish Family Education grants, is secretary of the Board of Jewish Federation, and a founder of Green’s ultimate long-term goal in establishing the grants was to further Jewish continuity.

The “Crown Grants” program began with a pledge of $50,000 for the first two years, and for a third year, the $50,000 was to be matched by community funds. Because the program was such a success, the third year additional funds from the Jewish Federation Rich Endowment were committed to extend the grants.

An example of one of the “Crown Grants” recent successes a few years ago is B’nai Torah in St. Peters. The congregation received a grant for a Judaica Family Theater. It was so well-received and the families so supportive that the congregation is now in the process of creating a community Jewish theater – based at B’nai Torah. The congregation plans to do two plays a year. Their goal is twofold: to serve as a fundraiser for the congregation and to build community. This is indicative of why we the grants were set up in the first place: to integrate Jewish family education into the culture and priorities of a congregation and the Jewish community.  

The 2010-11 “Crown Grants” have been awarded to: “Partners in Torah,” Bais Abraham; “Glass Mezuzah Cover Making and “Family Threads,” Beth HaMedrosh Hagodol Sha’arei Chesed; “Shabbat 4U,” B’nai Amoona; “The Joy of Shabbat,” Kol Am; “ Living Torah in the 21st Century,” Shaare Emeth; “L’ovdah u-l’shomrah: To Plant and Preserve” and “Ruach Am’cha,” Shaare Zedek; “Mishkan T’filah Inspired,” Temple Emanuel; Family Choir, Temple Israel; “Wherever You Go, There’s Always Something Jewish: Highlighting the Jewish Elements Wherever Our Travels Take Us,” United Hebrew; Family Education Learning Initiative (FELI), Jewish Family Educator’s Network (JFEN), and “Doorposts”/Program Bank, Jewish Family Education Crown Grants Committee.

For more information about the Jewish Family Education “Crown Grants,” contact Susan Witte at [email protected] or call 314-442-3828.