Federation awards close to $40k in innovation grants

Jewish Federation of St. Louis has named five projects to receive 2015 Innovation Grants. The grants are designed to stimulate Jewish education or engagement in the St. Louis Jewish community, tapping into the creativity that exists beyond Jewish community congregations, agencies and organizations. Jewish Federation will provide support through mentor connections, publicity and marketing efforts, peer consultations and brainstorming sessions, and strategic planning consultation.

Winners of the grants are:

Feast Like the Middle East (Shira Berkowitz):  $5,130 — This initiative centers on connecting young Jews to their culture/heritage and the contemporary society they live in through traditional Jewish food grown and prepared locally. The vision of this artist and partner chef is to provide the St. Louis young adult Jewish community with an immersive and artistic experience around food.

Neighborhood Kiddush (Sam Freedman): $4,580 —  Neighborhood Kiddush is designed to give young Jewish couples and families can come together and socialize on Shabbat afternoon after services. This program allows families to get out of their home and spend time with other Jewish couples/families and allow for young couples/families to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships. Different families will host a Neighborhood Kiddush in their home to provide an intimate setting and to provide a low barrier access point for families and young couples that may not be affiliated.


Painting Our Community with Pride (Jennifer Bernstein and team): $8,500 — This initiative will implement a yearlong marketing/outreach campaign to create a more inclusive St. Louis Jewish community for LGBTQ individuals and their families. Starting with the St. Louis PrideFest, this team of innovators increased marketing and awareness to bring a larger representation from the Jewish community. The final component of this initiative is to bring Keshet to St. Louis, a national organization working for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews in Jewish life. Keshet will implement community trainings and celebrations to increase inclusivity in the Jewish community.

Pop-Up Kosher Restaurant (Marian Gordon): $8,000 —  The Pop-Up Kosher Restaurant will offer individuals and families the opportunity to have unique kosher meals outside their homes. 

Parenting magazine (Stephanie Berk): $10,000 — This magazine seeks to offer information for local Jewish parents.