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Who & What We Support

Natan supports entrepreneurial organizations that demonstrate an innovative approach to addressing the challenges facing Jews around the world. Please click here to view our 2021-22 Grantee Booklet.

Please click here to view last year's Grantee Booklet.

Board Discretionary Grants

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

*new in 2021-2022

 

2021-2022 Grantees

  Heart of a Nation* is a group of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians building relationships across diverse backgrounds to learn, think, and work together to advance progressive solutions to issues of mutual concern. These issues include: social and economic justice, gender and racial equality, strengthening civil society, defense of democratic institutions, treatment of migrants and asylum seekers, fighting discrimination and oppression within and between nations, and the vigorous pursuit of peace. They do this by connecting through shared values, cooperative efforts, and the creation of collaborative content for distribution to thought leaders and activists seeking to influence the future of the nations we love.
  The Lehrhaus* will be a new kind of Jewish space; a warm, accessible, storefront space with good coffee, full bar, and deep Torah. The Lehrhaus will be a catalyst for transforming the ancient practice of learning, of chevruta, into a central expression of Jewish identity.
  Lost Tribe* is rooted in the acknowledgment that smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles are where teens nurture relationships, find community, and build identity. Lost Tribe moves beyond existing organizational boundaries, structures, missions, and program delivery mechanisms to seize the power of the digital space. This pioneering venture reaches the 80% of Jewish teens who are otherwise uninvolved in Jewish life, offering them meaningful, ongoing engagement with Jewish ideas, practices, and people on their terms. Its mission is to create a durable and dynamic Jewish social network for adolescents and to increase their participation in Jewish life, thereby strengthening their Jewish identities.

Confronting Antisemitism

Natan's Confronting Antisemitism grants support organizations that are developing positive, constructive efforts to understand, expose and undermine contemporary antisemitism, particularly those that focus on the ways in which delegitimization of Israel is a form of antisemitism; prosocial activities that bring Jewish and other ethnic and religious communities together; and building awareness of Israel and the Jewish People's cultural, historical, ethnic, religious and political complexity and diversity.

*new in 2021-2022

 

2021-2022 Grantees

  Abrahamic House is a new organization striving to build sustainable interfaith learning and action across Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i and Christian communities in order to foster an environment of respect, justice, and social change. Modeled after the highly successful Moishe House (a former Natan grantee), Abrahamic House brings young people from different religious backgrounds to live together and design programs for their peers. Programs will transform hatred and ignorance into love and compassion through human connection and the creation of an intentional interfaith community.
  The Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM) serves as the national voice for Jewish museums across sixty communities in North America. For more than forty years, CAJM has been the central network for Jewish museums, bringing together colleagues and leaders to promote new thinking, innovative practice, and community engagement, and strengthening its member museums as visible, magnetic arenas for the expression of Jewish culture and community. Natan’s grant supports Combating Antisemitism: Collecting Strategies. This project aims to create a framework for understanding the challenges and opportunities for museums in collecting contemporary evidence of antisemitism for the historical record; train an enlarged cohort of their member museums in recording oral histories; and provide a two-day seminar in October of 2021 about strategies, approaches, and considerations for collecting examples of contemporary antisemitism.
  Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS) promotes accurate K-12 education about Jews, Judaism, and Israel across the United States by working directly with publishers and digital content producers nationally to improve social studies textbook content on Jewish subjects. ICS also strengthens pre-collegiate education by providing standards-aligned curriculum and training for public school teachers so they can offer their students more accurate instruction on Jewish history. These efforts are designed to reduce prejudice against Jews and promote understanding of Israel’s history and its significance to the Jewish community.
  JLens* explore a Jewish perspective on investing and serves as the bridge between the Jewish community and the responsible investing arena. JLens seeks to advance Jewish leadership in this influential global stage.
  Muslim Jewish Conference (MJC)* is a grassroots dialogue and leadership initiative that focuses on building sustainable networks between Muslim and Jewish leaders from around the world. The annual conference brings together students and young professionals and invites them to step beyond the boundaries of ignorance and stereotyping in order to build a new global political movement of young Muslim and Jewish leaders, activists, and experts who are committed to mutual respect. At the core of the MJC’s mission is preventing and combating antisemitism and intersecting forms of racist violence and intolerance.
  Presbyterians for Middle East Peace (PFMEP) was formed by a group of volunteer clergy and laypeople to address a contemporary version of antisemitism that had become commonplace in the Presbyterian Church USA as activists organized for the Church to embrace the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. PFMEP is committed to confronting traditional and contemporary versions of antisemitic, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel language and actions.
  Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom builds trusting and respectful relationships between American Muslim and Jewish women. Together, participants commit to limit acts of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim sentiment, stand up to hate, and engage in social action work.
  The Western States Center believes that antisemitism is the fuel that feeds white nationalism, and that there is a lack of full understanding of contemporary antisemitism and the ways it works in the media and civic institutions, and among community, philanthropic, and faith leaders. Natan’s grant supports the Common Good Leadership Initiative which works to build a shared understanding and analysis of historic and modern manifestations of antisemitism by convening leaders who work together to craft new policy ideas, narratives, and strategies.
  The Zioness Movement empowers and motivates people to stand up for civil rights as proud, progressive Zionists. The movement was established to challenge the narrative that Jews and Zionists cannot be feminists, liberals, or progressives. Zioness rejects the false choice and the litmus tests imposed on American Jews in progressive spaces, and argues that Jews and Zionists should not have to choose between those identities and their social justice advocacy. Zioness is developing curricula and building relationships across diverse communities to advance social, racial, economic and gender justice in America.

Jerusalem

In partnership with the Leichtag Foundation, Natan’s Jerusalem grants support initiatives led by members of the Jerusalem Model, a diverse network of 200+ Jerusalem activists and social entrepreneurs. These grants focus on arts & culture, placemaking, and economic development for different sectors of Jerusalem, with a focus on projects that provide opportunities for individuals to connect meaningfully with one another.

*new in 2021-2022

 

2021-2022 Grantees

  15 Minutes amplifies, leverages, and activates consumer voices in order to improve public transportation in Jerusalem (and across Israel). Convenient public transportation enhances social mobility by increasing employment and education opportunities for all residents of the city, and it contributes to a healthier environment by reducing carbon emissions, decreasing chronic traffic jams, improving air quality, and making Jerusalem more livable for everyone. Natan’s grant supports Jerusalemites are Making Their Way, which trains and empowers transit activists from both sides of the city, giving them the knowledge and tools to effectively promote solutions and changes in transit in Jerusalem.
  Eshkolot* strengthens the social fabric of Israel by providing Charedi - ultra-Orthodox - youth with formal and informal education opportunities that will enable and empower them to integrate within Israeli society and to forge an economic future while remaining strongly connected to their core values of Torah observance. The Eshkolot program runs a virtual online school for the Charedi community, giving them access to resources and learning opportunities that enable Charedi students to progress into pre-academic studies and other forms of formal education.
  The Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research (JIPR) is a think tank devoted to the study of Jerusalem’s complex reality and unique social fabric. JIPR contributes to decision-making, policy and planning processes and influences outcomes in Jerusalem and across Israel. The core elements of JIPR’s approach are understanding the issues, building consensus among stakeholders, creating actionable strategies and specific plans, and managing and measuring impacts and results.
  The Jerusalem Intercultural Center assists the city’s residents of diverse backgrounds to become responsible, active partners in shaping the development of their communities and Jerusalem’s future. Natan’s grant supports Placemaking for Tolerance, which spreads the message of tolerance through arts and culture, shared space and anti-violence programs in the public sphere; builds large cadres of grassroots leaders who can develop initiatives that fight racism through a variety of avenues; and develops the sustainability of tolerance-focused arts and culture initiatives in Jerusalem
  Madrasa offers a free, integrated social technology platform (website + social networks + in-person meetings) for the study of Colloquial Arabic across Israel. Madrasa’s goal is to promote better communication between Hebrew and Arabic speakers in Israel. It combines interactive, online courses and a rich content library with ongoing community activity in virtual and real study groups across the country.
  MiniActive is a network of more than 1,000 Palestinian women in East Jerusalem who are trained in “effective activism,” which enables them to tackle practical and incremental projects that improve conditions in their communities. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem can vote in Jerusalem Municipal elections, but most do not. MiniActive provides an alternative pathway and framework for constructively and effectively interacting with the Jerusalem Municipality and for driving civic change in their neighborhoods.
  Sinsila* heals the urban environment of Arab East Jerusalem by educating and inspiring local communities. Neighborhoods in East Jerusalem lack access to sufficient green public space and to locally sourced produce. Sinsila aims to arm locals with the tools to create such places, enabling neighborhoods to feel more like home and empowering people to make active change in their communities.

Jewish Connections

Natan’s Jewish Connection grants support innovative models for connecting people to Jewish practices and experiences, Jewish culture and ideas, and Jewish networks and communities in North America.  These grants are intended to shine a spotlight on new approaches or methodologies that are profoundly innovative.

*new in 2021-2022

 

2021-2022 Grantees

  B3 The Jewish Boomer Platform, Inc.* re-engages Baby Boomers in Jewish life through intergenerational connections, increased collaboration, and effective communication. Natan’s grant supports Active Older Adults National Resource Network, which is the first national network to develop programs and to share insights, data, and resources for active aging adults. The network will also advocate in the Jewish community for broader investment in this emerging life stage - the time between mid-life careers and eventual retirement or the onset of frailty.
  BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy promotes whole-health wellness in the Jewish community by elevating the conversation around mental health and providing wilderness-based journeys of self-discovery, hope, and healing. BaMidbar’s programs use nature and adventure-based experiences as part of a therapeutic process that promotes emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness. Students explore meaning, values, and purpose through a Jewish lens, and programming increases open dialogue and decreases stigma around mental health and addiction in the broader Jewish community.  BaMidbar offers immersive and virtual therapeutic and educational programs for Jewish youth, young adults, and the community professionals who serve them.
  The Beloved Network believes that Jewish rituals and customs insist that Judaism must be practiced communally and that current Jewish communal structures need to evolve to meet this basic Jewish need for 21st-century lives. The Beloved Network is a partnership between seven young and innovative Jewish communities that aspire to transform how American Jews gather. Each Beloved Network community creates gathering spaces rooted in Jewish wisdom, places sacred relationships at the center, strives to enliven and align inner and outer transformation, and exists outside or adjacent to synagogues.
  The Center for Exploring Judaism (CEJ) aims to become a central address for those considering a Jewish blueprint for their lives, whether they were born Jewish or not. CEJ feels strongly that Jewish communities should welcome those seeking to explore Judaism, not only to provide necessary guidance, but also because Jewish tradition values welcoming the stranger. CEJ was originally a program of Central Synagogue in New York City, and is on the cusp of national expansion.
  Center for Small Town Jewish Life* (Colby College) cultivates transformational learning and a vibrant Jewish community rooted in the state of Maine. They envision a socially equitable, multigenerational, and geographically diverse Jewish world sustained by intentional collaboration. Based on the successful model in Maine, the Natan Fund is supporting the first stage of a national expansion to other rural communities.
  Jewish Baby Network (JBN) aims to create a world where families with babies and toddlers have meaningful Jewish experiences within their own families, with their friends, and in their communities, setting them up for lifelong Jewish engagement. JBN helps new parents make Jewish friends, learn how to incorporate Jewish practice into their lives, and connect with their local Jewish communities in a low-key, low-cost, and low-barrier way.
  Jewish Fertility Foundation (JFF)* provides financial assistance, educational programming, and emotional support to Jewish people with medical fertility challenges. JFF aims to help any person experiencing infertility feel supported and less isolated throughout their fertility journey regardless of religious background. The Natan Fund is the first funder to support its national expansion.
  Or HaLev: Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation aims to transform Jews, Judaism and the world through rigorous and authentic Jewish spiritual practice. Or HaLev creates open, immersive and transformational Jewish meditation retreats around the world. Natan’s grant supports expanding meaningful Jewish engagement in the United States through Virtual Jewish Mindfulness Programming which is geared toward bringing Judaism to life for a broad range of Jews in the United States, many of whom do not have access to experiences in their local community or have not found resonance in existing Jewish resources.
  Our Jewish Recovery* supports Jews in recovery, and their loved ones, and helps those impacted by addiction in the Jewish community find experience, strength, and hope. They train and partner with Jewish educators and institutions looking to understand addiction and bring additional recovery resources to their communities.
  JC MICROGRANTS

The Natan Fund, in partnership with the Center for Rabbinic Innovation, convened a group of young funders to support local efforts to address the challenges of the pandemic by reinventing the ways that Jewish communities are experiencing holidays, rituals, spirituality and connecting to one another. At the end of the process, our group decided to fund Temple Israel* in Cape Town, South Africa; Anshe Shalom* in Chicago, IL; Rodef Shalom* in Youngstown, OH; Makom* in Toronto, Canada; and Suburban Temple* in Beachwood, OH.

Natan Notable Books at the Jewish Book Council

In 2019, Natan and Jewish Book Council launched Natan Notable Books, a twice-yearly award for nonfiction books on Jewish themes. Natan Notable Books is a new iteration of what had previously been called the Natan Book Award.

Natan Notable Books brings Natan’s values of infusing Jewish life with creativity and meaning into the intellectual arena by supporting and promoting breakthrough books intended for mainstream audiences that will catalyze conversations around the issues that Natan grapples with in its grantmaking.

Natan Notable Book winners will receive a Natan Notable Book seal and $5,000 for the author, marketing/distribution coaching and promotion from Jewish Book Council and Natan, and customized support designed to bring the book and/or the author to new audiences.

The next submission deadline for Spring 2022 Natan Notable Books is April 1. For more information, click here.

 

Fall 2021 Natan Notable Books Winner:
People Love Dead Jews, Dara Horn 


Natan and the Jewish Book Council are thrilled to announce the Fall 2021 Natan Notable Book: Dara Horn’s People Love Dead Jews (W.W. Norton, 2021).

Natan Notable Books at the Jewish Book Council has previously been awarded to Bari Weiss’ How to Fight Anti-Semitism (2019), Susie Linfield’s The Lion’s Den (2019), Ilan Stavans’ The Seventh Heaven (2020) and Nancy Sinkoff’s From Left to Right (2020). Natan Notable Books is an evolution of the Natan Book Award, which was previously awarded to Matti Friedman’s Spies of No Country (2018) and Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land (2013).  Twice a year, Natan Notable Books recognizes recently published or about-to-be-published non-fiction books that promise to catalyze conversations aligned with the themes of Natan's grantmaking: reinventing Jewish life and community for the twenty-first century, shifting notions of individual and collective Jewish identity, the history and future of Israel, understanding and confronting contemporary forms of antisemitism, and the evolving relationship between Israel and world Jewry.

In People Love Dead Jews, Dara Horn confronts the version of Jewish history used by many that centers dead Jews above the lived and rich experiences and cultures of thriving Jewish life and communities. Traveling from Harbin, China to New Jersey, Horn explores representation across cultural mediums--film, theater, literature-- and the perception of Jews in history and today. The audaciously titled piece of work also addresses the ways in which Jews are encouraged and pushed into self-erasure within a non-Jewish society.  With Natan Fund’s commitment to both confronting antisemitism and creating new access points to Jewish life, People Love Dead Jews sheds a new light on longstanding conversations. 

“Dara Horn practically leaps at readers from the pages of People Love Dead Jews - forcefully reminding us that the way we remember dead Jews has bearing on our actions as living Jews,” says Daniel Bonner, Executive Director of the Paul E. Singer Foundation and member of Natan’s Notable Books Committee. “It’s provocative. It’s moving. It’s tragic. And it is an essential addition to the contemporary Jewish bookshelf.” 

The author will receive a $5,000 cash prize, as well as customized support for promoting the book and its ideas, drawing on Natan’s and Jewish Book Council’s extensive networks throughout the Jewish philanthropic and communal worlds.

The deadline for submission for Spring 2022 Natan Notable Books is April 1. For more information or to submit a title, go to https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/awards/natan-notable-books. Inquiries can be directed to natannotable@jewishbooks.org.

Natan Book Award Committee

Daniel Bonner
Jeremy Dauber
Frank Foer, co-chair
Felicia Herman 
Matthew Hiltzik
Jeffrey Goldberg 
Sarah Gould Steinhardt
Tali Rosenblatt-Cohen, co-chair
Michael Wigotsky

Advisory Committee 
Matti Friedman (2018 Natan Book Award winner)
Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic)
Ilana Kurshan (2018 Natan Book Award Finalist)
Alana Newhouse (Tablet)
Jim Loeffler (2018 Natan Book Award Finalist; University of Virginia)
Annie Polland (American Jewish Historical Society)
Judith Shulevitz (New York Times)

Previous Natan Notable Books Winners