The National Havurah Committee has a fund that gives micro grants!
About the fund: The NHC is dedicated to spreading its vision of egalitarian and participatory Jewish living and learning, community building, and tikkun olam. Many participants in the NHC Summer Institute and retreats bring ideas to these events that need support in order to make them happen. To that end, we developed an Innovation Fund.
The goal of the Innovation Fund’s annual micro-grantmaking process is to harness the creativity and energy of the Jewish community to create programs that will align with the NHC’s vision and mission, enhance Jewish learning and living across North America, and engage and develop Havurah community innovators and leaders.
If you have an idea for a new program to benefit your local community or the broader Jewish world, consider applying for an NHC Innovation Fund seed grant to help start it.
How to apply: Please submit a paragraph describing the project and a brief budget. Send applications to [email protected] by Sept. 6th. You can also email that address with questions about applying. We look forward to hearing about your ideas! See below for more info on the NHC and on successful Innovation Fund grantees from recent years.
About the NHCThe NHC was founded in 1980 to facilitate the activities of fellowships known as havurot and to spread havurah values and enthusiasm to the larger Jewish community, thereby serving as a model for revitalizing Jewish living and learning in North America. The NHC was organized following a successful conference at Rutgers University in July 1979 that brought together different groups that shared the name “havurah.” These included independent havurot that were formed as part of the counterculture of the 1960’s, synagogue havurot that were created within Reform and Conservative synagogues, and Reconstructionist congregations that considered themselves havurot. Though differently organized, havurot, now as then, share the mission of creating small communities in which all members participate in creating authentic and meaningful Jewish experiences. Independent havurot also tend to be non-denominational, egalitarian, and inclusive. Havurah leadership is generally shared by the members; havurot typically do not have professional rabbinic or spiritual leaders. The NHC’s signature program is Summer Institute (which is a ton of fun, and you should think about coming next year). Learn more about the NHC here.
Recent Innovation Fund grantees:

  • 2015 grantees
    • Albany Downtown Minyan (Albany) – returning an organized Jewish community to downtown Albany, New York for the first time in about 50 years
    • Altshul Beit Midrash (Brooklyn) – creating an ongoing intergenerational study program for the Altshul community
    • Generous Justice – renewing the Jewish practice of tithing, launching with a special leadership training at the 2015 NHC Summer Institute
    • Reclaiming Tradition Inclusive Shabbaton – bringing together young LGBTQ Jews who have been marginalized within Jewish community to foster reconnection with tradition and Jewish ritual around Shabbat
    • Arts Beit Midrash (Toronto) – bringing together participants for five unique sessions of creative exploration of the intersection between Judaism and artistic practice
    • Anachnu Survey Project – reaching out to Jews with disabilities about unmet needs, and teaching communities how to reduce barriers to participation and rebuild trust with disabled Jews who currently feel unwelcome
    • Detroit Jews for Justice (Detroit) – drawing from Jewish history, tradition, and culture to mobilize Jewish individuals and institutions to engage with communities in Metropolitan Detroit to work toward systemic changes for and with people of color, women, low-income workers, the unemployed, immigrants, LGBTQ and others affected by inequality
  • 2014 grantees
    • Jewish Climate Action Network 
(Boston) – connecting and organizing Jewish communities to respond to climate change
    • What’s Inside? (Chicago) – educational back-packs of materials and activities designed to engage families in exploring Jewish topics
    • Generous Justice (Brooklyn) – leadership training to support meaningful tzedakah-giving practices
    • Global Sofrot Conference – first public gathering of women Torah scroll scribes
    • Teen Beit Midrash
 (Boston) – high level youth Torah lishmah (Torah study for its own sake)
    • Sermon Slam (worldwide) – fun outlet for new and creative Torah
    • Havurat Shalom Machzor (Somerville, MA) – featuring masculine and feminine God and people language, and multiple metaphors for God