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Spark Note: Learn About Our New 2020 Grants!

By January 29, 2020March 10th, 2023JumpSpark

Let us help you build the future for Jewish Atlanta you want to see.

Kelly Cohen, JumpSpark Director

Since 2019, JumpSpark has strategically invested over $300,000 in the Atlanta Jewish teen community through Spark Grants, launching nine new teen programs and supporting the growth and development of six existing programs. Through these efforts JumpSpark grantees have reached hundreds of Jewish teens in our community providing high-level educational and engagement experiences. See past Spark Grant recipients ›

This year JumpSpark is doubling our bet on the Atlanta Jewish community and plans to invest $600,000 in programs that make a difference in the lives of Jewish teens and those who impact them. Our 2020 grant cycle includes three new types of grants to give more opportunities to a variety of programs, organizations, and individuals to apply.

Spark R&D Grants

As an Innovation Initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, JumpSpark is committed to meeting the needs of teens today by supporting organizations to take risks and try something new. JumpSpark’s new Spark R&D Grants provide up to $25,000 to an organization or professional to research and develop new models of teen engagement and education. If the Atlanta Jewish community wants to meet the needs of teens today, the conditions must be created to allow organizations to take risks and try something new.

Drawing on the inspiration of Jewish Federation of North America’s FedLab, these grants ask grantees to “Discover, Define, Explore + Build and Plan + Act.” Funding can be used to support staffing, professional development and program creation and design. JumpSpark is specifically interested in funding new models in engagement, support, education and leadership development.

Teen Thriving Grants

JumpSpark’s new Teen Thriving Grants are a two-year initiative aimed at making an investment in the well-being and development of our Jewish teens. With anxiety and depression on the rise, and the world that teens are living in growing increasingly scary, our youth serving organizations must have the resources to be the first line of support for our teens.

These grants seek to answer the questions posed in the Gen Z Now Study done by the Jewish Education Project, which asks, “What would it mean for organizations to see teen well-being as central to their mandate, perhaps even the primary goal of their mission and how do we create a culture that helps those who work with teens become the trusted adults who teens need, working together to support teen flourishing? “

The Teen Thriving Grant will provide a full subsidy (travel and tuition) for one professional to attend the Jewish Education Project’s Thriving Retreat 2020 and additional grant funding up to $5,000 for Community Partners to build teen wellness support into their organizational structure. These funds can be used for additional professional development for teen serving staff, the inclusion of mental health professionals in the planning and running of teen events and/or direct programming for teens through speakers and workshops.

Navigating Parenthood Grants

As JumpSpark’s Navigating Parenthood Series moves into its 3rd year, the program continues to grow and thrive. With workshops, panels and films, Navigating Parenthood has equipped parents with the network and resources to raise thriving Jewish teens. JumpSpark’s new Navigating Parenthood grants are a two-year initiative to grow impact by providing funds for communities to bring speakers, workshops and support for parents in their home communities, which will help build a strong Jewish future through a networked and resourced parent community.

Parents are an essential component to an engaged and healthy Jewish teen population. The data shows that Jewish beliefs and practices are closely linked with family in the hearts and minds of teens. Being Jewish is not simply a religious or ethnic practice but also an expression of family bonds. Teens today enjoy spending time with their family and often look to their parents to help them make sense of the world.

Our Jewish community must learn from this data and recognize parent’s important role in the lives of teens and strive to meet their needs and address their challenges. Just as we must dedicate time and resources to the wellness of teens, we must do the same for parents and caregivers of teens in our community. Parenting teens today is hard, and parents are looking for supportive community and guidance.   

With funding up to $2,000 per Community Partner, a community could create one large event, a series of smaller events and classes or think innovatively about additional resources and events for parents of teens. JumpSpark staff is available to help develop these opportunities in partnership which will help build a strong Jewish future through a networked and resourced parent community.

JumpSpark connects the community and collaborates to create more defining moments for Jewish teens in Atlanta, and our Spark Grants provide funding and support for those with big ideas to invest in Atlanta’s Jewish teen community. We don’t simply stop with funding. Recipients of Spark Grants are those with a plan for community involvement and advancement with whom we build relationships and work together to make the biggest impact possible on Jewish teens and those in their sphere. – K.C.

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