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Why Innovation Matters in Jewish Atlanta 

By March 13, 2023March 12th, 2024Federation Innovation

Innovation is essential in any field—workplaces, industries, and communities should constantly be evolving and trying new things, otherwise, they stagnate. Federation’s Innovation Fund is one vital tool that keeps Atlanta’s Jewish community striving toward the future.    

The Innovation Fund aims to identify gaps in Atlanta’s Jewish landscape and fill them in. Our community is constantly changing, and Innovation seeks to both give legacy organizations the freedom to explore creative solutions and help new groups begin their work.   

Samantha Kurgan, Federation’s Vice President of Innovation, says “When there is a need in our community, we work with individuals and institutions to fill that void. Several new organizations have been seeded with grant money from Innovation. We also make grants to existing institutions that want to try something new, like address a changing need in the community, or expand their scope of support. A grant from the Jewish Innovation Fund allows them to be creative and think outside the box.”  

Innovation applicants can choose to ask for a one-year grant for a special program, or ongoing support over a span of up to three years. The hope is that Innovation funding can help these organizations get started, as it did for Ma’alot, Atlanta Jews of Color Council, Jewish Kids Group, and Blue Dove Foundation. Innovation is proud to be part of their journey as they continue to grow and impact our community.   

Jewish Fertility Foundation is a past recipient of an Innovation allocation that used their grants to launch their organization and has now grown large enough to open chapters in other cities across the nation. And Innovation grants allowed national organizations like Tikkun Olam Makers, 18 Doors, Repair the World, and Trybal to open chapters in Atlanta.  

Samantha is extremely proud of the work Federation does to support exciting Jewish ideas. “We look for the risk takers, the people who look at the world and say, ‘What if?’ The Jewish Innovation Fund keeps Atlanta’s Jewish community on the cutting edge and invests in local talent—literally and figuratively. By putting our resources into the brilliant thinkers of tomorrow, we ensure that Jewish Atlanta’s brightest talents remain in Atlanta.” 

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