The Associated Joins #MakeItHappen Campaign

December 12, 2013
BY Marc Shapiro

121313_makeithappenTen Jewish Baltimoreans will get a head start on impacting the Jewish community, thanks to a grant program from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

The #MakeItHappen campaign will award up to 50 ideas around the world micro-grants of $1,000 through January 2014. Some ideas have been awarded grants already, as this campaign started in October.

Thanks to a partnership with The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, $10,000 has been allotted for 10 ideas in the Baltimore Jewish community, and another $5,000 for sister cities Odessa and Ashkelon.

“Based on our local study and the Pew study, we need to create more opportunities to enable members of the Jewish community who have creative ideas,” said Michael Hoffman, chief planning and strategy officer at The Associated.

Ideas that have already been awarded money include a pop-up Jewish deli during Passover on a college campus in rural Illinois, a poetry slam for sermons, interfaith Jewish/Muslim nutrition workshops for women in Boston and a tribute concert to Jewish rock musicians, among others.

Submissions are being accepted until Jan. 15. For Baltimore, the Schusterman Foundation will pass on ideas from the area, and a committee will select the winners.

Hoffman said promoting innovation and incubation in the Jewish community fits perfectly with The Associated’s mission.

“This is a way to start to collaborate with some of the grassroots, non-institutional groups,” he said.

The #MakeItHappen website lists 20 ideas submitted by Marylanders, which include a family homework night, a Lego model of the Holy Temple and a planetarium show that explores the relationship between astronomy and religion.

“There are a lot of people out there with really good ideas,” Hoffman said.

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