SRE Network Announces $365k in Grants to Build the Capacity of Safety, Respect, and Equity Efforts in Jewish Nonprofit Sector
January 10, 2024 — SRE Network (Safety, Respect, Equity) announced $365,000 in grants to eight organizations in the Jewish nonprofit sector to help build their organizational capacity to prevent harassment and discrimination and support healthy, thriving workplaces and communal spaces.
As highlighted by the 2023 Leading Edge State of the Jewish Workplace report, improving employees’ sense of belonging is vital to employee engagement, performance, retention, and satisfaction – and ultimately, organizational success. As such, SRE is proud to fund a slate of grantees focused on propelling gender equity and culture change efforts across North America’s Jewish communal sector.
“These grantees reflect SRE's ongoing commitment to advance a Jewish communal landscape where safety, respect, and equity efforts are properly resourced to support long-term, transformative change.” says Shaina Wasserman, SRE Network’s Interim Executive Director and Senior Director of Strategic Operations, “Through this year’s grantmaking efforts, we believe Jewish communities will be strengthened, more cohesive, experience healing, and have deeper trust in each other, their institutions, and leaders.”
For this round of competitive grants, SRE Network received more than 35 applications from SRE member organizations. The Grants Review Committee was charged with the difficult job of selecting the opportunities where an investment has the potential to scale and serve as a model for the wider community. Grant recipients reflect a range of geographic diversity, organizational size, and denominational affiliation.
“We are so honored to have been selected as one of SRE Network’s fall grantees, and are grateful for their investment in Avodah’s mission to foster an environment of respect, connection, and belonging.” says Avodah CEO Cheryl Cook, “Our shared commitment to safety, respect, and equity efforts is paving the way for a more vibrant Jewish nonprofit sector.”
Over the past six years, SRE has invested over $6M through its grantmaking, technical assistance, and partnerships. In 2023, SRE is proud to have invested more than $1M across 17 organizations through its fall grants cycle, renewal grants, and strategic grants. SRE will begin accepting applications for its 2024 field building grants cycle from its members and affiliates in the coming month.
SRE Network’s fall 2023 grant recipients and their work are:
Avodah’s mission is firmly rooted in creating a more just and equitable world by developing new generations of social justice leaders informed by Jewish values and who inspire the Jewish community.
Through a one-year grant, Avodah will create salary bands and strengthen salary transparency that will help address pay disparities. Avodah management and the Avodah union will work in partnership to develop and roll out a new equitable compensation structure framework for all staff.
The Cantors Assembly (CA) is the largest professional organization of Cantors in the world, comprising approximately 600 colleagues worldwide, concentrated primarily in North America.
Through a one-year grant, the Cantors Assembly will embark on a multi-session training with Ta’amod to create organizational behavioral standards.
Habonim Dror North America
Habonim Dror North America (HDNA) is a youth-led Progressive Labor Zionist movement whose mission includes creating Jewish leaders who will actualize the principles of social justice, equality, peace and coexistence in Israel and North America. HDNA runs summer camps and programs across Canada, the United States, and Israel.
Over the course of two-years, HDNA will continue its focus on training its staff and leaders to build a more respectful and equitable culture. HDNA will create an internal network of anti-racist trainers in partnership with Jews of color (JOC), anti-racist educators and subsequently implement anti-racist trainings and policies.
IKAR is an LA-based faith community whose mission is to reanimate Jewish life and develop a spiritual and moral foundation for a just and equitable society. Fusing piety and hutzpah, obligation, and inspiration, IKAR is a dynamic, multi-generational community that fosters a yearning for personal, purposeful, creative engagement in Jewish life, particularly among young and disaffected Jews.
With a one-year grant, IKAR will expand its commitment to creating more welcoming and equitable workplaces and communal spaces by hosting internal anti-racism workshops, consulting with DEI experts, and providing educational opportunities for non-Jewish identifying staff.
Leading Edge is an organization dedicated to helping Jewish organizations improve their workplace culture and leadership so that they can better achieve their missions. Leading Edge also supports professionals and board leaders in the Jewish nonprofit sector with ideas, connections, experiences, and tools.
Through a one-year grant, Leading Edge will strengthen psychological safety within the organization by developing strong systems for two-way feedback and fostering belonging across multiple measures of difference such as gender, power, and marginalized identities.
The Rabbinical Assembly
The Rabbinical Assembly (RA) is the international association of Conservative rabbis, with 1,600 member Rabbis, worldwide.
Through a one-year grant, the RA will implement phase two of the key recommendations from their field partner Sacred Spaces to improve their ethics processes and practices.
Sixth & I
Sixth & I is a center for arts, entertainment, ideas, and Jewish life in Washington, DC, inspiring more meaningful and fulfilling lives through an unexpected mix of experiences that embrace the multi-faceted identities of those it serves. Sixth & I reimagines how culture, community, and Jewish life can enhance people’s everyday lives.
With a one-year grant, Sixth & I will support its internal Change Team’s ongoing efforts to shift the organization’s workplace culture, practice, and policies to better align with their mission through a lens of racial equity.
The Youngstown Area Jewish Federation
The Youngstown Area Jewish Federation is the central organization established to foster the welfare of the entire Jewish community of Youngstown, Ohio. It coordinates and plans for the future of the community and plays an instrumental role in providing for the social welfare, cultural, programmatic, recreational and fundraising needs of the region.
Through a one-year grant, the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation will develop a new series of workshops and trainings to close the gender gap and deepen a sense of belonging, psychological safety, empathy, accountability, and dignity for all employees.
SRE Network promotes Jewish workplaces and communal spaces in becoming safe, respectful, and equitable through network building, resource sharing, and community investments. As a network of over 175 Jewish organizations, we are working towards a Jewish communal landscape where people are free from abuse, engage one another with dignity, and are treated fairly. Learn more at: www.srenetwork.org.
SRE has invested over $6 million over 5 years in grants and supports to advance safety, respect, and equity with a focus on gender justice. For a comprehensive list of projects SRE has funded, please click here.