Shalom Austin Jewish Foundation Awards First Community Grants

Shalom Austin Jewish Foundation Awards First Community Grants

Rabbi Daniel Septimus (Shalom Austin CEO), Gary Solka (Foundation Grants Committee), Barb Altman (Foundation Grants Committee Chair), Diane Radin (Jewish Foundation Cabinet Co-Chair), Michael Korn (Moishe House resident), David Stolear (Moishe House Resident). Credit: Dave Hawks

By Barb Altman

The Jewish Foundation of Austin and Central Texas, a branch of Shalom Austin, has a mission to serve as a center for Jewish philanthropy by partnering with donors and community organizations to fulfill their philanthropic goals and to sustain a vibrant and secure Jewish community now and in perpetuity.

The Jewish Foundation invited organizations to apply for its inaugural grant opportunity through the Jewish Community Endowment Fund. The purpose of the grant is to fund programs and projects that support or enhance the Jewish community of Austin and Central Texas. Grant requests were solicited in early fall and the Jewish Foundation grants committee reviewed a very competitive set of applications. The Foundation is pleased to award two inaugural community grants.

The first community grant has been awarded to Moishe House Austin. Opened in March 2015, Moishe House Austin serves as a center for Jewish life for young adults. The residents of the house in Central Austin design and lead Jewish activities for young adults in their 20s. These individuals are often new to Austin, having moved here for career opportunities, and Moishe House establishes a much needed connection to Jewish life for them. This grant will be used by Moishe House Austin to support Shabbat and holiday programming.

The second community grant has been awarded to Texas Hillel for their 10,000 Roses program. 10,000 Roses is the largest program of the year hosted by the White Rose Society, Texas Hillel’s genocide awareness group. During this daylong program around Holocaust Remembrance Day, students hand out 10,000 white roses on the University of Texas at Austin campus, symbolizing the number of people killed at Auschwitz every day. The society also hosts a speaker event focused on the themes of Holocaust remembrance and genocide awareness. The 10,000 Roses program is a very visible example of Jewish and non-Jewish students coming together to spread a message of love, acceptance and encouraging people to stand up to hate. ■

The Jewish Foundation Cabinet and Shalom Austin Board congratulate these grant recipients. For more information, please contact 512-735-8010 or foundation@shalomaustin.org.

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