Frequently Asked Questions

The Bronfman alumni community is composed of an exceptional group of adults. Through their personal and professional pursuits, our alumni exhibit their commitment to the core values of the program: Jewish learning, pluralism, engagement with Israel and social responsibility. The Alumni Venture Fund enables the alumni community to support their peers with funding and technical assistance.

 

Any member of the The Bronfman Fellowship alumni community can apply for an Alumni Venture Fund grant. Eligible projects for funding are those where alumni are responsible, either wholly or in part, for the project’s success. Projects will be considered if they seek to promote the Bronfman Fellowship mission and values of Jewish learning, pluralism, engagement with Israel, social responsibility or a combination of these core values. Any project related to political engagement must be non-partisan.

Since 2005, the alumni community has supported over 160 alumni projects through the Alumni Venture Fund. Projects that meet the funding criteria have included community service programs, support for innovative Jewish communities, conferences, publications, and grants to alumni-led not-for-profit organizations for specific programs.

Some past grantees include Kavod House in Boston, a center for social action and creative Jewish study and life; Voices of Rwanda, an organization that films testimonies of the survivors of genocide; the Jerusalem Bayit, a residential project in Jerusalem whose participants engage in Jewish study and community service; and a number of alternative minyanim and study groups in Boston, Denver, New York, Seattle, Toronto and Washington DC.

 

The Alumni Venture Fund is intended to:

  • Provide an opportunity for alumni to support other alums as leaders.
  • Identify alumni-organized and supported projects that perpetuate the 4 four pillars of the Bronfman mission: Jewish learning, pluralism, engagement with Israel, and social responsibility.
  • Link alumni to one another. Alumni can provide capacity building support and best practice experience to enhance the overall impact of each funded project.

 

For alumni leading established organizations and projects, funding from the Alumni Venture Fund is a great way to access capacity building support from the rest of the alumni community. The Bronfman Fellowship works to promote grantees’ work, assisting with public relations efforts. In fact, many grantees have leveraged their funding from the Alumni Venture Fund to apply for additional grants from other established foundations. The Alumni Venture Fund also enables alumni with great ideas and solid plans to initiate and lead small projects with high impact.

All funds distributed come from the portion of the fellowship’s general operating budget that is supported by Bronfman Fellowship alumni and their families during our annual fundraising campaign.

For more information about the Bronfman Fellowship budget, visit our fundraising FAQ.

Beginning in 2017, you can apply for one of two funding levels, a $250 grant or a $1000 grant. While it is possible that an exceptional project can be awarded more than $1000, grants should not apply if a grant of $1000 would be too small to have an impact.

The grantmaking decisions are made by a group of alumni from North American and Israel called the AVF Grantmaking Team. Many of these alumni are members of the North American Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) and the Israeli Vaad (board). Each year there is an open call for other alumni to join the AVF Grantmaking Team. 

If you would like to join the AVF Grantmaking Team, email Aaron Steinberg (aaron@byfi.org). If you are interested in joining the AAB, contact the AAB President, Ryder Kessler (ryder@byfi.org).

 

The members of the AVF Grantmaking Team base their grant decisions using the following overall criteria:

  • Alignment with the Bronfman Fellowship mission – does the project reflect a commitment to one or more of the values articulated in the mission statement?
  • Impact of project – how will the project make a difference?
  • Innovation – is this project unique?
  • Does it bring new ideas to a wider audience? - What is the level of involvement of Bronfman alumni as leaders and participants?

 

The grant application deadline is in September/October of each year.

Please visit www.bronfman.org/alumniventurefund for exact dates as they are announced.

 

Please contact Aaron Steinberg, Deputy Director (aaron@byfi.org).

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