Leichtag Foundation Awards More Than $1 Million to Jerusalem NGOs through JFN Matching Grant Initiative

NEW YORK, April 29, 2014—The Leichtag Foundation, in partnership with the Jewish Funders Network, has awarded $1.12 million through a  matching grant initiative  designed  to increase  funding for Jerusalem-based NGOs that are devoted  to furthering cultural and social programs in  the Israeli capital.

JFN initiatives like these, which are unique in the funding world, use matching funds as an incentive to encourage new funders by matching first-time gifts made by JFN members or those joining JFN through the program.

“Funders, like the Leichtag Foundation, realize that achieving real impact demands that they not only fund specific programs, but also take a leadership role in the field as a whole,” said Andrés Spokoiny, JFN President and CEO. “This matching grant initiative has brought new money to Jerusalem, and enabled the emergence of a new cohort of funders that are energizing the city.”

In all, 26 NGOs will receive matching funds. The initiative matched gifts from 31 funders; 17 of whom were first-time funders. Eighteen of the matched funders were Israeli, accounting for 55 percent of the matching funds.

The Jerusalem matching grant initiative sought to fund NGOs that work to strengthen the fabric of civil society in the city and support Jerusalem’s future as a thriving hub of social entrepreneurship and activism. The grants will help:

  • Efforts to build grassroots change in Jerusalem and foster young activism.
  • Promote economic and social entrepreneurship
  • Cultivate the arts
  • Build a network of donors to ensure a more sustainable approach to funding in Jerusalem

 The Leichtag Foundation, based in Encinitas, Calif., awarded grants in two rounds. The first cohort of grantees and funders was selected last November, with the remainder chosen in March and April. One- and two-year grants ranged from$10,000 to $75,000.

“It was exciting to see how many funders were inspired by the activists and leaders who work so hard to renew and reinvigorate our beloved Jerusalem, a  city that is both ancient and thoroughly modern,” said Charlene Seidle, Leichtag’s Executive Vice President. “We were particularly gratified that more than half of funders matched were Israelis.”

NGOs receiving matching funds in round two are:  AMI (Artists and Musicians for Israel); Neshima (also a round-one grantee); Association of Friends of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens; Beit Midrash Elul; Ein Prat; Gesher; Hapoel Katamon; Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development’s Jewish Eco Seminars; Ir Amim (also a round-one grantee); Jerusalem Culture Unlimited; Jerusalem Season of Culture; Kaima Organic Farm; Kol Israel Haverim; Kolot; Pesher; Tene Yerushalmi ; The Sky is the Limit; Yad Eliezer; and Yesodot L’Tzimchah Dror.

About Jewish Funders Network

Jewish Funders Network is an international organization dedicated to maximizing the quality and impact of Jewish philanthropy. Our members include independent philanthropists, foundation trustees, and foundation professionals. An overall goal of the organization is to expand Jewish giving and giving through a Jewish lens. Membership is open to individuals and foundations that give away at least $25,000 annually in philanthropic dollars, and do so through the lens of Jewish values. For information about JFN, please visit www.jfunders.org.

About the Leichtag Foundation

Max "Lee" Leichtag and his wife, Andre “Toni” Leichtag, founded the Leichtag Family Foundation in 1991. Today, the Leichtag Foundation, based in Encinitas, California, focuses on combating poverty and increasing self-sufficiency for residents of coastal North County; supporting and inspiring vibrant Jewish life in coastal North County; stimulating renewal, service, and social activism in Jerusalem, Israel; and building strong connections and relationships between San Diego and Israel. From the Foundation’s inception in 1991 through March 2014, Leichtag grants total almost $90 million to projects and programs in North County San Diego, Jerusalem, and around the world. For information about the Leichtag Foundation, please visit www.leichtag.org.