This week, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network launched an exciting new initiative called #MakeItHappen. Put simply, they are offering micro grants to individuals for creative Jewish-related events or projects. As part of their rollout, they offered us a fantastic opportunity to show just how easy this can be—10 additional grants for ideas by Tablet staff, contributors and friends. (The project is designed to help individual Jews with their grassroots ideas—which means the individual idea generators, and not Tablet as an organization, receives the micro grants personally.)
The submissions were even better than we anticipated, as you can see from the winners below. In fact, the Schusterman folks were so jazzed by the initial ideas that they’ve now offered to give everyone else a bite at the apple, too—by supporting at least three ideas submitted by Tablet readers. To enter yours, fill out the form here—and be sure to select “Specific Organization” in the drop-down menu under “Where Did You Hear About Us?” and write in “Tablet Magazine” in the field to its right.
1. Mothers in the Bible Talk to Wichi Mothers
By: Mirta Kupferminc
There is a group of natives in Argentina, known as the Wichis, who organize their communities as matriarchies. I’d like to create an artistic installation on the subject of mothers in the bible using the textiles made by the Wichi mothers, which would serve as a dialogue between our two cultures. This would work as a community project in a Jewish art department school, for which I will bring in Wichi mothers to meet the students, and we will with their textiles produce the artwork on the Jewish text.
2. 10 Tips for Creating a Jewish Community on Your Military Base
By: Alison Buckholtz
A downloadable PDF free to military websites, Jewish publications and websites, and the Jewish Welfare Board’s Jewish Chaplains Council (which oversees Jewish chaplains in the U.S. military). It would include a paragraph about my experience being part of and building Jewish communities on military bases in Japan and Washington State, and each of the 10 tips would be followed by a paragraph elaborating how to seek out resources, create events, pursue options for rental space on base, and work with non-Jewish military chaplains.
3. The New-Old Israeli cuisine, Shared Over Shabbat
By: Irin Carmon, MSNBC Writer and Host
4. Thanksgivukkah Mash-up
By: Ben Samuels and Alana Newhouse
For the theatrical families among us: This holiday won’t come around again for another 70,000 years, so we might as well make the most of it. We’ll develop an easy-to-act-out script of a mash-up of the two holidays’ traditional storylines—one of war, one of peace.
5. Berkeley Minyan*
By: Raphael Magarik (Dorot Fellowship alum, Bronfman Fellowship alum)
As a new, high-energy, and young Jewish communal house in Berkeley, California, we are beginning a monthly Kabbalat Shabbat minyan. Services are traditional, egalitarian, dance-friendly, and open to the community, followed by a vegetarian kosher potluck dinner. This grant would fund siddurim, benchers, chairs, and other supply costs (shabbat candles, serving bowls, etc.).
6. Tu Bishvat Seder + Chekhov
B: Yoni Oppenheim, Co-Artistic Director, 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company
On Tu Bishvat, 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company will host “TuBishVanya,” a Tu Bishvat Seder that stimulates audience’s intellect, emotions, taste buds, and soul, by blending the traditional liturgy, discussion ands of the Seder with a performance of Chekhov’s environment-themed classic Uncle Vanya.
7. Hasidic Kugel
By: Menachem Butler
As New Yorkers, many of us imagine we understand Hasidic Jews. But in fact, Hasidim come from a wide variety of different sects—each of which has its own traditions and customs. As a way of bringing together secular and religious New Yorkers—and teaching each of them about the other—I want to host a kugel party with the food selections coming from a dozen different Hasidic sects in the New York area.
8. R&B Shabbat
By: Risa Wallach
To create a list of, and possibly sheet music for, contrafacts of R&B tunes for “Lecha Dodi” and “Adon Olam”—“Lecha Dodi” to “Ma Cherie Amour” by Stevie Wonder; “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”/“Adon Olam;” “Isn’t She Lovely,” Stevie Wonder/“Lecha Dodi;” and more.
9. Pittsburgh Kosher Cured Meat Fest
By: Peter Braasch
Here in Pittsburgh, we do not have a kosher meat restaurant and local access to high quality kosher meats is limited. Our Kosher Cured Meat Fest will demonstrate that there is room for kosher palate adventure here in the Burgh. The focus will be on kosher meats/cuts that make good salamis and other types of cured meat. Have samples to taste and demonstrations on how to cure kosher meats. Emphasis on both the science of how to do this safely and art of balancing appropriate fat content (kosher cuts, animal options), salting, spicing and drying to get amazing cured meats at home.
10. Pop-Up Kosher Szechuan
By: Mia Scharphie
Kosher restaurants (in most cities besides New York City and Paris) are notorious for being mediocre in terms of taste and ambiance. We are a foodie + a designer, teaming up to create a ‘pop-up’ restaurant in Boston demonstrating that it’s possible to marry stellar kosher food, good design and great people. Our first meal, funded by the microgrant will feature Szechuan cuisine (with real heat) and a guest list of young Jews in Boston from different social networks. We’ll treat the pop-up as a beta test for a new mode of contemporary, urban kosher dining.
*This idea was retracted, by its submitter, after publication.