The Jewish Life program focuses on grants that contribute to the strengthening of communities and their leaders in North America and in Israel.
In North America, the Foundation supports the strengthening of emerging communities, particularly among younger Jewish Americans and between Jewish and Muslim Americans. In Israel, we support the strengthening of underserved communities, Jewish and Arab, with a focus on young Israelis.
We are interested in intentional communities – people in a face-to-face network of affinity and diversity, belonging, and meaning. These communities are activated by their leaders’ and participants’ Jewish values and engaged in sustained activity that deepens their commitment to being responsible for one another and to making a shared, positive difference in the world. Newly interpreting the traditional privileging of community in Jewish history and practice, such initiatives are a creative response to the unique circumstances of 21st-century life.
The Rothschild Cadets for Local Government trains talented young Israelis to work in Jewish and Arab municipalities in Israel’s periphery. The Cadets bring to these underserved municipalities their expertise in fields such as urban planning, public administration, and digitization, but also a commitment that comes from their sharing the background of those they are serving. 230 Cadets have participated in the program since 2011.
The Revson Foundation supports a one-year training program in affordable housing whose goal is to create a cohort of Cadets with the knowledge, access, and capacity to plan and implement feasible solutions to Israel’s housing crisis.
A component of the Revson grant was a 10-day “mobile workshop” in New York City, organized and led by the Citizens Housing Planning Council (CHPC). In June 2018, a group of 12 graduate Cadets participated in an immersive trip to learn on site about affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization. Cadets met with government and neighborhood experts to see community engagement and affordable housing finance in action, as they have been practiced in four NYC boroughs.
The Cadets left New York City with a profound understanding of the importance of community development and nonprofit and philanthropic involvement in housing policy and their practical implications for the Israeli context.