Jewish Life & Learning Department
New Initiative Seed Money

Request for Proposals

The Department of Jewish Life & Learning of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh seeks to fund new initiatives that help advance the department's goal of maximizing the number of Jewish Pittsburghers engaged in meaningful Jewish learning and experiences.  

Grantees are asked to provide name recognition of the Jewish Life & Learning Department of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh on all marketing materials. If you have questions about the application process, please email Rabbi Amy Bardack, Director of Jewish Life & Learning, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, at abardack@jfedpgh.orgor Shelly Parver, Planning Manager, Jewish Education & Continuity, at 412-992-5207 or

The Jewish Life & Learning Department has made available $15,000 for New Initiative Seed Money grants. Applicants can apply for up to $3,000 per project per fiscal year. Applications for repeat funding will be entertained. Funds are awarded on a rolling basis.   
Eligible new initiatives must: 

  • Provide direct learning or experience to adults in the Pittsburgh Jewish community* (i.e. not a consultant or professional development)
  • Be backed by a tax-exempt organization (i.e. 501c3) status, or in partnership with such an organization (projects created by individuals who have a pass-through funding relationship with a tax-exempt organization are permitted)

The Department is especially open to new initiatives that:

  • Utilize a model that is research-based
  • Have not been done before in Pittsburgh
  • Serve a community that is currently under-served by existing institutions
  • Bring together Jews from various affiliations and communities 
  • Demonstrate potential to grow into an ongoing and meaningful program 
  • Are created and owned by more than one person or organization, or are grassroots

How to Apply

Create an applicant profile and invite collaborators to do the same. Then, take the eligibility quiz and select the Jewish Life & Learning Seed Money opportunity. Your application should include

  • Goals of the new initiative
  • Target Audience
  • How the new initiative would be implemented
  • How achievement of goals will be measured
  • Leadership of the new initiative 
  • If your new initiative does not receive the full amount of funding requested will you be able to conduct it?

Applicants should also upload or submit:

  • Budget, including:
    • Total cost of the new initiative
    • Other organizations or corporations that have committed funding for this project, if any
  • Implementation timeline

Previously funded projects:

  • Kulam: Community Beit Midrash
  • ShpielBurgh: “Hadassah” Purim Shpiel
  • Chabad House on Campus: Shabbat 1,000


* Other grant opportunities through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh are available for innovative programming for families, kids, and teens. See for details.