Applying Jewish Wisdom

to Democracy

and Civic Engagement

The Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom celebrates innovative applications of particular Jewish wisdom to universal human questions.


We believe that the ever-accumulating body of Jewish wisdom offers inspiration and guidance to help people—Jews and fellow travelers—navigate life’s big questions, from how to be a good parent, partner, consumer, and citizen, to how to manage the struggles life throws our way, and much more.

 

This year, we are seeking social-impact organizations that have an existing program or the seed of a new idea to apply Jewish wisdom to support democracy and civic engagement. We are interested in learning about creative applications of our ancient tradition to nurturing and sustaining democracy in the 21st century.

 

This is not a partisan question. We are looking for solutions to the challenges facing democracy writ large (e.g., How might we foster respect for viewpoint diversity?  How might we encourage broader participation in the political process?), not to advance any particular political agenda. Today more than ever, we want to focus on the common questions we share, not the ones that divide us.

AWARD DETAILS

We'll award up to

$150,000

in Prizes

Established programs are eligible for awards of

$30,000

New ideas are eligible for awards of

$15,000

In addition to providing project funds, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah will promote your work to key audiences and provide access to non-monetary support that advances the sustainability and growth of your efforts.

Timeline

Organizations submitted applications from October 22 through November 30, 2018.

 

A subset of applicants were invited to submit a second, more detailed application in December. Winners will be publicly announced on March 18, 2019, 5:15-6:15PM PDT at the Jewish Funders Network Conference in San Francisco.

Informational Webinar

 

An informational for prospective applicants was held on Thursday, November 1, 2018. You can view a recording of the webinar by clicking the link below.

WEBINAR RECORDING

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications closed November 30 at 3pm EST.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

Each application was reviewed by at least three external reviewers according to the following criteria:

Application of Jewish Wisdom

Relevance to this year’s Prize focus on democracy and civic engagement

Originality

Impact (or, in the case of new ideas, potential for impact)

Scalability and adaptability

 

Successful applicants reflected respect for the idea that Jewish texts, teachings, history, culture, ritual, and practices lend themselves to multiple legitimate interpretations and applications.

 

The Established Programs and New Ideas that received the highest scores from the external reviewers advanced to the Semi-Finalist round. From that group, members of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah Board and representatives from our funding partners selected Finalists. A distinguished and diverse panel of judges then chose the winners from the Finalists. These winners will be announced March 18, 2019, 5:15-6:15PM PDT at the Jewish Funders Network Conference in San Francisco.



Reviewers

  • Adam Simon

    Aviv Foundation

  • Alison McWilliams

    Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation

  • Aimee Weiss

    Maimonides Fund

  • Dr. Ari Y. Kelman

    Stanford Graduate School of Education

  • Ben Binswanger

    Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation

  • Brenda Bodenheimer Zlatin

    Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation

  • Rabbi Dr. Dan Judson

    Hebrew College

  • Rabbi Gabi Weinberg

    The Tikvah Fund

  • Isaac Luria

    Nathan Cummings Foundation

  • Jaré Akchin

    Circle of Service Foundation

  • Dr. Jon A. Levisohn

    Brandeis University

  • Jonathan Gruber

    Einhorn Family Charitable Trust

  • Jonathan Horowitz

    The Klarman Family Foundation

  • Rabbi Dr. Joshua Feigelson

    The University of Chicago Divinity School

  • Lesley Said Matsa

    Crown Family Philanthropies

  • Dr. Meredith Woocher

    Rosov Consulting

  • Dr. Shaul Kelner

    Vanderbilt University

  • Shayna Rose Triebwasser

    Righteous Persons Foundation

  • Stefanie Rhodes

    Slingshot

  • Stephanie Rapp

    Walter & Elise Haas Fund

  • Todd Sukol

    Mayberg Foundation

  • Rabbi Dr. Vanessa Ochs

    University of Virginia

  • Will Schneider

    Harold Grinspoon Foundation



Judges

  • Andrés Spokoiny

    Jewish Funders Network

  • Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson

    The Wexner Foundation

  • Rabbi Dr. David Ellenson

    Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

  • Jane Eisner

    The Forward

  • Dr. Jonathan Sarna

    Brandeis University

  • Lisa Eisen

    Charles and Lynn Shusterman Foundation

  • Yascha Mounk

    Johns Hopkins University

FAQ

  • Who can submit an entry for a Lippman Kanfer Prize?

    Any U.S-based 501(c)(3) or fiscally-sponsored organization, including current grantees of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, may submit and established program or new idea for consideration. Political action committees, 501(c)(4) organizations, and programs currently funded by our foundation are ineligible for the Prize.

  • What do you mean by “Applied Jewish Wisdom”?

    We use the phrase "Applied Jewish Wisdom" to refer to the application of particular Jewish wisdom to universal human questions. We believe that the ever-accumulating body of Jewish wisdom offers inspiration and guidance to help people—Jews and fellow travelers—navigate life’s big questions, from how to be a good parent, partner, consumer, and citizen, to how to manage the struggles life throws our way, and much more.

  • Who is funding this Prize?

    The Lippman Kanfer Prize is sponsored by Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah with support from Democracy Fund.

  • How much will be awarded in Prize money?

    This year, we’ll award up to $150,000 in prize money. Established programs will be eligible for awards of $30,000 and new ideas will be eligible for awards of $15,000.

  • In addition to the cash award, what will the Prize winners receive?

    In addition to providing project funds, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah will promote your work to key audiences and provide access to non-monetary support that advances the sustainability and growth of your efforts.

  • What is the deadline for applying?

    The deadline for applications was November 30, 2018 at 3pm EST. A subset of applicants were invited to submit a second, more detailed application in December.

  • Is this part of a particular political agenda?

    The Prize is non-partisan. Political action committees and 501(c)(4) organizations are ineligible for the Prize.

     

    We are interested in learning about creative applications of our ancient tradition to nurturing and sustaining democracy in the 21st century. We are looking for solutions to the challenges facing democracy writ large (e.g., How might we foster respect for viewpoint diversity? How might we encourage broader participation in the political process?), not for any particular political agenda. Today more than ever, we want to focus on the common questions we share, not the ones that divide us.

  • Are international projects eligible?

    We are seeking projects working specifically on civic engagement and democracy in the United States.

  • When will the winners be announced?

    Winners will be publicly announced on March 18, 2019, 5:15-6:15PM PST at the Jewish Funders Network Conference in San Francisco.

  • To whom should I direct my questions?

    We invited all interested applicants to attend an informational webinar on November 1 at 12pm EDT for more details. If you have additional questions, email us at prize@lippmankanfer.org.

  • Can an organization submit more than one application?

    Yes, an organization may submit two applications; one application for the new ideas category, and one application for the established programs category.

HISTORY

The inaugural Lippman Kanfer Prize celebrated applications of Jewish wisdom in all areas of life and received over 200 applications from a diverse array of organizations. The 2016 Prize winners were announced at the Jewish Futures Conference.

 

2016 Winners

About Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah

Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah encourages and supports endeavors to help people —Jews and fellow travelers— access and apply Jewish wisdom to live better lives and shape a better world. In other words, we apply particular Jewish wisdom to universal human questions.  We also continue the Lippman Kanfer family’s commitment to strengthening the ecosystem for innovation in the Jewish community and to the pursuit of justice. For more information, visit www.lkflt.org.

About Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. For more information, visit www.democracyfund.org.

prize@lippmankanfer.org

Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah encourages and supports endeavors to help people —Jews and fellow travelers— access and apply Jewish wisdom to live better lives and shape a better world. In other words, we apply particular Jewish wisdom to universal human questions.  We also continue the Lippman Kanfer family’s commitment to strengthening the ecosystem for innovation in the Jewish community and to the pursuit of justice. For more information, visit www.lkflt.org.

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. For more information, visit www.democracyfund.org.

  • We invite all interested applicants to attend an informational webinar on November 1 at 12pm EDT for more details. If you have additional questions, email us at prize@lippmankanfer.org.