Apply for The Prize


The Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom has been created to encourage, recognize and reward programs that engage individuals and communities in applying Jewish wisdom in exemplary, creative, and impactful ways. We hope, too, that the collection of profiled programs and visionary practitioners represented by our Semi-finalists will inspire others to ask and answer: how can applied Jewish wisdom change my life and community?


Any 501c3 or fiscally sponsored organization can submit an entry. Organizations can submit up to three programs for consideration; programs that are the collaboration of two or more organizations count as a submission for each organization (although any prize awarded would be shared). Programs must be in operation; idea stage submissions are not eligible. Organizations who are current or past grantees of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah are welcome to submit entries, as are organizations who have unsuccessfully sought funding from the foundation previously.

If you have questions about your eligibility, please email us at

Categories and Criteria

The prize for applied Jewish wisdom will be given in two categories:

  1. Local/Regional programs
  2. National/International programs (international organizations must have a strong operating presence in the United States to be considered)

In each category there will be one winner receiving an $18,000 award and two runners-up, receiving awards of $6,000 each. The cash awards will be given to the organization or institution mounting the program, with recognition where appropriate to the individual or individuals responsible for the program.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Originality Is the program breaking new ground in terms of the population being reached, the Jewish wisdom being accessed, the methods being used, or in some other way?
  • Creativity in using Jewish wisdom Is Jewish wisdom being applied in ways that are especially engaging or otherwise noteworthy?
  • Program scope Is the program reaching or does it have the potential to reach a substantial population?
  • Evidence of quality Is there evidence that the program is well-run, that materials used are of high quality, and that the personnel delivering the program are skilled in doing so?
  • Evidence of impact on participants Is there evidence that participants are deriving value from the program and that it is fostering changes in knowledge, skills, beliefs, values, and/or behavior?
  • Contribution to the field Does the program have the potential to advance the state of the art in applying Jewish wisdom? Has it influenced other programs or practitioners?
  • Inclusivity Does the program reflect the mindset that expressions of Jewish wisdom found in Jewish texts, teachings, and practices lend themselves to multiple legitimate interpretations and applications?

The Prize winners will be selected by a jury consisting of representatives of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah and other distinguished educators, communal, and philanthropic leaders.

Who can submit an entry for a prize?

Any 501c3 or fiscally sponsored organization can submit an entry. Submissions will be made online using a form that will be available on the Prize website. Organizations can submit up to three programs for consideration.

What is applied Jewish wisdom?

We use the term “Jewish wisdom” to refer to the accumulating body of teaching and practice embodied in Jewish texts, traditions, history, and the lived experience of Jews today. This wisdom can be a profound source of inspiration and guidance for individuals and communities seeking to live purposeful, fulfilling, and responsible lives…when it is accessed, internalized, wrestled with, and, yes, applied.

What areas of applied Jewish wisdom will be included?

The prize can be given for programs in any area of Jewish life where Jewish teaching and practice are being used to help participants live better lives and shape a better world. This includes applying Jewish wisdom to enhance personal growth, spiritual development, family life, business and professional activity, community life, society and economy, and the environment.

Is there more to the initiative than just the prize?

Yes. A central element of the initiative is providing a platform for collecting and sharing many examples of applied Jewish wisdom in action. The Prize website will feature curated descriptions of the projects submitted by applicants for the prizes and, where appropriate, videos, materials used in the projects, and first-hand accounts of participants in order to provide rich portraits of the diverse work being done today in applying Jewish wisdom.

In addition to the cash award, what will the Prize winners and runners-up receive?

In addition to the cash award, the Prize recipients will be featured on the Prize website and will receive support from Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah to participate in relevant conferences and gatherings where they can share their program model and learnings. The 2016 Prize will be awarded in conjunction with a conference on applying Jewish wisdom to be held in New York in December. Prize winners will be invited to participate in the conference and in a smaller invitational gathering held in conjunction with the conference.

What if I am a local organization that’s part of a larger one? Who should apply for what?

We’re thrilled that you’re part of an applied Jewish wisdom effort at multiple levels! For programs where you are one of several local organizations implementing a national initiative, your central/parent organization should apply in the national category, describing the overall program including how it might be tailored at the local level, with specific stories from the field welcomed. For programs that are unique to your local efforts within the larger network, or you feel are distinctive enough to merit independent consideration even if they are on the surface part of a centrally generated program, we’re happy to consider those in the local/regional category. If you have any questions, send us an email at

My whole organization uses applied Jewish wisdom. Can I apply for my overall mission, or should I select one program? How do I choose?

There are some amazing organizations who use applied Jewish wisdom for everything they do, as a foundation for all their work. We hope to see more of those in our community! However, for this prize, we are interested in highlighting individual programs, which are easier to compare fairly during the judging process. Even if your entire organization is an example of applied Jewish wisdom, we ask that you pick (up to three) specific programs to highlight in your application. Choose programs where you can speak to specific Jewish wisdom, the impact you have had, and what you have learned; choose programs you would like to celebrate; choose programs you want to share with the Jewish community at large.

What if my project is a collaboration?

We are delighted to see organizations work together.  Prizes will be awarded to support the project budget, and we will figure out how to involve leadership teams of collaborating organizations in ceremony and other gatherings on a case by case basis.

When will winners be announced?

Applications are open from June 1 – August 15, 2016. Semi-finalists will be judged on a rolling basis, as applications are received. Finalists will be selected in October, and prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in December.

Where do I go if I have a question?

Send your question to and we will get back to you.

Step 1: create your user account

Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom!

We ask that you create a username and password so you can save work on your application until you are ready to submit. Only completed applications can be reviewed, so please make sure you finalize your information before you hit “submit.”

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis between June 1 and August 15, 2016. We can’t wait to learn about your program!

Step 2: fill out your organization’s profile

Once you have created your user account, we ask that you fill out your organization’s profile so that we may contact with you any questions.

Step 3: fill out the prize application

After you have created your user account and filled out your organization’s profile, you can submit up to three applications.