The $5,000 grant, one of 16 made to congregations in 11 states out of 93 applicants, will help the congregation hire a professional woman to provide classes and chavurot to female congregants and educational resources to women in the community.
The Women’s Initiative Challenge Grant comes out of the OU’s Women’s Initiative, now in its inaugural year. Awards went to program proposals that showed creativity, focus on a target audience and have the ability to be replicated in other communities.
“The Challenge Grant is an exciting initiative that captures the positive energy of so many communities,” said Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman, founding director of the OU’s Department of Women’s Initiatives in a statement. “The Women’s Initiative is proudly empowering our communities to develop creative approaches to addressing spiritual and communal needs. Once these programs are piloted, they can be offered widely in other communities so that they too can benefit from the wisdom and experience of these successful initiatives.”
OU President Moishe Bane said changing circumstances and challenges have compelled the organization’s exploration of new approaches to advance “connection to God, both as individuals and collectively as a community.”
“We therefore feel particularly privileged to be partnering with women of extraordinary vision and commitment from across the community, to pursue exciting and innovative initiatives seeking to enhance the religious and spiritual growth of the contemporary Jewish woman,” he added.
Rabbi Moshe Hauer is spiritual leader of Bnai Jacob Shaarei Congregation and Rabbi Daniel Rose is assistant rabbi. For information, visit ou.org/women.