Seed Funding For Innovative Programs

Opportunity Grants Help Launch New Ideas


Opportunity Grants help launch innovative programs that attract people to a more vibrant community. The grants augment Federation's major funding for critical needs. Synagogues, non-profits, and individuals are eligible to apply for Opportunity Grants. MORE



The following programs received Opportunity Grants in 2015-2016. 




  • Zamir Choral Foundation​, Hazamir Teen Choir - Support for locally-based Jewish teen choir that meets weekly for practice & performs at Avery Fisher Hall in May. 
  • Congregation Neve Shalom, Build Masada with Legos, co-sponsored with PJ Library - Using LEGOs, an educator teaches a lesson about Israel and MASADA.
  • BBYO Greater Jersey Hdson Region, Leadership Development class for 8th, 9th, and 10th graders - Semester-long leadership development that culminates in youth-led community-wide program that engages teens throughout Middlesex & Monmouth counties.
  • Solomon Schechter Day School (SSDS), SSDS Students on the Road -  Field trips and activities such as the delivery of emergency food supplies for Kosher Meals on Wheels and art supplies to the Friendship Circle; volunteerism at Ronald McDonald House in Long Branch, the  Lunch Break Soup Kitchen in Red Bank; Sunrise Assisted Living Facility for  6 wk Intergenerational Program as well as Shabbat lunches and Passover Seders; etc.
  • Mekor Fitness, Jewish Wellness Day - Designed for unaffiliated tweens & teens to improve body image with a Jewish lens ie. "Torah Yoga" and smoothie bar.




  • Congregations Beth Ohr and Beth Mordecai, Grandparent Circle - A support group, facilitated by two rabbis, for grandparents whose children or grandchildren have intermarried.
  • Congreagations B'nai Israel and Beth Mordecai, Jewish Camp Fairs - Open fair educating families and children about Jewish camping options.
  • Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ with the Jewbadours - Jewish choir
  • Mesorah NJ, Launch event and Ulpan Fall Series for Young Professionals - Hebrew language and Ethics classes for young adults as a means of attracting & engaging them in the Jewish community 
  • Mekor Chaim-Steinsaltz Ambassadors program, project of the Aleph Society, Training for the Ambassadors before they come to Middlesex County to engage/Inspire - Expanding the existing pre-arrival training program in Israel to include English language courses, public speaking skills, and class preparation and transmission skills
  • Temple Emanu-El, Muslim-Jewish Dialogue & Interfaith Relationship Building - Three sessions of interfaith dialogue and programming, including Q&A panel format.
  • Anti-Defamation League, Words to Action: Empowering Jewish Students to Address Bias on Campus - Interactive program for college and pre-college students designed to empower and equip them with constructive and effective responses to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias on campus.
  • Temple Rodeph torah, Muslim-Jewish dialogue and programming - Four events: women speaking to women at mosque on Route 35; Men’s Club hosts a program with the men of the mosque; learning/social activity with our two primary schools; social justice project with teens.
  • The Friendship Circle, Shabbat Box - Children (including those with special needs) would gather to create boxes filled with challah rolls, electric tea lights, grape juice, Shabbat themed card and other Shabbat items to deliver to patients or seniors. Teen volunteers will run the different centers to create the boxes. Adult volunteers would deliver boxes to local hospitals or assisted livings.




  • Temple Rodeph Torah, "Difficult Conversations" for older adults and their adult children
  • Congregation Torat El, Caregivers Support Group - Monthly support group for caregivers taking care of parents, spouses and family members. 
  • Temple Rodeph torah, Bereavement Group