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Roots & Branches Awards Grants

Denver, CO – Roots & Branches Foundation, a grantmaking initiative of Rose Community Foundation, has awarded $65,932 in grants to 12 organizations that promote Judaic engagement and discussion of contemporary issues among adults age 40 and below, and agencies providing services for adults age 40 and below, and their families, who fall below the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Colorado. The grants will be awarded at a March 25 celebration for members of Roots & Branches Foundation and grant recipients.

This is the third year of Roots & Branches Foundation, which is comprised of Jewish individuals in their 20s and 30s from throughout the Metro Denver area. This year’s 18-member group first studied Jewish philanthropic traditions, strategic philanthropy and community needs, and created grant priorities expressed in a Request for Proposals. They then reviewed the proposals, made site visits and reached funding decisions in January 2010.

Our grantees and the collective experience of other Roots & Branches members taught me a lot about our local community,” says Roots & Branches Foundation member Liza Reifler. “Our diverse group deliberated at length about the most relevant way to give Jewishly, and the process gave me a new regard for my peers and my Jewish values.”

Following is a list of the grants awarded by Roots & Branches Foundation. Locations indicate the organization’s headquarters, not necessarily the geographic area served.

Bayaud Enterprises (Denver): $5,000 for Community Resource Navigation Services, a program that helps low-income and unemployed people with disabilities acquire and retain employment.

Boulder Aish Kodesh (Boulder): $7,500 for SoulFood, a series of Jewish cultural programs for Jews in their 20s and 30s hosted by an Orthodox rabbi and a Reform rabbi. Boulder Aish Kodesh, the fiscal sponsor, is partnering with Congregation Har HaShem.

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (Denver): $5,000 to print and distribute Getting On After Getting Out: A Re-Entry Guide for Colorado to individuals in prison and on parole.

Jewish Family Service of Colorado (Denver): $7,432 for food, diapers and toiletries distributed by the Weinberg Food Pantry.

Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (Denver) and Nehirim (New York, NY): $5,000 for scholarships for GLBTQ Jews and allies in their 20s and 30s to attend the Nehirim Rocky Mountain Retreat in Colorado.

Limmud Colorado (Denver): $8,000 for scholarships for Jews in their 20s and 30s, and their children, to attend this festival of Jewish learning, to be held in 2010 from May 28 to 31.

Lowry Family Center (Denver): $5,000 for the Family Advocacy Program, that provides referrals for crisis counseling, emergency assistance, enrollment in public benefits and mental health services to families. Colorado Nonprofit Development Center serves as fiscal sponsor.

Parent Pathways (Denver): $5,000 for education, parent skill-building, wellness education, counseling and career-readiness training for low-income pregnant and parenting teen mothers, and early childhood education for their children.

Stepping Stones (Denver): $5,000 for a discussion series in Denver and Boulder to encourage Jewish and interfaith parents in their 20s and 30s to apply Jewish teachings and values to contemporary issues.

Storahtelling (New York, NY): $4,000 for the Colorado Mavens, who bring stories from the Torah to life for a new generation of Jews through creative, dramatic, and participatory retellings.

Urban Organics (Denver): $9,000 for Litz’moach Elyria-Swansea, a program for Jews in their 20s and 30s connecting Jewish teachings to agriculture and service through volunteer days, workshops, community gatherings and educational events at an urban farm in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood.

To learn more about Roots & Branches Foundation, visit rcfdenver.org/initiatives_roots.htm, or contact Sarah Indyk at 303.398.7416 or sindyk@rcfdenver.org.

About Staff

They call me "NewsHound Too," because I'm sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. My buddies know me as "Rocky." I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was adopted from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley and have many friends there also looking for homes.

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