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Roots and Branches Foundation Awards $74,000 in Grants

Roots & Branches FoundationRoots & Branches Foundation, a grantmaking initiative of Rose Community Foundation, has awarded $74,000 in grants to four projects in two grant priority areas: supporting access to nutritious food, and supporting middle skill job training and placement.

This was the seventh year of Roots & Branches Foundation, which is composed of Jewish individuals in their 20s and 30s from throughout the Greater Denver community. To inform their grantmaking, this year’s 18-member group studied Jewish values and teachings, explored community needs and engaged in strategic philanthropy, grantmaking that supports organizations in creating lasting, positive change.

The grant priorities Roots & Branches members selected and the grants they made represent a manifestation of their shared Jewish values: that the highest level of tzedakah (giving in pursuit of justice) is to support people in becoming self-sufficient and that the dignity of others should be as precious to us as our own.

Grantmaking with Roots & Branches Foundation was more personally meaningful and more deeply impactful as a result of the process, which is rooted in Jewish philanthropic values and the collective wisdom of the group,” says member Geoffrey Shamos. “I am confident that our grants will have a lasting, positive effect on the community through the amazing work undertaken by local organizations focused on food insecurity and middle-skills job training.”

Following is a list of the grants awarded by Roots & Branches Foundation in 2014. Locations indicate the organization’s headquarters, not necessarily the geographic area served.

Supporting Access to Nutritious Food
Denver Urban Gardens (Denver): $10,000 for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program at DeLaney Community Farm, which provides free vegetable shares as well as training in gardening and healthy food preparation for low-income families.

Revision International (Denver): $25,000 for Re:Farm, a program to increase access to healthy, local and organic food for low-income families by empowering residents to grow food in their own backyards. The program provides training, garden supplies and year-round support.

Supporting Middle Skill Job Training and Placement
Community College of Aurora (Denver): $25,000 for the Healthcare Bridge Certificate Program to provide non-native English speaking students with advanced language development and health care skills and certifications. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to enter a health-related career path.

Work Options for Women (Denver): $14,000 for the Advanced Culinary and Supervisory Skills Training Program, which provides paid and supervised, on-the-job training in culinary supervision and management skills. Students completing the program enter the job market at a higher wage and progress more quickly up the food services career ladder.

To learn more about Roots & Branches Foundation, visit rcfdenver.org/rootsandbranches, or contact Sarah Indyk at 303.398.7416 or sindyk@rcfdenver.org. A list of members follows.

Roots & Branches Foundation
Roots & Branches Foundation 2013-14 Members
Jesse Blum
Diana Buirski
Gabe Cohen
Amy Engelman
Rachael Gurian
Igor Kagan
Karen Niebrugge
Lenny Rajunov
Dana Rommerdahl
Jonathan Sar
Emily Schulman
Jenn Seidman
Becky Selig
Geoffrey Shamos
Kareen Shapiro
Lily Siegel-Gardner
Masen Uliss
Elizabeth Walker

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