Congregation Or Chadash, a Chicago synagogue largely serving LGBT Jews, is among the recipients of grants awarded by the Breakthrough Fund.
The Fund, administered by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, this year awarded $1 million to 17 local initiatives encouraging smart growth and innovation in the Jewish nonprofit sector, according to a release.
Or Chadash will utilize the grant for a workshop series entitled, Journey to Freedom. Participants will take part in professionally-facilitated art, music, and writing workshops that "link stages of the coming out process with steps of the Exodus; the work produced in these workshops will be used to develop a Haggadah to be used at a community-wide Seder celebrating Passover and LGBTQ liberation."
Of the 17 recipients, 11 will be awarded grants to help start new programs or to make strategic short-term investments that will yield long-term impact, while the other six will receive funding to help proven existing programs expand.
"The Breakthrough Fund reminds us that innovation is taking place right here in Chicago's Jewish community," said David Sherman, chairman of the Breakthrough Fund review committee. "The passion and vision of this community is inspiring and we are so proud and grateful to award grants to these 17 initiatives so that they can take necessary and strategic risks that will ultimately impact Chicago's Jewish future in remarkable ways."
Other recipients include the Anti-Defamation League World of Difference Institute, Continuum Theater, Mishkan Chicago, Jewish Child and Family Services and Jewish Vocational Services.