Recipients of the OU’s Women’s Initiative Challenge Grant were featured in a recent issue of Cleveland’s Local Jewish News. The program, titled “Just Breathe,” is part of a three-part, innovative series for women, combining Torah studies with opportunities for social engagement. Hosted at and organized by the Young Israel of Greater Cleveland, the event featured presentations by Daniella R. Botnick, Judaic Studies Faculty at Fuchs Mizrachi School, Adina Forouzon, a professional organizer and owner of Master My Space LLC, and Karen Marocco, a yoga instructor. The next program is slated for March.
The Young Israel of Greater Cleveland is one of 16 synagogues awarded the OU Women’s Initiative Challenge Grant. There were 93 applicants in total. Launched in March 2018, the Challenge Grant is a call to action to synagogues nationwide, encouraging them to turn to talented and mission-driven women of their communities to develop innovative women’s programming. After going through several rounds of evaluation, select applicants were given $5,000 to support their proposed projects.
The OU’s Women’s Initiative, founded November 2017, implements national programming for women of all ages and stages of life. The department strives to shine a light on and support women’s roles in the Jewish community, from female lay leadership and scholarship to high level Torah learning opportunities for women and mainstreaming inclusive synagogue best practices.