JOI Receives Grant to Foster Jewish Future

The Jewish Outreach Institute is honored and thrilled to announce that we are the recipients of a Berrie Innovation Grant from the Berrie Fellows Leadership Program. The grants, which were announced in last week’s New Jersey Jewish Standard, were awarded to organizations working towards the goal of creating innovative programs that help transform the Jewish community.

JOI is using the grant to create two pilot programs for our “For the Men” initiative, which targets men who are in Jewish interfaith relationships. One is called “Answering Your Jewish Children: A Program for Fathers of Other Religious Backgrounds.” Much like our Mothers Circle program, “Answering Your Jewish Children” will offer practical advice for fathers who have married into the Jewish community on how to help raise a Jewish family.

The other program is called, “How Should I Know? A Program for Jewish Men with Spouses/Partners of Other Religious Backgrounds.” In a three session course, this program will provide “tips and strategies for creating a Jewish home,” as well as a forum for voicing challenges men in interfaith relationships have faced or expect to face.

We have spent the last year studying men and men’s programming, so being afforded the opportunity to extend our work in this area is truly exciting. We are grateful to the Berrie Fellows–and to the Russell Berrie Foundation which created and funds the Berrie Fellowship–for their generosity and support. We look forward to working with the men of the Jewish community – whether they are Jewish or are now part of the community due to an interfaith relationship – to help secure a vibrant Jewish future.

Both programs are going to pilot in northern New Jersey. If you live in the area and could benefit from being part of either group, we invite you to get in touch with JOI Executive Director Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky at We also encourage you to pass the information along to anyone you think would be interested. We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Congratulations, JOI! It is absolutely fabulous that you have received this support to create these programs. My research findings suggest that outreach designed specifically for men, both Jewish and of other religious backgrounds, is critically important. I will mention your initiative when I speak about intermarriage and gender at academic and pubic venues to help spread the word. All best wishes moving forward.

    Comment by Keren R. McGinity — August 11, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  2. Thanks Keren. We look forward to working on this and other mutual endeavors together.

    Comment by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky — August 11, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

  3. Wonderful, it seems so interesting good article and always look to the right path towards you ideas and sprite.

    All best wishes
    Omari Johnson

    Comment by Omari Johnson — August 27, 2009 @ 7:46 am

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