The Legacy Heritage Innovation Project (LHIP): Congregational Education supports synagogues of all denominations which are consistently embedding adult, family, and children's learning in the rhythm of Jewish living on Shabbat and holidays. It prioritizes approaches which:

  • integrate the different aspects of Jewish living (Torah, avodah, gemilut hasadim ),
  • connect diverse age groups within congregations, and
  • foster collaboration among staff and lay leaders

The LHIP: Congregational Education awards one-year grants of up to $30,000; grantees then may apply for funding of up to $30,000 per year for up to three additional years.

Applications for the Legacy Heritage Innovation Project are not being accepted at this time.

The LHIP: Congregational Education funds three primary models of Shabbat and holiday-centered education:

  1. Grade-based Shabbat/holiday family education projects. These generally involve moving the primary time for congregational education from Sundays/weekdays to Shabbat and/or holidays, and requiring a high level of parental participation. For example:
    • An independent, "emergent" community is enhancing its vibrant Shabbat morning community through a family-based education program in which children and adults regularly engage in both family- and grade-based learning and prayer. Parents and children are required to participate weekly on Shabbat. The community is developing customized education plans for each family, creating more at-home learning resources, promoting inter-generational parashah discussions during the community lunch and engaging in a strategic planning process to make its approach more systemic.
  1. Intergenerational or whole family Shabbat/holiday havurot projects. These involve creating small clusters/groups of families which meet regularly on Shabbat and holidays, sometimes adding other non-parent adults (e.g. "empty-nesters" or seniors) who serve as mentors to younger families. For example:
    • A Reform synagogue offers an alternative to its religious school model, in which entire families elect to participate in havurot committed to regular study, consistent home and communal Shabbat and holiday observance, and the creation of a shared tikkun olam project. Over time, this method is enhancing the synagogue's Shabbat morning community as an increasingly higher percentage of families with school-aged children opt into this Shabbat and holiday-based alternative.
  1. Congregation-wide Shabbat/holiday projects. For synagogues which do not have a supplemental school or educational program (e.g. most Orthodox synagogues), an alternative model involves engaging the whole congregation in learning on Shabbat and/or holidays on a regular basis. For example:
    • An Orthodox congregation organizes all of its programming around a central annual theme (such as prayer, Shabbat, tikkun olam ), and eight times yearly celebrates " Shabbat Shalem ," a full Shabbaton on that theme for the entire community, including family and learner's services, member-led text study, guest scholars, children's musical havdalahs , melaveh malkahs , and communal lunches and dinners.

For examples of successful applicants and examples of these three models, click here for a list of current and past grantees.

©2009 Legacy Heritage Fund