Learning and Connection at Every Stage of Life

 

What you need from Jewish life — and how you participate — can change dramatically during different life stages. One constant is that CJP is there to support the journey every step of the way. Last year, we teamed up with partner organizations to overcome obstacles and dream up innovative new ways to connect everyone — from toddlers to Torah scholars — with the vibrant and nurturing Jewish community of Greater Boston.




  • Adult Learning

    Especially during trying times, our community is in search of Jewish wisdom and meaning. See how we’re creating compelling programs that attract lifelong learners and inspire them to participate in Jewish life.

  • Day Schools

    This was a year that truly tested the ingenuity of our Jewish day schools. CJP was there to support them as they adapted to crisis and provided high-quality education, along with a much-needed sense of community.

  • Families with Young Children

    We partner with Jewish organizations to create experiences that welcome, encourage, and inspire families with young children to make Judaism an integral part of their lives.

  • Camping

    Ask many of our young adult leaders today why they are involved in Jewish life and they’ll tell you a story about camp. Through incentive and needs-based grants, we’re working to make these formative experiences possible for the next generation.

  • Teens

    What happens after the bar or bat mitzvah? For teens in Greater Boston, the answers are up to them, but the opportunities to volunteer, get involved, and build on their Jewish values are everywhere, thanks to your support of CJP.

  • Young Adults

    From joining study groups to applying for grants or lighting shabbat candles with new friends, young adults in Greater Boston are seeking — and finding — unlimited opportunities to participate in Jewish life.

  • Campus

    We’re introducing college kids to Israel, to Jewish life, and to each other. With encouragement and professional staff on campuses across New England and the U.S., students are learning how they can be involved with their Jewish community.

Adult Learning

We want to light the spark of lifelong Jewish learning through relevant, cutting-edge experiences that capture the imagination and interests of people at every age and stage. From formal classes to living room conversations, we’re fostering cultural literacy of Judaism and Jewish culture and tradition to create a vibrant community of learning in Greater Boston. 





871
More than 871 adult learners participated in CJP's Open Circle Jewish Learning, considering everything from current events to mindfulness to the arts in a small group format.

200+

When CJP’s informal and free learning series, The Rabbi Samuel Chiel Genesis Forum, had to pivot to an online format, suddenly, physical location was no barrier to participation. More than 200 people studied, discussed, and connected to Jewish life with us.


180
Before the COVID crisis restricted travel, 180 young couples travelled with us to Israel through Honeymoon Israel (HMI). They explored the country, made connections with other Boston couples, and developed a new understanding of the role Judaism might play in their lives.

Day Schools

Jewish day schools not only offer children an excellent education, they are places where entire families can be embraced and engaged in meaningful Jewish community. From these important early connections, day school students go on to participate in Jewish life, and to develop strong relationships with Israel. CJP works with day schools across Greater Boston to improve access, support excellence, and strengthen schools’ ability to fulfill their missions. 





$90,000
CJP supported Gateways with a $90,000 grant to build staff capacity to support students with mental health and/or social-emotional challenges. Our efforts included a comprehensive assessment of all 14 Greater Boston Jewish day schools, helping them begin to build a multi-tiered system of support for their teachers and students.

The Fred and Gilda Slifka Family Day School Inclusion Initiative, a program of CJP, sucessfully completed its second year at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston and a third year at the Metrowest Jewish Day School. This initiative welcomes diverse learners and models inclusion for the entire school community: students, parents, teachers, and administrators.


$205,000
Through the CJP Day School Transportation Pilot, we provided more than $200,000 to six schools operating or expanding bus routes in an effort to attract and retain students from diverse geographic areas.


$210,000
CJP’s Communal Security Initiative (CSI) offered $210,000 in physical security infrastructure grants to Jewish day schools in FY2019 and 2020. CSI also provided Automatic Electronic Defibrillators to all schools, provided Care Reopening Kits, conducted security assessments, and invested in site mapping, emergency operating procedures, conducted training, and provided additional consultation and support.


14
CJP supported the day schools through the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loan process through a series of webinars and individual sessions. All 14 day schools in our network received loans through this program.


2,000
Greater Boston’s Jewish day schools are home to approximately 2,000 students. During the pandemic, CJP has convened the Heads of School each week to scenario plan, work collaboratively, and encourage relationship building.

COVID-19 RESPONSE SPOTLIGHT


CJP collaborated with day school leaders to learn about their biggest challenges during COVID-19. This fall, we provided $400,000 in scholarship funds to help families who were financially impacted by the pandemic to keep their children in the schools they love. 
Learn more
 
CJP’s Coronavirus Emergency Fund provided nearly $50,000 to help area early childhood centers and day schools purchase personal protective equipment for students and teachers.
Learn more
Advocating for Day Schools

Our advocacy has helped our day schools:

  • Access $1.35MM worth of services, including support for students with disabilities, English language learners, and low income students; counseling and mental health services; professional development; technology; cleaning and sanitizing supplies; and PPE and security infrastructure.
  • Unlock federal special education resources for students with disabilities attending Jewish day schools and other private schools. CJP’s advocacy work in partnership with JCRC uncovered a misunderstanding about the complex interplay between federal and state special education law and opened up a new funding stream for special education for nonpublic school students with disabilities.

Families with Young Children

CJP's Families with Young Children (FwYC) initiative supports a range of programs that introduce families to Jewish life, including age-appropriate learning opportunities, home and holiday celebrations, and events to facilitate connection with others. In all, FwYC touched more than 15,500 families last year.




9,363
CJP supported PJ Library's efforts to send free books and provide in-person and virtual programming that celebrates Jewish values and culture to 9,363 families in Greater Boston with children ages 6 months through 8 years.


230+
Parenting Through a Jewish Lens, as well as Grandparenting Through a Jewish Lens helps families navigate the changes that come with a growing family. These programs, supported by CJP and run by Hebrew College, help families explore how Jewish values, traditions, and community can enhance and support their lives. Last year, more than 230 families participated in 22 classes.

CJP worked with IDEO, a renowned data and design thinking firm, to conduct a landscape analysis of the families with young children across our community. Our investment in this research is helping us to answer and address one of the most fundamental issues in our community: How might we create pathways for young Jewish families in the Greater Boston area to find and engage with vibrant Jewish life?


224
families with new babies aged 0–6 months were welcomed to the Jewish community through CJP’s Welcome Baby! initiative, which includes an in-person or virtual visit, a free gift tote and community resources about family-friendly programs, events, and activities

“What a wonderful program you've created! Our Vivian is so lucky to be born into such a warm and loving Jewish community, and we are grateful to you for cultivating it and keeping it so rich. We were touched by the Zoom visit, the gift and the whole effort. Thank you so very much!!”

– Rickie and Jeremy, Welcome Baby! participants

COVID-19 RESPONSE SPOTLIGHT


Connection with others who know what they’re going through.
As the pandemic unfolded, it was clear that for the safety of all, CJP and the JCC of Greater Boston needed to find a new way to administer our Welcome Baby! program. Quickly, we were able to create Welcome Baby! at Home — a collection of structured online groups and virtual gatherings facilitated by an Early Childhood Specialist.
 

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Camping

Jewish overnight camp creates the context and the culture for building a stronger Jewish identity, and for many children, it's the one place where being Jewish is the norm. CJP supports families and camps by providing need-based scholarships.  





$379,430
In summer 2019, CJP awarded $379,430 in scholarships for families who could not otherwise afford it — an increase of 14% from 2018.

96%


of parents report that Jewish summer camp creates an ambiance and atmosphere where their child is proud to be Jewish.


88%
of parents say that camp positively impacted their child’s Jewish identity and/or participation in synagogue/their local Jewish community.

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“I am super grateful for you helping me have a great time at camp. As I enter my freshman year of high school, all I can think about is what is my Olim summer is going to be like next year and I can’t wait. Once again, thank you so very much for your help and aid to my family.”
 
— Shain, scholarship recipient

COVID-19 RESPONSE SPOTLIGHT


We launched Bost(ON)Summer— a partnership of CJP, JCC Greater Boston, and JewishBoston.com to help families with kids in grades K-12 find opportunities to stay engaged and connected to Jewish life during the summer of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
CJP and JCC Greater Boston partnered up to send more than 500 C.A.R.E. (Create. Act.
Respect. Empower.) Crates. Filled with supplies and instructions for six crafts rooted
in Jewish values, kids and parents had a new outlet for Jewish expression during the
summer of 2020.

We also supplied $276,000 to 13 camps in support of their ability to stay resilient during this challenging time.

Read one family's story about their C.A.R.E Crate.
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Teens

The teen years are about self-discovery, exploration of life, and developing a sense of the world around us. It’s an ideal time to find connection, meaning, and purpose in Jewish life and community, but without intentional programming designed by professionals who know how to reach the next generation, we could miss a critical opportunity. Thanks to donor support, CJP has provided multiple ways for teens to discover all that Jewish life has to offer.





70,000

Last year, we launched JewishBostonTeens, a new site from JewishBoston.com. This site serves as a central online space for teens, their parents, and the organizations that support them with a variety of engagement opportunities and programming. The site has attracted nearly 70,000 views.


$155,000
61 teens became strategic grant makers through CJP’s partnership with the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston, a community program based at Hebrew College. Together, they strategically distributed $155,000.


$450,000
CJP invested more than $450,000 in support of teen travel to Israel during the summer of 2019.


406
Together with the Jewish Teen Initiative, CJP helped 406 teens actively engage in their communities via direct service, advocacy, and leadership development.

554

With CJP’s support, JTI’s Peer Leadership Fellows program — a national model for peer-to-peer relationship building — connected with 554 teens representing 83 cities and towns, 100 schools, 84 synagogues and minyans, and 20 Jewish youth organizations.

10

JTI's Peer Inclusion Fellows supported their peers with disabilities at 10 different community programs and events.

$6,000

CJP’s Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative provides professional development opportunities to help our partners better serve Jewish teens. We cover topics ranging from marketing and communications to teen mental health and youth development. Last year we awarded five professional development stipends totaling more than $6,000.

JEWISH TEEN INITIATIVE FINDS NEW HOME WITH CJP

In September, our longtime partners at the Jewish Teen Initiative (JTI) officially became part of CJP. JTI will continue to create new and innovative opportunities for teens to connect and learn.

Read more

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Mental health and teens

In partnership with Jewish Teen initiative (JTI), the Ruderman Family Foundation, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the Jewish Teen Education Funders Collaborative, CJP helped to provide:
  • Six virtual programs for teens and educators on topics including healthy relationships, combatting anxiety, mindfulness, and fostering resiliency
  • Training for our Peer Leadership Fellows on how to help their peers manage stress
  • Robust information and resources on mental health and wellness topics for teens, parents, and educators via JewishBostonTeens.com

Young Adults

Thanks to the enthusiastic donor support for the Bridge to the Future Fund and other significant gifts, we’re empowering young adults to explore and define their Jewish identities by supporting experiences that are accessible and tailored to their interests. From this strong foundation, they’ll be poised to make future decisions framed by Jewish values. 




3,600

CJP has partnered with One Table to create a network of regular, community-based shabbat dinners across Greater Boston. Since June 2019, 3,600 young adults have participated in shabbat dinners that are helping build community and shape Jewish identity.


2,000
CJP's Community Connectors reached out to more than 2,000 people in their 20s and 30s to offer pathways of connection and support greater depth of Jewish experience.


180
Before the COVID crisis restricted travel, 180 young couples travelled with us to Israel through Honeymoon Israel (HMI). They explored the country, made connections with other Boston couples, and developed a new understanding of the role Judaism might play in their lives.

24


CJP's Dewey Stone Kadimah Leadership Development Program served 24 emerging Jewish leaders.

A Life-changing Trip with Honeymoon Israel
 

For Ben and Casey, a trip to Israel with HMI changed their lives. CJP funding has fostered and expanded our partnership with HMI, focusing on connection, belonging, and inclusion through the power of Israel.



 

CJP helps partner organizations sustain successful young adult programs, as well as create new and unique programming for this population. Last year, our support included:
  • $9,500 in Young Adult Mezzanine Grants awarded to three organizations for programs including, Beyond Bubbe’s Kitchen and Inclusive Leadership Development and Adventure Training.
  • $12,150 in Young Adult Innovation Grants awarded to four organizations for programs including, The Shabbos Queen and ShabAM! Shabbat Morning Movement.

Additionally, CJP provided $30,000 to 12 organizations during the first months of COVID-19 for virtual programming.

Campus

When we immerse young people in Jewish experiences while on campus and during such an important stage of life, we can successfully nurture lifelong connections to the Jewish community.





17,000
Before CJP's IACT (Inspired, Active, Committed, Transformed) program launched in 2007, many college students began — and ended — their Jewish journeys on Birthright. Since then, 17,000 young adults have engaged in IACT through Jewish learning, volunteerism, and return travel to Israel.

820

alumni have developed their skills at internships ranging from journalism to medicine in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem through CJP's professional internship program Onward Israel Boston (OIB). OIB is the largest community-based Onward Israel program in the country — a distinction it has held since the inception of Onward Israel in 2012.


3,000+
Thanks to The Lavine Family Leadership and Service Learning Fund at CJP, more than 165 students have participated in Alternative Spring Break (ASB) in Israel. Collectively, ASB students have contributed more than 3,000 hours of service at schools and public spaces since the program launched. Read more from a past ASB trip.


19
CJP's Israel Campus Roundtable partners with 19 organizations who help to ensure there is a variety of robust Israel programming offerings in Boston for young people

450+

Since 2017, CJP has worked with Boston Cares to create two Campus Cares service days a year. More than 450 students have traveled to Dorchester and Roxbury schools and elder care sites to support marginalized groups. Each student automatically becomes a year-round Boston Cares member with access to hundreds of volunteer opportunities a month, helping us deepen service within the community.

“The most exciting and fulfilling volunteering we did was at the Nirim school in a disadvantaged neighborhood of Haifa. For four hours, we painted colorful animals on the walls of the school and interacted with the birds, bunnies, chinchillas, and turtles at the school while interacting with the kids. The excitement and enthusiasm of the children was one of the highlights of this trip. We played soccer, basketball, dodgeball, and even frisbee. Though we could not communicate with most of the children through language, we were able to connect with them through these activities, and by the time we had to leave, they were giving us fist bumps and hugs.”
 
—Ariel, Northeastern University ’22, recipient of a CJP scholarship
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CJP’s IACT program moved to Hillel International. Read more

COVID-19 RESPONSE SPOTLIGHT


Over March break, in-person classes were canceled on many college campuses along with overseas travel. Students were abruptly asked to leave student housing, and all classes were moved to online learning. Over the course of a few weeks, CJP’s team worked with campus staff to shift all IACT programming to a virtual platform across 29 campuses.
  • IACT coordinators reached out to all students whose summer 2020 trip to Israel was canceled to reconnect and start to build the relationships that would have formed if they had travelled together.
  • IACT coordinators helped students lead and design virtual gatherings to facilitate community and connection. From yoga and Judaism classes to weekly Jewish learning to Israeli movie and TV screenings – there was something for everyone offered seven days a week.

Leadership and Acts of Service


CJP’s IACT students have been caring for their communities and helping to change the world well before the pandemic, and especially during this challenging time. Here are just a few amazing examples of their efforts.