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Genesis Prize Launches $3M Interfaith Outreach Project

The Genesis Prize Foundation and the Jewish Funders Network launched a $3.3 million matching grant program to fund an intermarried outreach initiative.

The program launched Monday in honor of 2015 Genesis Prize laureate Michael Douglas aims to foster a culture of acceptance for intermarried families in the Jewish community.

Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and their Families is expected to generate $3.3 million in funds once the matched gifts are approved, the groups said in a statement.

The focus of the program is to enhance opportunities for Jewish involvement available to intermarried Jews, their life partners and their children.

Douglas, an Academy Award-winning actor, was awarded the Genesis Prize in Jerusalem in June for his commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people. He pledged then to use the $1 million prize money to reach out to other Jews from intermarried families seeking a connection to the Jewish community, and announced grants to Hillel and the Jewish Funders Network for programs that reach out to intermarried children and couples.

“As someone who is not always welcomed in the Jewish community because my mother was not Jewish, I want to make sure that all those who desire to connect with Jewish culture and heritage have that opportunity,” Douglas said in the statement. “This fund will allow many organizations to continue, or to initiate, important work to engage intermarried couples and their children.”

Qualifying grants of $25,000 to $150,000 will be matched dollar for dollar; the total maximum match will be $150,000. An organization with a primary mission to support avenues to Jewish identity for intermarried families, their children and individuals from these families as defined by the initiative may receive grants for general operating support.

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