Rise Up was launched in Fall 2019 with funding from the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Rise Up supports and strengthens work that integrates deep Jewish practice, centers the margins, and takes progressive action for social change. We are rooted in a transformational approach to Tikkun Olam that brings Abraham Joshua Heschel's notion of "prophetic consciousness" into being.
Our Mission and Approach
Rise Up's mission is to nurture the soul of Jewish justice work.
Rise Up provides grants and capacity-building support to strengthen movements for multiracial democracy by investing in the spiritual resources of Jewish social justice leadership and the communities they lead. Rise Up funding expands entry points for thousands of Jews across the country who often feel alienated by the majority of Jewish spaces. Instead of asking Jewish people to only use traditional avenues for accessing Jewish life, we meet them where they are.
In just three years, we have grown into an influential seed funder, distributing $1.7 million to over 50 projects working at the intersections of justice and spirituality, many of them outside major Jewish population centers. Half of the projects we fund are led by Jews of Color, and 75% are led by those with a marginalized identity (e.g., Jews who are poor/working class, queer, trans, and/or gender non-conforming, disabled or chronically ill, and/or Mizrahi/Sephardi).
We know how valuable investing in the development and resilience of our grantees can be in building their success and sustainability. We do this through our Communities of Practice (CoP) cohorts which offer opportunities for shared learning, peer support, networking, and collaboration. We also offer training, leadership development, and coaching. We can proudly share that we have grown our grantees’ budgets by an average of 82%!
Centering the Margins
Our justice movements must be led by those most directly impacted by oppression as those closest to the pain are closest to the solutions. Jews of Color lead 50% of Rise Up projects, the number of grantees with marginalized identities overall is 75%, and all of our white-led projects explicitly commit to racial justice.