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Jewish New Media Innovation Fund

Nu? That’s the Yiddish word meaning “so, what’s new..got any news?” Well here’s some news and it’s good news, too:

The Jewish New Media Innovation Fund is giving away $500,000 in grants to support projects that “use new media tools – including video, digital communications, social networks, and more – to empower Jews to interact with, share, build and explore Jewish Life. The Fund is looking to better understand how digital media can help preserve Jewish history, renew Jewish traditions, and revitalize Jewish institutions while promoting more vibrant and meaningful Jewish life.”

The Jewish New Media Innovation Fund is a collaboration between the Jim Joseph Foundation, The Righteous Persons Foundation, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Righteous Persons has supported award-winning public media projects before, including David Isay’s StoryCorps, Living Traditions’ Yiddish Radio, Atlantic Public Media’s This I Believe series, and Aviva Kempner’s Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg movie about Gertrude Berg, “the first lady of radio.” 

Schusterman funds J-Dub Records and Jewcy: What Matters Most, a hip, next-gen blog which features a regular review of This American Life called The Ira Glass Infatuation Post

Beyond JewTube and J-Date

These foundations are hoping that creative digital media will engage and connect a younger generation of Jews, who are more likely to intermarry and perhaps less likely to participate in the Jewish community. The Fund is willing to support existing projects or new ones, nonprofit or for-profit ventures. The key is innovation. It’s a great opportunity for independent producers and an interesting example of how the nonprofit world is tapping into the public media talent pool. So, nu, got any ideas?

Anyone can apply online; the deadline is November 22, 2010.

Zol zayn mit mazel (that means Good Luck…in Yiddish).

Photo credit: Heeb magazine.