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Celebrating the rich history of Temple Israel and in the spirit of Reform Judaism which inspires new directions in Jewish religious life, the Lurie Micro-Grant Program encourages Temple Israel members and staff to create innovative programs which link their own personal passions with Judaism, Temple Israel, and the Central Ohio community.

About the Lurie Micro-Grant Program

Originally conceived by Tom and Nancy Lurie along with former Temple Israel Senior Rabbi Misha Zinkow, the Lurie Micro-Grant program encourages congregants to create innovative programs which link their own personal passions with Judaism, Temple Israel and the Central Ohio community. The projects are varied and engage congregants in multiple ways.

Congregants are encouraged to explore an unmet need, write a proposal for how they want to address the need, including what resources are needed, submit their idea to the Lurie Micro-Grant committee and, if approved, receive funding to pursue the project. 

Since 2009 the Lurie Micro-Grant Program has built communities of people with similar interests and strengthened their connection to Reform Judaism, deepened the quality of participation in temple life, and energized and motivated a broader base of members through new initiatives.
The Lurie Micro-Grant Program has helped transform Temple Israel into a visionary congregational and community leader and made a lasting impact on the broader Columbus community. 


Examples of Projects Funded by the Lurie Micro-Grant Program

Moms2B, started by Temple Israel congregant Dr. Patricia Gabbe, got its start with an initial investment from the Lurie Micro-Grant program. What was conceived as a modest effort to help pregnant teens have healthy pregnancies and combat the infant mortality crisis in Ohio has served more than 1,500 young women in the Columbus community while engaging Temple Israel congregants in cooking and packaging meals among other activities.

The Jewish Meditation Project started with seed funding from a Lurie Micro-Grant and, according to project leader Or Mars, “has become an integral part of Temple Israel’s spirituality options and changed the culture of prayer at Temple Israel,” by offering
congregants opportunities to participate in Jewish meditation sessions regularly.


Mitzvah Angels provides services to congregants during times of need, whether its a ride to Shabbat services, a meal or just a visit, and has served hundreds. Additionally, Mitzvah Angels serve as office volunteers, and provide those people needed to fulfill
many of the Temple's Tikkun Olam service projects.

Love and Hugs for Zusman Hospice continues to provide individualized cuddly bears for love and comfort to hospice patients. The Lurie Micro-Grant program has provided multi-year funding to allow Temple Israel congregants to participate in this meaningful project.

Tikkunapalooza, Temple Israel’s annual congregation-wide day of volunteering to serve meals, clean and beautify spaces in our community, visit with the elderly and other meaningful activities, has received Lurie Micro-Grant support allowing more than 250
congregants to participate annually.

Other initiatives including the Homeless Shelter project, the Sewing Circle, Temple Israel participation in.B.R.E.A.D., Transition Networking Group, The Temple Israel Prison Project, Jewish Book Club, the Temple Israel community garden, and Hazon CSA have all received support from the Lurie Micro-Grant program, engaging hundreds of congregants in meaningful activities.


Lurie Micro-Grant Program in the News

TIKUN Article (page 7)

Columbus Jewish News Article

For questions, or to set up a meeting with a Lurie Micro-Grant committee member to explore your idea further, please email:  

To submit a proposal:

Thu, June 1 2023 12 Sivan 5783