The Jewish community has hailed a massive funding boost for youth volunteering after a “game-changing” £1.8 million Big Lottery win.
The money, to be spent over three years, will go to JLGB and caps a hat-trick of recent grant successes for the 123-year old organisation, following two big funding announcements from philanthropists and foundations last year.
JLGB said the triple cash injection – from Big Lottery, Genesis Philanthropy Group and Youth United Foundation – would “revolutionise the face of Jewish youth volunteering,” giving it a whopping £5 million to invest.
The organisation’s main aim is to roll out a pioneering new community-wide youth digital platform called ‘Evolve,’ which coordinates all awards and stakeholders involved in developing young Jews aged between eight and 25 years.
The platform incorporates national schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with more local initiatives at synagogues and schools, and has already won the backing of Jewish community leaders.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said JLGB’s expansion “will enable the next generation to do the most important mitzvah of all: to help and give back to others, in ways that also meet the modern and technological needs of today’s Jewish youth”.
The Jewish community’s Big Lottery money comes from the #iwill Fund, which aims to transform the culture of community engagement by getting youngsters involved in social action, and JLGB’s remit is to remove faith-based barriers to this.
“There are many barriers and challenges facing young people from faith and cultural communities for them to be able to access youth social action provisions,” said JLGB president Lord Levy.
“JLGB helps to removes these barriers, enabling and empowering young people to give back and fully participate in all that British society has to offer.
“The #iwill Fund is a game-changer for our community and this, together with the expansion of the Evolve initiative, will enable even more young Jewish people to take part in high quality, meaningful and impactful volunteering and skills opportunities.”