YES Fund Awards, 2016-2018
The YES Fund was named in 1955, but the tzedakah roots of WRJ that initially were centered around rabbinic scholarships date to 1913, the same year the organization was founded. Over the past century, the YES Fund has raised millions of dollars through a combination of dedicated campaigns and product sales for projects including: building the dormitory at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati and the URJ Headquarters in New York, establishing the Jewish Braille Institute (JBI International), founding the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), and helping to create the first URJ camp.
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The YES Fund trains future leaders of Reform Judaism by providing scholarships for rabbinical and cantorial students at HUC-JIR’s four campuses, Leo Baeck College in London, and Geiger College in Berlin.
Support of youth is among the YES Fund’s proudest achievements. WRJ founded and continues to support NFTY, as well as URJ Camps and Israel programs, where our youth build friendships, establish strong Jewish identities, and develop leadership skills. The YES Fund was among the initial donors of the URJ Campaign for Youth Engagement (CYE) when it launched in 2011 and continues to support programs that engage and inspire Reform Jewish youth.
The YES Fund also provides annual support to the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), helping to fund an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant, who advocates for Jewish values and social justice.
The YES Fund’s reach is global, providing support for the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) and its programs around the world. The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) receives funding to continue the struggle for religious pluralism in Israel.
From establishing Reform institutions and training clergy to supporting youth around the world, the YES Fund has helped strengthen and grow Reform Judaism for 100 years.