We are thrilled to share the exciting news that Mishkan has been awarded a grant from the Covenant Foundation, in support of our innovative education program, BluePrint: Considering Conversion.
The 2024 Covenant Foundation Ignition Grant builds upon the foundation set by our 2015 Covenant Ignition Grant, which helped us launch our first-ever conversion cohort. For the past two years, Rabbi Steven Philp, a Jew by Choice himself, has revitalized our Jewish foundations and conversion program, now known as Blueprint: Considering Conversion. In 2023, Blueprint engaged 54 participants, bringing the total number of individuals participating in our foundations course since 2015 to over 230.
The 2024 Covenant Foundation grant will allow us to continue supporting and engaging our post-conversion community through continued learning about Jewish wisdom and ritual while fostering a sense of belonging within a supportive community.
With the support of the Covenant Foundation grant, Mishkan will launch four initiatives as part of our post-conversion support system:
1. Post-conversion Educational Opportunities:
- Led by Rabbi Steven Philp, these classes will delve into the meaning and tradition of the Jewish holiday cycle, allowing recent converts to pair content learning with experiential education as they continue to build their Jewish practice post-conversion.
- The 2-class series format, focusing on holidays like Purim, Shavuot, Tisha B’Av, Sukkot, and Hanukkah, will provide a rich and immersive learning experience.
2. Small Group Affinity Spaces:
- Creating social connections within our community, these affinity groups will address specific needs within the larger ecosystem of Mishkan.
- The three initial groups—queer converts, converts who are people of color, and a parenting group for converts raising Jewish children—will provide a supportive environment for shared experiences.
3. Mentoring Program:
- Focused on creating deep connections, the mentoring program pairs mentors who have gone through the conversion process with mentees still in the process.
- Offering training and resources, this program provides mentorship as well as leadership opportunities for up to 10 mentor/mentee pairs over a 9-month period.
4. Learner’s Seder:
- Expanding on the beloved BluePrint Learner’s Seder, this integrated and interactive ritual experience will be designed for a broader Mishkan community, including current conversion students, Jews by Choice, and congregants interested in a unique Passover celebration.
- Taking place on the first night of Passover, the Seder will feature personal reflections, artistic offerings, and ritual leadership from Jews by Choice within our community.
If you are interested in more information about any of the above initiatives, please complete an interest form and we’ll be in touch!
We are grateful to the Covenant Foundation for their support and belief in the transformative power of our program. This grant enables Mishkan to continue its mission of providing meaningful Jewish education and fostering a strong, supportive community. We are excited to expand our ability to offer a Jewish foundations course and conversion program that is exceptional among its peers, allowing people to bring their whole selves to the process and build a Jewish identity and practice unique to them.
Thoughts or questions? Reach out to R’Steven.