J-LEAD (Jewish Leadership, Education, Action and Development) is a program dedicated to encouraging young Jewish adults (in their 20s, 30s and 40s) in Kansas City to join together to make a substantive impact on the Jewish community. J-LEAD is a giving circle that makes grants from funds collected by its members ($500 charitable contribution for membership) as well as matching funds from the Jewish Community Foundation’s Community Legacy Fund and other generous Foundation donors. By pooling resources together and collectively making grant decisions, J-LEAD members are able to achieve a greater good than any one member could do alone. Think of it as the charitable version of "Shark Tank," funding exciting initiatives and "start-ups" like the Mitzvah Garden, NCJW's Back to School Store, the Kosher BBQ Festival and many more exciting projects.
For a limited time, new J-LEAD members may join for half price - only $250! Inquire for details: 913-327-8245.
Through J-LEAD, a member can:
- Increase the impact of their charitable dollars
- Learn more about giving opportunities and community needs
- Make new friends who share their charitable commitment
- Have networking opportunities with peers and elders
- Develop leadership skills
- Engage in hands-on volunteerism for meaningful community projects
J-LEAD meets several times per year for educational and social programs with the goals of:
- Learning more about philanthropy as a vehicle for community involvement
- Connecting substantively with a variety of agencies and programs within the Jewish community
- Leveraging the impact of their charitable contributions
- Participating in a social network of people with similar values and an interest in giving back to the Jewish community
Since 2005, J-LEAD members have collectively granted nearly $400,000 to community organizations. Local Jewish agencies and secular agencies serving the Jewish community are invited to apply for funding by submitting grant requests that are reviewed by J-LEAD members through a formal process.
2020 J-LEAD Grants: $19,000
The following grants address urgent needs of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Village Shalom - Victory Disinfectant Sprayer ($2,000)
- Jewish Family Services - Key Products for the Food Pantry ($5,000)
- Torah Learning Center - Kosher Meals on Wheels ($2,500)
- KU Hillel - Wellness Initiative ($4,000)
- Jewish Federation - Coronavirus Relief Fund ($5,000)
- JVS - Global Gardens Staff ($500)
Jeramy Zimmerman & Joshua Hoffman
“Being relatively recent arrivals to Kansas City, we actively sought out ways to become a part of our new community. J-LEAD offered a great opportunity to meet other young families while also making a contribution to our new city. Most importantly, it provides a path for us to demonstrate the principle of ‘tzedakah in action’ to our daughter.”
For more giving stories, visit Portraits of Generosity