The OU Women’s Initiative is challenging synagogues and communities to create innovative women’s programming in 2022. Grant awards are up to $3,600 per program, for the 10 organizations/programs receiving funding.

“As we continue to embrace a new, ever-changing reality, the OU seeks to encourage thought and imagination to involve women in areas of chesed, learning and engagement at all stages of their lives (teens, singles, young couples, working mothers and the elderly),” says Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman, director of the OU Women’s Initiative.

In the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced Jewish communities to change the way we daven, learn and inspire one another.

Adeena Mayerfeld, program and operations manager of the OU Women’s Initiative explains the application process: “We are asking shuls to 1) Reflect on how the pandemic impacted women’s engagement in Jewish communal life; 2) Reimagine women’s programming and community engagement; and 3) Reconnect and re-engage women through creative initiatives.”

The grant is a paradigmatic example of the OU’s mission, explains Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer: “By encouraging women to think creatively about how to re-energize their communities,” says Rabbi Hauer, “the OU Women’s Initiative continues to support and engage women and communities across North America.”

Moishe Bane, President of the OU, highlights the timeliness of the program: “The Challenge Grant is a vital next step in creating communal cohesiveness and shared vision in our ever-changing world. With much faith and confidence, we are asking women to actively search for and create programs that foster spiritual growth and enthusiastic community involvement.”

Applications are online at  and are due by February 25, 2022. Grant recipients will be announced March 31, 2022.

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