The Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust
Mini-Grant Program

Through the generosity of the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust, Jewish LearningWorks is able to offer a limited number of grants of up to $1,000 to synagogues in the San Francisco Bay Area seeking to create new meaningful and relevant adult learning experiences, with an emphasis on reaching younger adults with children still at home. This grant does not fund family education programs in which adults and children learn together.

How does it work?
After reading the guidelines on this page, click here for the simple application form. The upper limit of what Jewish LearningWorks will contribute is $1,000., and the synagogue will be responsible for providing any additional funding.

What can be funded?
Synagogues can seek funding for a wide range of experiences that can include:

  • bringing speakers in to lecture or foster discussion on a variety of topics

  • an off-site experience, such as a visit to the Contemporary Jewish Museum

  • collaborations involving multiple synagogues

  • either one-time events or several session programs

  • out-of-pocket expenses for promoting the program

Priority is given to programs which:

  • reach a large number of parents of children still living at home.

  • use speakers and teachers from the Bay Area (we can connect you to experts in a wide range of topics!).

  • are expected to reach at least 20 participants, with priority given to programs that have the potential to attract larger audiences.

  • programs that are focused on Jewish ethics, spirituality, history, Arts and culture, parenting, contemporary Judaism, Israel and the Middle East, or introductions to other religions (and not primarily focused on Torah study, holidays, or Hebrew).

  • reflect creative, high quality approaches to adult education.

What cannot be funded?
Neither the Becker grant nor the portion matched by your synagogue may pay for the following items, which should not be included in the itemized budget that you include with your application:

  • speakers’ travel expenses

  • in-house synagogue staff time

  • programs that are already scheduled, that are regularly scheduled (such as an annual Scholar-in-Residence program), or that have been implemented before in the institution.

  • educational experiences for children, including events in which adults and children learn together.

Recipients of the grant will have one month to submit a letter from the executive director certifying that the synagogue has committed to undertaking the funded program. Grant checks will be sent two weeks after receipt of the letter of acceptance. A brief report from the grantee, that includes a head count, a satisfaction survey and an actual budget, will be required following the implementation of the program. Recipients of the grant must acknowledge the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust in their publicity materials, including the foundation’s logo.

How does a synagogue apply?
The simple online application form may be found here. Applications may be submitted at any time, and applicants will hear of the decision within two weeks of submission.  Only one project implemented within a fiscal year may be funded. Those who are interested in applying are strongly encouraged to contact Sherry Knazan at

Looking for ideas? Check out our new listing of educators and speakers, including contact information!

And click here for a listing of some of the past recipients of Becker Mini-Grants!