Jewish Kids Groups (JKG) has received grant funding from The Marcus Foundation, which it will utilize to launch its new Jewish After School Accelerator program, the Atlanta organization announced this week.

The Jewish After School Accelerator is an engagement model created by JKG that seeks to help synagogues and other Jewish organizations throughout the U.S. to start up their own Jewish after-school programs.

Over the course of the next two years, JKG says that the Jewish After School Accelerator will assist a total of 11 organizations with the development and launch of their respective after-school programs.

Through the Accelerator program, participating organizations will receive guidance from various specialists, along with having the opportunity to collaborate with other cohort members to accomplish objectives such as recruiting and training staff, customizing the student curriculum, creating transportation plans, etc.

In addition, to offset start-up costs, the participants in the program will also receive matching grants up to a maximum of $100,000 over a three-year span.

“We saw an opportunity to unite education and childcare with Jewish learning. Today’s families want and need programs like this, like RootOne, and like Hillel to grow children’s love of Judaism as they themselves grow,” said Bernie Marcus, chairman of The Marcus Foundation.

Jewish Kids Groups was established in Atlanta back in 2012. Since then, the organization has provided camp-style Jewish education for children (Pre-K to 10th grade) through its own thriving after-school program, which it hopes to help recreate for other organizations in America.

“We’ve built a successful program here in Atlanta, and people have been reaching out for many years to discuss replicating the program,” said Ana Robbins, founder and executive director of JKG.

“In 2019, our professional team and board of directors decided it was time to figure out how we could help other communities establish Jewish after-school programs. Under the leadership of Rachel Dobbs Schwartz, JKG’s Chief Innovation Officer, the Jewish After School Accelerator was born, with the goal of making it easy and affordable for synagogues across the country to do just that.”

JKG says that organization leaders interested in the Jewish After School Accelerator program can apply online for the 2023 and 2024 cohorts (the final day to apply is April 19, 2023).

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