UJIA Winter Engagement Fund

Applications are now closed

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Jewish youth programming and Israel Engagement continues to be impacted. UJIA’s mission is to develop informed, confident Jews who are inspired by Israel, and we have had to pivot our traditional programming and ways of providing funding. Over the summer we launched our Summer Engagement Fund and were overwhelmed by the diversity and creativity of the many dozens of organisations who applied. We were proud to fund over twenty projects this summer, impacting more than 7,000 British Jews.

As the winter approaches, UJIA is once again ready to support the Jewish informal education and Israel Engagement field to deliver activities in the shadow of the pandemic through our Winter Engagement Fund. We have committed £20,000 to the fund and will provide grants of up to £5,000 per project.

Who can apply? 

We want to encourage applications from as wide a range of organisations as possible. Any organisation can apply as long as:

  • You serve primarily or exclusively the Jewish community
  • You have some kind of legal structure (charity, company limited by guarantee etc)
  • You are a not-for-profit entity

Grants will be paid from the UK into UK bank accounts, therefore if your organisation does not have a UK presence, please find a UK partner who can be the conduit for payment.

Please note that this fund is only for projects whose primary beneficiaries are British Jews (though a mifgash (people-to-people) element with Israelis or other Jews around the world can be part of the programme).

Partnerships of organisations working together can also apply. Each organisation can only submit one application (either individual or as part of a partnership).

What are the criteria for activities that we will fund?

UJIA is looking to fund activities that engaging activities that participants to their Jewish identity and to Israel. In our experience, the best activities will combine educational content with the opportunity to meet (maybe virtually), learn with and about and bond with others. We particularly welcome applications that use innovative methodologies and/or that serve otherwise-underserved parts of the Jewish community.

For our Winter Engagement Fund, we will only fund activities that target one or both of the following audiences:

  • School-age young people
  • Families, in other words activities where children do something meaningful together with their parents and/or grandparents
All activities proposed must: 
  • Take place between 10 December 2020 and 17 January 2021 (if the activity has some kind of graduation/final part after 17 January 2021, we may consider it, but the bulk of the activity should take place in December/early January)
  • Contain a substantive element of Israel Engagement, broadly construed. The activity itself does not need to be solely or even primarily about Israel, but it must include Israel Engagement as one of its elements
  • Have a clear marketing/recruitment plan. It is important you are clear and confident as to how you will recruit participants.
  • Have a clear plan for how outcomes will be measured (impact evaluation). If you have any questions about evaluation, please contact Robin Ashleigh, who can offer advice
  • Ensure that safeguarding is a priority if young people or vulnerable adults are involved
  • Conform to the government’s COVID-19 regulations and guidelines (see below)

We will also look favourably upon activities that:

  • Include an element of mifgash (joint activity with Israeli peers, and possibly also other Jewish peers from around the world)
  • Are creative with the use of online/digital technology or explicitly provide time and space away from screens

UJIA will not fund:

  • Israel advocacy activities
  • Marketing or promotional costs/resources (UJIA will only fund activity costs; if you have a query about what is permissible, please contact us)
  • Any activity that is budgeted to generate a surplus even after including a relevant amount of overhead in the proposed expenditure (see below)
  • Any activity that is not COVID-secure (see below)

COVID-19 Restrictions

UJIA will not fund any activity that breaks either the official COVID-19 regulations or guidelines as published by government. Furthermore, we would expect any activity that we do fund to have clear COVID-secure protocols, including (if it involves in-person activity) procedures for what would happen if there is a suspected or test-confirmed case of COVID-19 in the group. Of course, we would also expect you to cooperate fully with Public Health England/Wales/Scotland, NHS Test and Trace or other relevant agencies.

We are aware that the restrictions imposed by government because of the pandemic change fast and can be different in different parts of the UK. At the time that we are launching the Winter Engagement Fund, youth work activities are able to operate in-person under various conditions (including “bubbles” of no more than 15 people; with a proper risk assessment; regular cleaning and other hygiene measures; and social distancing).

Residential activities and any form of in-person activity with more than 15 people per bubble are not currently allowed and UJIA will not fund these activities.

We understand that regulations can and do change at short notice. When you apply, you should explain how your activity will operate under the restrictions at that time. If you are awarded a grant and, further down the line, you need to change how your activity runs, please update us.


If in 2019/20 you received a grant of £10,000 a year or more from UJIA, you may allocate a maximum of 10% of the budget to general organisational overheads (which cannot include salaries of permanent staff) – ie at least 90% of the budget needs to be on direct activity costs (which can include activity-specific staff).

If you did not receive a grant from UJIA in 2019/20, or you received a grant of less than £10,000 a year, you may allocate a maximum of 10% of the budget to general organisational overheads, which may include permanent staffing, and in addition, you may include as a direct activity cost the relevant proportion of a permanent staff member’s salary.

How do we apply?

For our Winter Engagement Fund, there is a simple three-step process:

  • You need to fill in the application form. Note that you will be required to attach a project budget, your current safeguarding and child protection policy and, if you have them, an organisational budget and latest set of accounts. You will also at this stage book in a time to speak to one of our educators. You need to fill in the application form by Friday 20 November
  • You will then have a short meeting on Zoom with one of our educators, who will ask you questions about your application to help us to better understand it. These meetings will all be completed by Wednesday 25 November
  • We will then make our funding decisions and will communicate with you by Wednesday 9 December
If we are successful, how do we claim the money?

You will receive a UJIA grant commitment letter that you will need to sign and return. For this grant fund, UJIA will pay against actuals after the activity has taken place. We will require you to submit:

1) A short report that reflects on the successes and challenges of the programme, the actual number of participants and any evaluation data you have collected (we will send you a template for this)

2) An updated budget with actual income and actual spend against each line of the approved budget

3) A drawdown request for your actual spend (we will send you a template for this).

We may also require proof of expenditure. Assuming the paperwork is in order, UJIA will then make payment.

Please note that if your activity ends up making a surplus (after including the relevant amount of overhead as expenditure), we will make no payment. If there is an underspend, we will reduce our contribution pro rata to other income sources. Also, if your actual number of participants is substantially lower (more than 30%) than what you predicted in your application, we may also reduce the amount we transfer.

Will UJIA have any other requirements?

If your application is successful, we will send you UJIA’s logo and we expect you to put it on all materials related to the activity, eg marketing materials. We will also check in with you midway through the winter to make sure that your activity is on track.

We want to be able to celebrate the amazing activities that you will be running this winter. Therefore, we will ask for your logo and for materials (photos, videos, testimonials etc) that we would have permission to use for our future marketing and communication needs. We will also require you to share with us the results of impact evaluation you conduct on the activity.

If I have questions, who should I contact?

If your question is about the process of applying or about the Winter Engagement Fund overall, please contact Robin Moss. If your question is about an idea that you have that you want to discuss before applying, please contact Melanie Kelly or Eli Gaventa.