About JPride BaltimoreOur Vision, Mission, History, and People
JPride Baltimore helps to create safe spaces and equality for LGBTQ individuals and their families within the Jewish community through support, education and advocacy. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Additionally, we are grateful to function as a charitable depository with a donor advised fund under the Associated Jewish Federation of Baltimore.
We are a volunteer team of 15 experienced community lay leaders, parents, and educators. Please read more about our story below, then head to our Projects page when you're done.
WHAT DRIVES US
Today, JPride functions with a voluntary advisory board and a grants committee/taskforce. We distribute micro grants, build community, and most practically, advise constituents across the Baltimore Metro Area how to create representative and affirming programs. In this, our role is to consult with Jewish partner charitable organizations: how to seek and accept gifts, grants, legacies and contributions, so they can authentically advocate with and intentionally support LGBTQ+ persons.
Our challenge today is two-fold: how to signal LGBTQ+ need to unsolicited foundations so we can increase our fund, and how to activate Jewish LGBTQ+ programming across congregations and cultural organizations.
JPride Baltimore started in November 2012, then called JQ Baltimore: chaired by Mindy Dickler and Neely Tal Snyder (z"l). Its purpose was to organize programming, fundraise, and advocate for LGBTQ outreach and support in the community. The fund functioned under fiduciary sponsorship of Baltimore non-profit, Fusion Partnerships, Inc., through which it funded innovative affirming programs with local congregations and groups. You can read more about our beginnings here, browse past grantees here, and past funders here!
Tragically, in August 2015, co-founder Neely (z"l) passed away unexpectedly, and our tight-knit group of family members, layleaders, and friends, continued to press on and re-group. The fund welcomed interim chairpersons, Marty Katz and Bennett Weiss, and continued to fund annual events including the now inaugural LGBTQ Seder at Bolton Street Synagogue.
In 2017, the fund relaunched with new name JPride Baltimore when Mindy Dickler returned as its chair. Its purpose was codefied as a grant depository, with its purpose today---to be a seed grant for charitable purposes expending $1,000 max per project. JPride transitioned away from Fusion and became a donor advised fund of the Associated. Small gifts and an annual gift from an anonymous donor keep the work going! Following a public rebrand in 2018, Mindy stepped down as chair and JPride entered a hibernation hiatus following a “sunsetting" as the group searched for a new chair. Projects continued to be quietly funded and in 2021, a grants committee task force was reformed to function as an advisory board, thanks to then-chairs Liz Minkin-Friedman and Ted Merwin.
In 2022, Liz and Ted invited Justin Fair to step up as co-chair, with Liz in a secondary role, and Ted stepping down. You can read the transition letter here. In Spring 2023, Liz stepped away, with Justin Fair resuming as chair of the board. Now, with a refreshed team of 15 engaged, experienced, energetic volunteers, the JPride Baltimore Philanthropic Fund is well-positioned to be a shining prism, through which the Baltimore metro area's many diverse voices can light up and shine.
Information on JPride's seed grant application rounds is now online.
WHO WE ARE
JPride Baltimore 2023 Board
- Justin Fair, Chair
- Liz Minkin-Friedman, Chair Emeritus
- Jordan (Jody) Harburger, Treasurer
JPride Baltimore Philanthropic Fund 2023 Grants Taskforce Committee
- Abby Woloff
- Allister Suarez
- B. Ever Hanna
- Deborah Harburger
- Marc Wernick
- Mindy Sager Dickler
- Noah Bender
- Ofir Ben Ari
- Rabbi Jessy Dressin
- Rachel Siegal
- Rachel Turniansky
- Ruth Schober-Levine
- Shannon Wollman
- and the above Board members