Byron and Dorothy Gerson Innovation Fund

Applications due Monday, February 5, 2024.

The purpose of the Byron & Dorothy Gerson Innovation Fund is to foster a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity within Detroit’s Jewish community by supporting new programs, pilots, and initiatives. These programs should meet pressing community needs, engage or support the Jewish community, and do not yet have established funding models or dedicated donors to underwrite them. This request for proposals is currently open to the Jewish Federation of Detroit and its 17 partner agencies.

Grant Information

The committee will consider grant requests between $10,000-$35,000. Requests beyond this amount will be considered but are less likely to receive funding. No more than 20% of the total grant awarded to any one program may be used toward staff costs. Grants will be awarded for a one-year period. Funding will be available for 12 months after the grant is awarded unless a different time frame is specified at the time of application.

Grant Criteria

The committee considers the following criteria when reviewing grant requests:

  • Innovative and/or entrepreneurial aspects
  • Potential impact on the Detroit Jewish community
  • Meets a pressing unmet need
  • Engages or supports the Detroit Jewish community
  • Viability of implementation

The grant application must be completed and submitted by the professional who will be implementing the proposal and approved by the organization’s CEO/ED.

Application Process

There will be three proposal cycles of the Gerson Innovation Fund: Summer, Fall, and Winter. Some applicants may be invited to present to the committee in-person. The 10-minute presentations will be on Thursday, March 7, 2024 between 3 and 5 PM.


  • Applications Available: Wednesday, January 3, 2024
  • Application Deadline: Monday, February 5, 2024
  • Presentations: Thursday, March 7, 2024 
  • Awards Notification: by Thursday, March 14, 2024
  • Reporting: Grantees must submit a provided post-program evaluation form within 60 days of project completion.

If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Schnaar at or (248) 205-2537.

Downloadable Documents

Gerson Innovation Fund Application

Gerson Innovation Fund Guidelines

Gerson Innovation Fund Application Upload Form

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