Jewish Funders Network honors Foundation for Jewish Camp, Josh Miller

(JTA) — The Jewish Funders Network honored the Foundation for Jewish Camp with a new award for nonprofit collaboration and recognized the Jim Joseph Foundation’s Josh Miller with the annual JJ Greenberg award.

The prizes were awarded at the annual Jewish Funders Network conference in Miami Beach, which was held this week.

The Foundation for Jewish Camp was the first recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Excellence in Philanthropic Collaboration. The new prize was awarded to the foundation for being “the first funder collaboration to advocate for, promote, and strengthen Jewish camps on a wide scale,” according to the Jewish Funders Network, or JFN.

The prize was established to recognize alliances of innovative Jewish funders who collaborate to achieve broader impact in their chosen fields of interest.

The award was accepted by Foundation for Jewish Camp founders Elisa Spungen Bildner, a JFN board member and former president of JTA, and Robert Bildner. The foundation has raised more than $250 million for Jewish camps.

The award also recognized the Samuel Bronfman Foundation and the Wexner Foundation, which both provided initial support to the Foundation for Jewish Camp.

“We hope that they, like those we collaborate with now, and those we hope will join us in the future, experience the thrill of knowing that they have had a positive imprimatur on the shape of Jewish life,” said Spungen Bildner.

Miller was presented with $5,000 to be used for professional development or to donate to charity as part of the JJ Greenberg Memorial Award, which is given to an outstanding young Jewish foundation professional who also exemplifies the highest of Jewish values.

Miller, who has been with the Jim Joseph Foundation since 2008, manages a $34 million portfolio of grants for organizations and programs that foster Jewish learning experiences for youths.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award named in JJ Greenberg’s memory. JJ was the first foundation professional I ever met,” Miller said. “His genuine kindness, humility and readiness to listen are qualities I have sought to emulate in my own practice as a program officer.”

Greenberg was a JFN board member who was executive director of the Steinhardt Foundation/Jewish Life Network from its inception in 1995. He died in a 2002 traffic accident at the age of 36.

The Shapiro award honors the late Sidney Shapiro, a founding JFN board member who served as executive director of the Levinson Foundation. He also was an early funder of Lilith magazine, the Coalition for Alternatives in Jewish Education and the chavurah movement. An award in Shapiro’s name, established a decade before his death in 2007, was known as the Sidney Shapiro Tzedakah Award.

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