January 24, 2013 – New York – AJC has received a two-year grant of $1 million from The Ford Foundation for its innovative outreach programs to advance Latino-Jewish relations. The new multi-year grant follows upon annual Ford grants of $500,000 during the past three years.
“The Ford Foundation’s generous support is affirmation of the capacity and progress of AJC’s Bridging America Project, and will further boost its reach and visibility,” said Ann Schaffer, director of AJC’s Belfer Center for American Pluralism. The Bridging America Project promotes communication, cross-cultural understanding, and coalition building among Jewish and Latino leaders, with a focus on advancing comprehensive immigration reform.
The renewed grant ensures that AJC will expand its outreach to Latino communities across the country, and through its diverse programs and projects foster mutual understanding, collaborative relations, and joint advocacy.
Programs already planned are advocacy workshops that will bring the two groups together in Dallas, New York and Washington, D.C.; a “National Conversation” among 60 senior Latino and Jewish leaders on issues of mutual concern; conferences focused on the economic benefits of immigration, to be held in Houston, Miami and New Jersey; and a partnership with the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, which will be presenting a special exhibition of pre-Columbian art from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Hundreds of Latinos and Jews across the U.S. have participated in AJC’s workshops during the first three years of the Ford-supported Bridging America Project. As a result, AJC has created a national network of business leaders, law enforcement officials, clergy, elected officials and other stakeholders who are using their leadership positions to broaden support for immigration reform.