Tarbuton receives three-year Challenge Grant to enrich Jewish life through Israeli culture in San Diego

The Tarbuton, Israeli Cultural Center has received a three-year challenge grant of up to $154,000 from the Leichtag Foundation to further its work to enrich Jewish life through Israeli culture. The Foundation is offering a 2:1 match where those who donate to the Tarbuton for infrastructure and growth needs will see their donation tripled. Funds secured will significantly expand Tarbuton services over the next three years.

The Tarbuton, a San Diego Jewish Startup, founded in 2006, and independent 501c3, reaches over 1,100 households, 200-300 engaging in Israeli Cultural programming weekly or bimonthly including over 120 students and 14 part time professional teachers.

The partnership is aligned with the Leichtag Foundation’s strategic focus areas of building connections between San Diego and Israel through aligned values, shared interests and positive messages, promoting and building a vibrant Jewish life and infrastructure in San Diego’s North County Coastal region and inspiring other funders. “We are excited about this support and the opportunity to help strengthen the incredible model the Tarbuton has creatively developed. We are pleased to be able to help the Tarbuton take the organization to the next level ,“ said Charlene Seidle, Vice President and Executive Director, Leichtag Foundation.

Funds will be used to build the Tarbuton organization in the areas of staffing, infrastructure and scholarship support. Among other planned changes, the Tarbuton may expand its current Community Manager role, add an Education Manager to oversee the educational programs, supplement programs for middle and high school ages and explore locations to service additional geographic areas in the community.

“The funding comes at a critical juncture for us in the Tarbuton, said Jennie Starr, the Tarbuton’s founder and director. We are blessed to have such wonderfully generous supporters. It is our hope this announcement will further identify philanthropic partners in the community to raise our match and advisors as well. “

The Tarbuton was recognized this year by Slingshot as a top 50 innovative Jewish organization in North America. The Tarbuton was also selected in 2013 to join the new Nitzan network, funded by the Covenant Foundation. Nitzan, is a National network for innovative Jewish after school programs designed to support the renewal of Jewish learning after school. The Tarbuton is a recipient of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County Innovation Grants 2011, 2012 and of Leichtag Foundation expedited grants in 2011 and 2012. The Israeli Leadership Council in Los Angeles has also pledged support of the Tarbuton programs for 2013 and 2014.

Donations may be made online at or may be mailed to Tarbuton, P.O. Box 591, Del Mar, CA 92014.