The Covenant Grants

Digital Storytelling in Jewish Studies

Organization: Citizen Film, San Francisco, CA

Grant Year: 2011

Project Director: Sam Ball

Type of Grant: Ignition

Grant Amount: $20,000 (1 year)


Arts and Culture

The Digital Storytelling in Jewish Studies project enabled Citizen Film to collaborate with Judaic Studies professors at underserved academic institutions on digital storytelling that inspired a passion for Jewish Studies. Citizen Film subsequently received a Covenant Foundation Signature grant in 2014 to continue this project.

Through this project, Citizen Film cultivated and trained a professional learning network (PLN) that uses emergent media forms and methodologies to address important questions for the future of Jewish Studies. Through the initial grant, Citizen Film successfully coached six PLN members to initiate new media projects in Jewish Studies programs around the country and created opportunities for those programs to grow their new media practices. The organization was issued another grant in 2014 to recruit six new PLN members, train 36 to 54 of participating institutions’ graduate students to teach new media activities developed by the PLN, and launch a portal to disseminate new media activities. Citizen Film works with education departments of cultural institutions to propose new media activities developed in its PLN to high school & informal educators.

Ignition Grantee Reflections: Impacts and Learnings
“Where are we now, what did we accomplish, and what have we learned?”

“I think the impact of the grant is that people are really excited about the field of Jewish Studies as potentially being at the forefront of a movement rather than lagging behind the movement, which is often what happens. For me it’s really exciting to learn from people who are doing incredibly interesting research and who are synthesizing ideas in ways I find very stimulating. I’m really grateful to keep that part of my soul and brain engaged. The project helped Citizen Film keep up with Jewish culture, and at the same time contribute to how technology is changing that culture and the way people consume cultural stories.”

—Sam Ball, Project Director

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