Next Step Grant – EU Grantees 2023

Find out here the awarded projects of the Next Step Grant, sponsored by the European Commission.


Austria – Jüdische österreichische HochschülerInnen (JöH)

Project: NOODNIK – Magazine of the Austrian Union of Jewish Students

The NOODNIK is the historical newspaper of Jüdische österreichische HochschülerInnen. It is the voice of young Jewish students in Austria and, as a discursive link between Jewish and non-Jewish students, is intended to provide exchange and enlightenment.

NOODNIK has been published six times since its reestablishment, with the seventh issue appearing in mid-June 2023. The following two issues are planned for December 2023 and March 2024.

With the November issue, the originally planned publication was postponed, because since October 7th there was nothing but worry in our lives – worry about our lives here and those of our friends and families in Israel. Therefore, this issue did not contain the usual NOODNIK sections, but rather a selection of texts and experience reports that addressed current events on various levels. The goal was to offer those affected, survivors and activists a platform to express their pain and share the realities of their lives with everyone.

The March issue was dedicated to “Antisemitism and the Left” as it was seen as a burning topic amongst our peers.

Awarded sum: 8.500 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–28.2.2024

Target group reached: Jewish and non-Jewish students


Belgium – Union des Étudiants Juifs de Belgique (UEJB)

Project: The Kadima

The Kadima is UEJB’s biannual magazine. It reflects the voice and energy of Jewish Students in Belgium. Through its pages, UEJB provides a dynamic platform for their members to express themselves, share their ideas, and develop their skills in information research and critical thinking.

The magazine aims to reach a wide audience, including students, citizens, and political figures. It aspires to create a connection between individuals of different faiths, nationalities, and backgrounds in order to promote diversity and dialogue.

Each issue of the Kadima presents a diverse range of fascinating topics. From covering current events to in- depth analysis of issues close to our hearts, our goal is to offer readers a variety of interesting and relevant content. At the core of our approach, we are committed to promoting Jewish culture and its rich traditions.

In March 2024, The Kadima returned after a hiatus since the Covid crisis, reflecting on the world’s changing landscape. While the health crisis of 2022 had eased, new challenges like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and others had emerged. This edition focused on Tikkun Olam, exploring how young people addressed contemporary crises. Authors, regardless of affiliation, discussed ways to mend a fractured world. This issue honored original editors.. The Kadima, a witness to UEJB’s history, hoped to add a new chapter. Before reading, understanding Tikkun Olam was encouraged, with articles covering societal issues and individual contributions to repairing the world.

Awarded sum: 5.500 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–31.3.2024

Target group reached: Jewish and non-Jewish students


Czech Republic – Česká unie židovské mládeže (ČUŽM)

Project: Jewish Calendar Events

The “Jewish Calendar events” project, organized by the Czech Union of Jewish Youth (ČUŽM), aimed to foster Jewish life by organizing a series of events spanning from Rosh Hashanah to Hanukkah.

The events targeted existing and new members of ČUŽM, as well as members of the Jewish community and the general public, aiming to create inclusive spaces for cultural and spiritual celebration. Some events were held in collaboration with JCC Prague, with Moishe House Prague or a three-generation center within the Prague kehila.

The celebration of Jewish holidays featured traditional rituals, blending tradition with modernity, excellent catering, games, charitable raffles (with proceeds supporting the Ukrainian Union of Jewish Youth), lectures, worksjops, exhibiyions and concerts.

Events organized within the project also aimed to showcase the diversity of contemporary Jewish community life and prevent antisemitism and to promote cultural education and community engagement.

Overall, the “Jewish Calendar events” project successfully achieved its goals of fostering Jewish life, cultural education, and community engagement, creating meaningful and inclusive experiences for participants across diverse backgrounds and ages.

Awarded sum: 2.500 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–31.3.2024

Target group reached: Existing and new members of ČUŽM with diverse backgrounds and ages. Members of the Jewish community as well as the general public.


Denmark – Jødisk Ungdomssammenslutning (JU)

Project: Jewish Community Building and Youth Engagement in Copenhagen and Malmö

The project “Jewish Community Building and Youth Engagement in Copenhagen and Malmö,” organized by Jødisk Ungdomssammenslutning, aimed to strengthen ties within the Jewish community, raise awareness of Jewish life, culture, and tradition, promote Holocaust remembrance, and foster environmental awareness. Activities included community needs assessment, educational workshops, Shabbat dinners, social events, collaboration with Malmö’s youth community, cultural events, skill-building trainings, youth engagement programs, networking events, awareness campaigns, and environmental initiatives.

The project successfully achieved its objectives, contributing to the growth and vitality of the Jewish communities in Copenhagen and Malmö while making a positive impact on society at large. Through its diverse range of activities and initiatives, it strengthened community ties, promoted cultural awareness, combatted discrimination, and fostered environmental consciousness, exemplifying its commitment to Jewish community building and youth engagement.

Awarded sum: 12.500 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–31.3.2024

Target group reached: Jewish students and young professional from Denmark.


Finland – Juutalainen Opiskelijayhdistys (JOY)

Project: Jewish Finland

The “Jewish Finland” project, organized by JOY (Jewish Organization for Youth) aimed to revitalize and engage the Jewish student and young adult community. The project encompassed over 30 activities, including weekly and monthly events, targeting a diverse range of interests within the community.

The project’s main objectives included fostering community engagement, strengthening Jewish identity, and addressing contemporary challenges such as increased antisemitism and security threats. Noteworthy events included training sessions for the security team volunteers, traditional holiday celebrations like Rosh Hashanah Seder and Sukkot Pizza evening, crisis management support following a significant event, and discussions on antisemitism and Israel-related issues.

Community-building initiatives like Shabbat dinners, sports meetups, and cultural gatherings were also organized to enhance social cohesion and create a sense of belonging among participants. Special events such as the Hanukkah Gala with Presidential candidate Pekka Havisto and the JOY Board Retreat in Tallinn facilitated networking opportunities and leadership development within the community.

Additionally, the project included outreach efforts such as candlelight vigils and exhibitions to raise awareness about historical and contemporary Jewish issues, including Holocaust remembrance activities.

Overall, the “Jewish Finland” project successfully engaged a significant portion of the young adult Jewish community in Helsinki, fostering a vibrant and active community while addressing relevant challenges and preserving cultural heritage. Through diverse activities and partnerships with organizations, the project laid the foundation for sustained community involvement and growth beyond the project’s duration.

Awarded sum: 9.000 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–28.2.2024

Target group reached: Jewish Young adults 18-35 in the Helsinki Area


France – Union des étudiants juifs de France (UEJF)

Project: UEJF Fall Universities

The UEJF Fall University: “ENSEMBLE” event, organized by UEJF (Union des Étudiants Juifs de France, aimed to address the Jewish identity of students, strengthen their connection with Israel, and combat rising anti-Semitism in France. The event successfully brought together nearly 200 students, executives, and new activists, offering training, workshops, and lectures to empower participants and tackle anxiety and disorientation.

Workshops generated ideas for activism, such as responding to hateful comments and organizing demonstrations, while lectures reassured students about support from various sectors of French society. Testimonies from participants highlighted newfound motivation to get involved with UEJF and take on leadership roles.

The program included diverse activities like workshops, security briefings, round table discussions, and lectures, fostering a sense of community and purpose among participants. The event aligned with UEJF’s broader mission of promoting Jewish life in Europe, fostering connections between Jews in France, Israel, and Europe, and preventing anti-Semitism through education, intercultural dialogue, and collaboration with local authorities and the broader community.

Overall, the “ENSEMBLE” event effectively addressed the challenges faced by the Jewish community in France, providing a platform for Jewish students to engage, learn, and take proactive steps in combating anti-Semitism while strengthening their identity and connections within Europe.

Awarded sum: 15.000 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–15.12.2023

Target group reached: Nearly 200 Jewish students in France


Germany – Jüdische Studierendenunion Deutschland (JSUD)

Project: Exploring Post-Soviet Jewish History and Preserving Cultural Memory: A Journey to Riga and Vilnius

Jüdische Studierendenunion Deutschland organized as their project an educational trip “Exploring Post-Soviet Jewish History and Preserving Cultural Memory: A Journey to Riga and Vilnius”. The Jewish community in Germany has a 90% post-Soviet share. Very few people know about the extermination of Jews in the regions where most of their families come from.

The project aimed to provide a comprehensive educational experience for young German Jews, focusing on post-Soviet Jewish history and cultural preservation. Through interactive learning and engagement, the project sought to foster a deeper understanding of Jewish heritage and promote remembrance of the Shoah.

The trip took place in the Baltic states exploring Jewish history and present in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Riga. These are cities where there were hundreds of synagogues, Yiddish theaters, and a flourishing Jewish life. Significant Jewish religious and cultural heritage emerged in this region and was almost completely wiped out by the Holocaust.

The project increased awareness of Jewish history and culture among participants, enhanced understanding of the impact of the Shoah, and strengthened connections among young German Jews.

Awarded sum: 16.000 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–31.1.2024

Target group reached: 16 Jewish students from Germany


Italy – Unione Giovani Ebrei d’Italia (UGEI)

Project: Reviving the Remembrance

The “Reviving the Remembrance” project by Unione Giovani Ebrei d’Italia (UGEI) aimed to revitalize Jewish community engagement and promote awareness of Jewish culture and history, particularly focusing on commemorating the Holocaust. Through medium-small sized Shabbatonim in smaller Jewish communities across Italy, the project aimed to foster connections, learning, and reflection among young Jews. Activities included involving local Jewish communities and “Meet the Memory” project participants, organizing student-led Shabbat services, facilitating interactions with experts, and visiting Holocaust sites. Implemented through student leadership, meticulous event planning, targeted promotion, and continuous evaluation, the project aimed for short-term awareness, medium-term community strengthening, and long-term contributions to combating antisemitism. The project exemplified UGEI’s dedication to fostering Jewish community ties and promoting Holocaust remembrance, aiming to leave a lasting impact on participants and the wider Jewish community in Italy.

Awarded sum: 4.000 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–28.2.2024

Target group reached: Jewish students and young professionals aged 18–35 from Italy


Spain – Federación de Jóvenes Judíos en España (FEJJE)

Project: FEJJE Leadership Summit

The 2024 FEJJE General Assembly – Leadership Summit, hosted by the Federación de Jóvenes Judíos en España (FEJJE), aimed to unite aspiring community leaders and individuals passionate about advancing Jewish life and culture in Spain. Through immersive learning experiences and deep dives into Jewish traditions, the Summit aimed to leave a lasting impact on Spain’s young Jewish community.

The project’s goals were multi-faceted: to offer comprehensive training for community leaders, promote awareness of Jewish life and culture, foster a thriving Jewish community, and serve as the annual General Assembly for FEJJE. Organized by a dedicated team, the Summit featured workshops, seminars, and interactive sessions covering leadership, Jewish history, and community organizing. These sessions, combined with cultural immersion activities, aimed to deepen participants’ understanding of Jewish identity and foster community engagement.

Short-term achievements included recruiting 50-70 participants and receiving high satisfaction rates (>80%) from post-event evaluations. Medium-term outcomes involved increased community engagement, collaborative projects, membership growth, and improved attendance at FEJJE activities. Long-term impacts focused on organizational growth, ongoing leadership development, community strengthening, and increased participation in FEJJE initiatives.

Ultimately, the Summit exemplified FEJJE’s dedication to nurturing leadership, raising cultural awareness, and fostering a vibrant Jewish community in Spain by empowering the next generation of leaders.

Awarded sum: 15.000 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–28.2.2024

Target group reached: Jewish students and young professional aged 18-30 from various background


Sweden – Judiska Ungdomsförbundet i Sverige (JUS)

Project: Fostering and strengthening Jewish youth life in Sweden

The “SJUF” event took place from December 29th to December 31st, 2023. The project targeted young people aged 18 to 28 and aimed to provide a social and cultural event for Jewish youth in Scandinavia.

The project consisted of a three-day congress held in Stockholm, Sweden, where attendees participated in various activities such as dinners, lectures, dancing, and discussions. The congress served as an opportunity for young people from Scandinavia to meet, form friendships, and celebrate Jewish life together.

Despite concerns regarding rising antisemitism globally, the congress was successfully carried out with the support of Jewish security and local police, ensuring the safety of attendees. Over 210 people from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, as well as international participants from Israel, Belgium, England, and The Netherlands, attended the event.

The congress featured a range of activities, including gala dinners at prestigious venues, intellectual discussions in collaboration with Jewish Culture in Sweden, and presentations by award-winning authors. The event was viewed as a significant celebration of Jewish life and provided attendees with a valuable opportunity to connect with fellow Jews from across Scandinavia and beyond.

Overall, the “SJUF” project facilitated meaningful connections and celebrations within the Scandinavian Jewish youth community, highlighting the importance of coming together in solidarity, especially during challenging times.

Awarded sum: 8.000 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–1.1.2024

Target group reached: 218 Jewish students and young adults from all over Scandinavia, aged between 18–28


The Netherlands – De Joodse jongerenvereniging van Nederland (IJAR)

Project: IJAR Kabbalat Shabbat

The IJAR Kabbalat Shabbat project, organized by De Joodse jongerenvereniging van Nederland, aimed to bolster the Jewish community and enhance cultural awareness among Jewish students. By hosting monthly Shabbat meals and student-led services, the project strived to nurture a sense of belonging, offer meaningful religious experiences, and deepen knowledge of Jewish life, culture, and traditions. Implemented through student engagement, meticulous event coordination, promotion efforts, and continuous evaluation, the project aimed for short-term improvements in awareness of Jewish traditions and medium-to-long-term goals of community strengthening and increased participation. Targeting Jewish students, the project tailored activities to their needs, fostering cultural preservation, spiritual growth, and peer empowerment. Ultimately, the project exemplified the dedication of the Union to fostering an enduring, vibrant, and engaged Jewish community.

Awarded sum: 4.000 €

Project duration: 1.8.2023–28.2.2024

Target group reached: Jewish students and young professional around The Netherlands


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