Community Programs, RFPs and Initiatives

The Phyllis Margolius Family Foundation, Inc. > Community Programs, RFPs and Initiatives

Community Programs We Support

The Millennial Project: (A conservative Jewish movement for youth and young families in Washington D.C.). This is a project that relies heavily upon forming and maintaining intimate personal relationships between established Jewish communal individuals such as young rabbis, cantors, educators and young leaders with young local families.

First Book (Washington D.C. Area): First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need. Since their founding in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families.

First Book supports the largest and fastest growing network of educators and program leaders serving children in need. What is so attractive to the Foundation about this organization is not only that the mission involves the gift of learning, reading and books, but it is a prime example of when organizations collaborate and leverage resources, they multiply the power and effect that they can have on a life, a family, a school and an entire community. Educators, publishers, funders and philanthropists, the local governments and school districts and the heroic teachers transform the lives of these children by improving access to equal, quality education and written materials and literature for all children regardless of their school or school district.


The Idea Program Challenge Winner

Philip Margolius, Jennifer Margolius Fisher, Kenneth Margolius and David Margolius, the Directors of the Phyllis Margolius Family Foundation are proud to announce that Ohr Kodesh Congregation along with its collaborators Temple Shalom, MoEd, Ramah Day Camp, PJ Library and the Jewish Food Experience are the Winner of the Foundation’s Idea Program Challenge.  They are being awarded the top prize of $120,000 payable in three annual installments for its program:

In 2016, the Foundation through the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington conducted a survey of Jewish families with young children to determine what barriers there are for those families to participate in Jewish life in the Washington, DC area.  In 2017, the Foundation issued a request for proposals from Jewish organizations to take the results of the survey and come up with new and innovative programs to attract those families with children.  Those organizations wanting to apply for the award had to collaborate with at least one other organization and take into consideration the results of the survey, which named the following as potential barriers to participation:  time, location, culture and fit and cost.

Many innovative and interesting proposals were submitted to the Foundation by local Jewish organizations.

The winner Engage! Pop-Up to Pop in is a series of eight to ten events annually to be held primarily in Montgomery County in open and accessible spaces that have high pedestrian traffic.  The events will be focused on engaging young families through Jewish-related themes, including culture, food and family learning opportunities for all.  In addition to fun and engaging programming for children there will also be a “Parent Café”, the events will be widely advertised through social and other media.  Walk -in traffic will also be encouraged.

Foundation President Philip Margolius cited the importance of collaboration among organizations as one of the factors in granting the award.  “Here we have a conservative synagogue and a reform synagogue cooperating with each other and with four other local Jewish organizations, all for the good of the Washington Jewish community.”


The Phyllis Margolius Memorial Lecture Series: Conversations on the Cutting Edge – A Jewish Perspective. This lecture series will occur twice a year named in Phyllis’ memory to perpetuate her legacy. The spring and fall lectures will feature high profile lecturers to draw a dynamic and engaged audience. We envision deep and reflective conversation among lecturers who approach an issue in differing ways; the conversation would be moderated by an expert or other hand selected individuals. (We envision for example atypical speakers not necessarily both Jewish, paired together, for example the non-Jewish speaker may speak surprisingly from a Jewish perspective). The series participants will include a range of leading Perspectives of the Washington area and national or international arenas. We intend to pair lecturers or high profile speakers (hereinafter referred to as “lecturers”) who would not customarily be seen together. Conversations on the Cutting Edge – A Jewish Perspective will span a wide range of cultural, educational, political, spiritual, and social issues that resonate in today’s world.

The Senior Friendship (Isolation) Challenge: The Foundation will be looking for programs to address the systemic issue of isolation and loneliness for seniors who have no major health issues with the exception of those relative to the aging process, limitations of travel due to inability to drive, and isolation due to loss of spouse and friends who are also getting older.  The Foundation will be looking for programs that pair seniors with stimulating intellectual partners for in home or out of the home programming.  Applications will be taken at a future date.