Big Mitzvah raises big money for six area nonprofits

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More than 500 young adults attended the “Big Mitzvah,” a recent event in San Francisco that blended a nightclub ambiance and philanthropy.

Sponsored by the Young Funders Impact Grants Initiative of the

S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, the Jan. 26 event took place at the Fillmore and raised $36,000 for local Jewish nonprofits.

In addition to enjoying music and stand-up comedy, attendees got to participate in the donation process — deciding which local Jewish nonprofits would receive how much of the evening’s total admission fees.

After hearing presentations from each of the nonprofits, the attendees made their decisions. In the end, the $36,000 wound up being evenly divided among six grantees: Reboot (for its Six-Word Memoirs project); G-dcast (for Studio Pastrami); Kevah (for Hardly Strictly Torah); the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto (for a yoga and wine night for 20- and 30-somethings); the Sonoma JCC and Congregation Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa (for a joint project to get young adults connected to the Jewish community); and HistoryPin (to help in the creation of an interactive online Jewish map of San Francisco).

Debbie Berkowitz, the federation’s director of young adult philanthropy, called the event “a fantastic evening” and said a new Young Funders IGI committee will be formed in the spring or summer.