Seventh Annual “Slingshot” Guidebook Names 50 Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits in America

Repair the World, a national organization dedicated to making service a defining part of American Jewish life, has been named one of the nation’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in Slingshot ’11-‘12, a resource guide for Jewish innovation. To be listed in Slingshot, organizations are selected from among hundreds of nominees. Finalists are chosen based on their strength in four areas: innovation, impact, leadership, and organizational efficiency.

Slingshot is used by philanthropists, volunteers, not-for-profit executives, and program participants to identify path-finding and trailblazing organizations grappling with concerns in Jewish life such as identity, community, and tradition. Repair the World was chosen by a panel of 36 foundation professionals from across North America.

“Repair the World works to mobilize Jews of all ages and backgrounds to serve with integrity and to help ensure that we leave the world a better place,” explained Jon Rosenberg, Repair’s Chief Executive Officer. ““We’re focused not just on bringing more people into service, but also on making the service more meaningful with long-lasting results,” he said.

Since it was established in 2009, Repair the World has enabled nearly 5,000 young Jewish adults to participate in an immersive service program and nearly 1,000 young people to participate in service programs in Israel. Repair has also mobilized more than 26,000 volunteers to work for a total of 93,000 days in their communities; launched campus-based service projects at colleges and universities across the country; created college-based service-learning courses; worked with Jewish educators; and conducted landmark research into attitudes and behaviors about service among Jewish young adults, among other significant achievements.

“We’re thrilled to be listed among the extraordinary organizations selected for the Slingshot Guidebook. Not only does it affirm the value of our work, it exposes us to a vibrant community of potential partners and initiative to take our programming to the next level,” said Rosenberg.

According to Will Schneider, Executive Director of Slingshot, “Slingshot celebrates the relative peace and prosperity that Jews enjoy in the United States and Canada while highlighting those organizations that work to ensure that Jewish life isn’t left behind as the world moves forward. Slingshot ’11-’12 is an inspirational look at a Jewish community that is adapting to changing needs in Jewish life. We had more applications than ever this year, with a wider variety of missions. In order to be selected by our evaluators, innovations and their impact had to resonate more than ever.”

Inspired five years ago by Slingshot, a group of next-generation philanthropists launched the Slingshot Fund, a collective giving mechanism to support innovative Jewish life. In just five cycles, 55 members of the Slingshot Fund have contributed more than $1.8 million to innovative Jewish not-for-profits.

Jonathan Raiffe, the Chairman of Slingshot, shared, “The Slingshot guide makes a statement to the Jewish community and beyond that next gen funders embrace change, innovation, and evaluation when meeting the needs of our community. Slingshot promotes organizations that hold themselves accountable to all their stakeholders and up to the same scrutiny as for-profit organizations, while pushing the boundaries of how to solve the most pressing issues. Slingshot is about making a statement as to what we believe are the greatest needs and what organizations are doing the best job to fulfill those needs. Organizations that receive grants from Slingshot clearly identify an unmet need and offer proven models and solutions that can have a far-reaching impact.”

Slingshot ’11/’12 was released on October 18, 2011. The community will meet on March 14 in New York City at the annual Slingshot Day, where over 250 not-for-profit leaders, foundation professionals, and funders of all ages will engage in candid conversations about philanthropy and innovation.

##