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PRESS RELEASE: Repair the World Named One of North America’s Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits

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.

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Introducing the Slingshot Class of 2011-2012

Slingshot present’s the seventh annual edition of Slingshot: A Resource Guide for Jewish Innovation, featuring 50 inspirational organizations in Jewish life in North America; and for the first time ever, 10 projects which have helped define Slingshot for the past seven years.

While many lament the changing nature of Jewish life and long with nostalgia for a simpler time of more automatic Jewish unity, 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.

While Slingshot ’11-’12 may be optimistic, don’t allow its self-confident portrayal of Jewish identity to mask the concern of the social entrepreneurs, start-up organizations and seed-stage funders showcased within. They all have projects on the horizon and are worried about where to find more funding. Nobody knows if even the most innovative idea can find long-term sustainability, as evidenced this year by the closing of JDub, the ultimate next generation social entrepreneurial platform. After sustaining innovation and impact for years, JDub has recently forced to close its doors due to lack of support. Rather than taking granted that someone else is funding next generation engagement, Jewish continuity, or whatever other name you want to give our community’s continued vibrancy, let Slingshot ’11-’12 inspire you to get involved with at least one organization …

Will Schneider, Slingshot’s Executive Director writing in the introduction.

 

Here’s this year’s 10 Standard Bears followed by the Slingshot 50 (all in alphabetical order):

  1. Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community
  2. Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life
  3. Hazon
  4. IKAR
  5. InterfaithFamily.com, Inc.
  6. Jewish Funds For Justice
  7. Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, Inc.
  8. Mechon Hadar
  9. Reboot
  10. Sharsheret
  • ACCESS – AJC’s new generation program
  • BBYO Panim Institute
  • Be’chol Lashon
  • Bible Raps
  • The Bronfman Youth Fellowships Alumni Venture Fund
  • Center Without Walls
  • Challah for Hunger
  • Diarna: Mapping Mizrahi Heritage
  • Eden Village Camp
  • Encounter
  • Gateways – Access to Jewish Education
  • G-dcast
  • Haggadot.com
  • Hebrew SeniorLife Chaplaincy Institute
  • Hidden Sparks
  • Hillel’s Campus Entrepreneur & Senior Jewish Educator Initiative
  • Institute for Curriculum Services: National Resources Center for Accurate Jewish Content in Schools
  • Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues
  • Jewish Community Action – Foreclosure Prevention
  • The Jewish Education Project
  • Jewish Heart for Africa
  • Jewish Meditation Center of Brooklyn
  • Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation
  • Jewish Rock Radio
  • Jewish Teen Funders Network
  • Judaism Your Way
  • The Kavana Cooperative
  • Kavanah Garden, Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programs
  • Kayam Farm at the Pearlstone Conference & Retreat Center
  • Keshet
  • Matan – For Every Child. For Every Community. The Gift of Jewish Learning.
  • Moishe House
  • Moving Traditions
  • MyJewishLearning.com
  • Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality
  • OurJewishCommunity.org
  • The PresenTense Group
  • Project Chessed
  • Rabbis for Human Rights-North America
  • Repair the World
  • Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council
  • Rose Youth Foundation, an initiative of Rose Community Foundation
  • Seeds of Peace, Inc.
  • Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
  • Shalom Sesame/Sesame Workshop
  • Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists
  • Teva Learning Alliance
  • TORCH
  • Uri L’Tzedek
  • Wilderness Torah

Slingshot names top 50 Jewish innovators, plus 10

Slingshot added a Top 10 list to its newly released annual guide to innovative Jewish programming in North America.

A list of 10 top “standard bearers” was added to the annual list of the 50 “most inspiring and innovative organizations, projects, and programs in the North American Jewish community today” by Slingshot, a project of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.

The standard bearers are Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community; Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life; Hazon; Ikar; InterfaithFamily.com; Jewish Funds for Justice-Progressive Jewish Alliance; Mayyim Hayyim; Mechon Hadar; Reboot; and Sharsheret.

“These organizations are not just innovative, they’re pushing it every year,” Will Schneider, Slingshot’s director, told JTA in an interview. “They’re striving for relevancy every day.”

Both the standard bearers and the other 50 were judged according to four criteria: innovation, impact, strong leadership and organizational efficacy. The winners were chosen by a panel of foundation professionals after an application and nominations process.

This year’s Slingshot 50 are, in alphabetical order: Access-American Jewish Committee’s new generation program; BBYO PANIM Institute; Be’chol Lashon; Bible Raps, the Bronfman Youth Fellowships Alumni Venture Fund; Center Without Walls; Challah for Hunger; Diarna: Mapping Mizrahi Heritage; Eden Village Camp; Encounter; Gateways-Access to Jewish Education; G-dcast; Haggadot.com; Hebrew SeniorLife Chaplaincy Institute; Hidden Sparks; Hillel’s Campus Entrepreneur & Senior Jewish Educator Initiative; Institute for Curriculum Services; the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues; Jewish Community Action-Foreclosure Prevention; The Jewish Education Project; Jewish Heart for Africa; Jewish Meditation Center of Brooklyn; Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation; Jewish Rock Radio; Jewish Teen Funders Network; and Judaism Your Way.

Also, the Kavana Cooperative; Kavanah Garden; Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programs; Kayam Farm at the Pearlstone Conference & Retreat Center; Keshet; Matan; Moishe House; Moving Traditions; MyJewishLearning.com; Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality; OurJewishCommunity.org; the PresenTense Group; Project Chessed; Rabbis for Human Rights-North America; Repair the World; Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council; Rose Youth Foundation, an initiative of Rose Community Foundation; Seeds of Peace; Shalom Hartman Institute of North America; Shalom Sesame/Sesame Workshop; Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists; Teva Learning Alliance; Torch; Uri L’Tzedek; and Wilderness Torah.

“The capacity for 50 great organizations has grown over the years,” Schneider said. “It’s become extremely competitive to get in.”