Dear UpStart Community,
It is with tremendous excitement that I write you today as UpStart’s new CEO.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of sharing UpStart’s work with family, friends, colleagues, and community members. To me, UpStart’s mission boils down to a simple notion – that we must seize the central opportunity presented to the Jewish community today:
How might we foster the creation of new access points to the gift of Jewish tradition in ways that provide a deeper and more relevant sense of meaning for our community?
UpStarts answer to that question is simple: we invest in the people and organizations who are taking big risks to design a different Jewish future.
We accelerate the success of these courageous entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs by expanding their capacity to turn a simple idea into a successful, sustainable, and scaleable social venture.
UpStart is about promoting and fostering an environment where new Jewish ideas can thrive, evolve, and succeed in the marketplace of meaning.
This was Tobys vision in the founding of UpStart, and it has been the shared vision of UpStarts participants, Foundations, and donors over the past ten years. Today, it is my vision as I humbly inherit this leadership role.
Over the coming weeks, Toby and I will have the good fortune of spending a lot of time together – attending the Jewish Federations General Assembly, participating in the Lean Startup conference, and doing the important work of seamlessly transitioning the leadership of this organization. I am grateful to have a predecessor with such inspiring vision, deep integrity, and an unwavering commitment to the success of the work, not simply the organization.
Toby would be the first to say that leaders are only as successful as the community of partners surrounding them. I’m eager to work with all of you – UpStart’s entrepreneurs, funders, staff, and community stakeholders – as together we will seize this great opportunity in Jewish life.
Aaron Katler, CEO