June 19, 2017 | eJewish Philanthropy
Who will be the next cohort of innovators to make their mark on Jewish life? The UpStart Accelerator – the Jewish community’s leading engine behind the success of innovative, early-stage organizations – just answered this question with the announcement of its tenth cohort of cutting-edge organizations. Selected from the Accelerator’s largest applicant pool ever (92 from around the world), these nine organizations are opening up new access points to Jewish life.
Since 2006, UpStart has served as a launch pad for nearly forty Jewish organizations, including Moishe House, Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning, 30 Years After, Jewish Kids Groups, and Urban Adamah. UpStart is on the verge of completing a major merger, bringing Joshua Venture Group, Bikkurim, and the U.S. programs of PresenTense into its ranks. Accelerator Cohort 10 will be the first cohort of the new UpStart, benefitting from a broader network of innovators, advisors, and funders to support the growth of their organization.
“This is an exciting time for Jewish innovators. We’re seeing an unprecedented demand for – and investment in – organizations bringing something new and fresh to Jewish life,” says Aaron Katler, CEO of UpStart. “This Accelerator cohort represents some of our community’s most forward-thinking and creative organizations.”
Below are the organizations in Cohort 10, which will join the thirty-eight organizations and alumni of the Accelerator, as well as the 1,300 organizations in the larger UpStart network:
Eshel (New York) – Creates community and acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews and their families in Orthodox communities.
JQ International (Los Angeles) – Builds and strengthens a community that nurtures a healthy fusion of LGBTQ and Jewish identities.
Makom Community (Philadelphia) – Creates family-centered Jewish experiences where parents are empowered to build a Jewish life that is personally meaningful for their family.
No Shame on U (Chicago) – Works to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health conditions in the Jewish community.
Olive Tree Arts Network (Chicago) – Uses creative expression to promote understanding, cooperation and peace in our multi-faith society.
The Open Temple (Los Angeles) – Inspires individuals and families towards a life of Jewish curiosity, creativity, and critical thought.
Or HaLev: Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation (Israel) – Teaches Torat Chayyim, a Torah of insight into everyday life and the practice of skillful living.
Pico Union Project (Los Angeles) – Brings diverse cultures together through song, story, art, food and prayer.
Tikkun Ha-Ir (Milwaukee) – Encourages the Jewish community to build a more just Milwaukee through study, action, and civic engagement.