Envisioning the Future
Photo by Nic McPhee
The promise to the next generation has always been bigger and better. But when it comes to Jewish philanthropy, young entrepreneurs are shaking their heads– “We want our own vision,” they say. “That was yours.”
So what is the future of Jewish philanthropy and Jewish organizations? Today’s leader in cutting edge philanthropy is the Slingshot Fund. If Jewish innovation is what you want, then the Slingshot Fund is where to get it.
Why You Should Care About the Slingshot Fund
The epitome of an 21st century organization geared to take on the challenges of the upcoming decade, Slingshot is best known for its annually released “Slingshot Resource Guide to American Jewish Innovation.”
In its efforts to identify and sponsor organizations in the Jewish community based on emerging interests and priorities, Slingshot serves as a catalyst and a conduit for getting young social entrepreneurs involved in Jewish giving.
8 Grants for 5768
The Slingshot Fund’s $360,000 inaugural grants were announced this week. Here are the 8 lucky grantees:
- Goldring/Woldenberg Institute for Southern Jewish Life, providing educational and rabbinic services to isolated Jewish communities, and documenting Southern Jewish lie
- JDub Records, promoting Jewish values and community connections through reggae and hip hop (think: Matisyahu)
- Jewish Funds for Justice, promoting vibrant Jewish communities and skillful leaders
- Just Vision, using media and educational tools to raise awareness and encourage civic participation in grassroots peacebuilding
- Ikar, creating new models for spiritual Jewish communities, with novel experimentation with rituals, study, and social justice
- InterfaithFamily.com, connecting families and Jewish communities across religious and spiritual modalities
- Reboot, creating multi-media experiences in Jewish culture through literature, entertainment and social action for young adults
- Storahtelling, performing weekly Torah portions and stories in schools and synagogues
What We Can Learn From This List
Now you know the who, but what about the why? What can we learn about current trends in Jewish philanthropy from this list? What does it tell us about how we envision our future?
It is no secret that young Jews are feeling increasingly disconnected from the large scale federated system of Jewish philanthropy housed in the United Jewish Communities.
Young people want more control than the federations can offer. They want direct routes to giving, transparent processes, and fuller accountability than their parents’ generation. Gone are the days when we trust in institutions and middle men to do our giving for us. We want direct control to ensure the maximum impact of our philanthropic dollar.
In a world where the prerequisites to social inclusion are often deemed insurmountable, young social activists are looking for answers. Slingshot provides a solution.
Look to this year’s Slingshot grantees and Guide members as leaders in taking on the Jewish community challenges that are to come.
(Keep reading for recommendations on learning more.)
- “Top Jewish Foundations and Their Philanthropic Giving”
- “Jewish Communal Giving: Thoughts from the Blogosphere”
- * “JTA’s ‘Reimagining Federated Philanthropy’– What You Need to Know”
- * “Assessing the Forward 50: What We Can Learn About Top American Jewish Philanthropists”
- “12 Jewish Charities Featured on Forbes’ Top 200 List”
* Includes a profile of Sharna Goldseker, one of the founders of the Slingshot Fund, as well as Vice President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, and Director of Grand Street and 21/64, organizations training the next generation of philanthropic leaders for family foundations.
Jewish Communal Innovation–
Look for the Big Ideas Series based on Charles Bronfman’s Brandeis Contest:
- “Bronfman’s Big Idea for Jewish Communal Innovation: Where Do We Stand at the Halfway Mark?”
- “Bronfman’s Big Idea: What’s Yours?”
- “The Big Idea Series: Introducing Four Proposals for Jewish Communal Innovation”— Coming next week!
And from the Boston Globe:
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