Meet an Entrepreneur: Rami Ozeri

Simi Hinden>>Thu Oct 24, 2013

Rami Ozeri is the founder of The Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, and a fellow in PresenTense's 2013 Yazamim Jerusalem Accelerator for social entrepreneurs. 

What is the Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art?

The Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art is a stage for artists active today to exhibit artwork that is somehow related in one way or another to Jewish world of content. The artwork doesn’t have to be religious, the artist doesn’t even have to be Jewish, but we do target  art that has Jewish content in some way.

There is a shortage of places to exhibit this kind of art. Many institutes of art in Israel are interested in Jewish art as long as it’s not contemporary art, or contemporary art that’s not Jewish. There is no place for art that is both contemporary and Jewish. Someone who’s been in the field for many years said there’s a “Chinese wall’ between contemporary and Jewish, and we’re trying to tear down this wall.


Meet an Entrepreneur: Kate Rosenberg

Simi Hinden>>Sun Sep 29, 2013

photo by Karin Dvora

Kate Rosenberg is a founder of Keren Baktana, and a fellow from PresenTense's 2011 Mazeh 9 Tel Aviv Fellowship. 

Give us your best elevator pitch and tell us about your venture!

Keren Baktana is revolutionizing Israeli philanthropy in a strategic manner for young people in Israel. We are providing a way for young Israelis to enter into philanthropy without it being too big a task through the use of giving circles. We teach participants about giving circles and how they can leverage small donations to make a larger difference. These circles tap into all sorts of different causes that people can rally around, helping them set up their own circles.

How did you come to establish it? What need does it fill?

I established Keren Baktana together with two other friends, Orly Shafir and Emily Friedman-Novak. The three of us were involved in fundraising and third sector jobs in Tel Aviv and wanted to make philanthropy more accessible and relevant to young Israelis. Our secondary goal was to generate more money for small projects through social entrepreneurship. We specifically chose to focus on small projects rather than funnel more money into larger amutot. The social entrepreneurship ventures are more relevant to young people because they’re able to make a larger difference when donating to a small organization. We’re funding a lot of projects that have been started by social entrepreneurs.


Entrepreneurial Lessons from Current PT Fellows

Simi Hinden>>Wed Apr 10, 2013

PresenTense’s 129 current local fellows are already into the fourth month of their fellowships, focusing on Finance and Operations as they continue to prototype, develop, re-evaluate, and work towards launching their ventures. As so many of them have said, it’s been an intense but productive process attending workshops and skillbuilding sessions, meeting with mentors and coaches, and networking with other entrepreneurs.

But what are they actually learning and how is it making a difference? Hear it from them, in their own words.


2013 Fellow Stats

Simi Hinden>>Tue Jan 29, 2013

We're excited to finally announce our 2013 cohort of fellows! 129 Fellows are developing 119 Ventures in 10 cities around the world, with the support of hundreds of local community members.

Want to learn more about the fellows and their ventures? See the infographic below for some interesting stats and data points. And of course, check back here on the blog for inspiring fellow blog posts, educational interviews with mentors and coaches, and updates from our coordinators and SocialStart Trainers in the field.



Insights from Applications to PresenTense's 10 Local Fellowships

Simi Hinden>>Wed Dec 12, 2012

PresenTense just closed applications for its local fellowships in 10 cities around the world. Applications season is always an exciting time, as coordinators and steering committee volunteers put in many hours recruiting local entrepreneurs or aspiring innovators. After the application deadline closes, in each city, the coordinators and steering committee decide who to advance to the speed-interviewing stage, and afterwards chooses its cohort. (While several of our cities have already chosen their cohorts, we're waiting until all cities have done so before making one announcement.)

We've collected some basic statistics on fellowship applicants and their venture ideas, to better learn what populations the programs are reaching, what ventures focus on, and to glean any lessons for the future on how to change or improve applications and the fellowships for future years. So without further ado, check out the stats below!



A Tel Avivian in Moscow: Visiting PT's Kaet Moscow Fellowship

Simi Hinden>>Sun Nov 18, 2012

Last month, Jesse Fox, a fellow from PresenTense's 2011 Mazeh 9 Tel Aviv Fellowship, flew to Moscow to attend a Open House for PresenTense's Kaet Moscow Fellowship, meeting with fellows, steering committee members, and aspiring social entrepreneurs. What can an American-Israeli from Tel Aviv teach or learn from young Russian Jewish entrepreneurs? Learn more below.

1. What did you first think you'd encounter when you prepared to fly to meet PresenTense's program, Kaet Moscow? 

I had absolutely no idea. I had never been to Russia and knew almost nothing about Moscow, aside from what I'd read here and there. In terms of the urban planning, I expected to encounter a very old city, with multiple layers of history and a very impressive subway system (which all turned out to be true). I was particularly struck by the sort of monumental character of so many of the historical artifacts that are still very much present in the city's landscape, both from the Communist period and, mainly, from the pre-Communist period. And I expected it to be very cold, which it was. 


Searching for a Better Database

Simi Hinden>>Thu Oct 25, 2012

Data and information tracking isn't sexy. Most people on our staff have finally managed to stifle a groan every time I bring up Salesforce and data tracking - after all, it's not as exciting as running an IdeaSlam for 100 Masa-niks or coordinating a fellowship for a dozen social entrepreneurs. But data management is crucial to an organization’s ability to maintain and create connections, forecast for the future, and execute programs.

At PresenTense, we’ve used Salesforce to manage our data for more than three years. Thanks to a donation from the Salesforce Foundation, we have 17 Enterprise licenses - worth a few thousand dollars a year - and 10,000 email credits to use with Vertical Response, the partially-integrated email client. Salesforce is built on a powerful infrastructure, and we have been able to customize it to track information about people and organizations in our network, potential sales opportunities, email campaigns, and more.

Yet - Salesforce has several main (glaring, actually) flaws that make it a pain to use. Its design is outdated and cluttered, and it’s difficult to clean up displays. It’s so big and unwieldy that it can be difficult to customize. And, as the name implies, it is entirely focused on Sales and optimizing the sales process - which is great if the only people that need it are your sales team. But we’re not selling t-shirts or computers or other physical products that ship and are done. We sell programs - which involve building relationships, fostering good communication, and providing services on an ongoing basis. Closing the sale is only the very beginning of our work.


2013 Fellowship Applications are Live!

Simi Hinden>>Wed Oct 24, 2012


Do you have a vision for the Jewish Community and a passion to change the world? A desire to access a network of inspired and passionate community leaders? A need for new business skills, tools and processes, designed for social entrepreneurs? 

Are you in Boston, Chicago, DC, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, St. Petersburg, or Tel Aviv?

Apply for a 2013 Community Entrepreneur Fellowship in your community! Applications close soon (check your local fellowship for exact dates), so take the next step to turn your vision into a reality.

Know someone else with a great idea? Tell a Friend and share this opportunity!


Congrats to Matt Bar on becoming a Joshua Venture Fellow!

Simi Hinden>>Mon Sep 10, 2012

A huge congratulations and kol hakavod to Matt Bar and Bible Raps for being selected as a 2012-14 Joshua Venture Fellow! (Read the press release at eJewishPhilanthropy.)

Matt first launched Bible Raps during the 2007 Global Summer Institute, and since then, they have worked with over 125,000 children and young adults, using rap and hip hop to teach Jewish texts through performances and participatory workshops. We’re so proud of Matt and are excited to see Bible Raps grow even more.

Joshua Venture Group put out an excellent infographic which looks at statistics about this round’s applicants. At the end, we found a breakdown of programs applicants had already participated in, and were thrilled discover that 20 of the 150 applicants, or 13% of the pool, had participated in a PresenTense fellowship - more than had participated in any other program listed.

It’s quite inspiring see that so many of our fellows seek follow on training and financial support in growing their ventures or to launch new ones, and it speaks to the growing impact of social entrepreneurship and innovation in the Jewish community.

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