>>Fri Dec 11, 2009
- ירושלים היא עיר מוכת עוני, יש לך רעיון למיזם חדשני שיתמודד עם בעיות התעסוקה בעיר?
- מערכת החינוך בארץ היא מהחלשות בעולם, מאמינים שיש לכם רעיון שישפר את מערכת החינוך?
- נמאס לכם מדירות הרפאים בירושלים ורוצים למצוא פתרון למצוקת הדיור של זוגות צעירים?
- האם יש לכם מיזם פנים ארגוני חשוב שזקוק להכוונה ויעוץ?
- מעונינם להקנות לאנשי צוות מובילים בארגון שלכם את הכלים הכי מפותחים לבניית סטארטאפים חברתיים?
- האם אתם רוצים לשדרג את היכולת של הארגון שלכם לתקשר עם הקהילה והעולם תוך כדי שימוש במדיה חברתית הכי מפותחת במטרה לגייס מתנדבים, משתתפים ומשאבים?
התכנית מיועדת ליזמים חברתיים בירושלים, המעונינים להשיק פרויקט משלהם או ליזמים הנמצאים בתוך ארגונים חברתיים מובילים בעיר ומספקת להם כלים מעשיים. הכלים הללו מאפשרים להשיק יוזמות הנמצאות בשלב הראשוני ביותר שלהן. עשרות היוזמות שהושקו דרך הארגון, מוכיחות זאת.
התכנית תימשך 5 חודשים (ינואר- מאי) ויתקימו בה ארבעה עשר מפגשים קבוצתיים, המפגשיים יערכו בימי חמישי בשעות הערב ובימי שישי בבוקר, אחת לשלושה שבועות. (ניתן לשלב תוכנית זו במהלך העבודה או הלימודים)
Do you have an idea for a venture that will solve social problems in Jerusalem and in Israel?
Are you a social innovator with an amazing idea?
- Jerusalem is a poor city: Do you have an idea how to reduce unemployment?
- Israel's educational system is one of the weakest in the developed world. Do you have a plan to revitalize Israeli education?
- Are you sick of vast blocks of empty luxury apartments in Jerusalem and eager to create affordable housing for young couples and students?
Do you run an organization with a social goal that wants to bring about social change?
- Do you have an innovative idea within your organization that needs to be developed?
- Are you interested in imparting to your staff the most up to date tools to build startup organizations?
- Do you want to upgrade your organization's ability to connect with its community and the world, using social media, with the goal of engaging volunteers, partners, and resources?
This is your last opportunity to apply for PresenTense's Winter Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs, a program developed in partnership with Ruach Hadasha, Hitorerut, and ROI.
The program is five months long (January-May 2010) and will have 14 group meetings, which take Thursday evenings and Friday mornings once every three weeks and are specifically designed to accommodate work or university schedules.
Click here to apply.
Questions? Contact Brachie - 050-966-9651
>>Wed Dec 9, 2009
The two decades leading up to the near-collapse of the world financial markets in late 2008 was a period of enormous growth in private philanthropy. This was especially true in the Jewish community, which saw the establishment of some nine thousand Jewish family foundations with assets totaling $30 billion.
Then everything changed. The recession and the Madoff scandal created a perfect storm that severely damaged the philanthropic community; on average, private foundations are reported to have lost about 30 percent of their assets, and some smaller foundations reduced giving by as much as 60 percent.
Click here to read more.
>>Thu Dec 3, 2009
by Miriam Bader
The launch of PresenTense Magazine Issue 9: Philanthropy initiated a stimulating conversation about young Jews and philanthropy at a panel Tuesday night titled “Entitled or Enlightened?”. Cosponsored by PresenTense, The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, and ROI Community, the event, which took place at the Samuel Bronfman Foundation offices in New York, featured panelists Rabbi Andy Bachman of Congregation Beth Elohim, Gali Cooks of the Rita & Stanley Kaplan Family Foundation, and Rabbi Ari Weiss of Uri L’Tzedek. Their perspectives were as compelling as those shared by the audience, a group of largely young Jews in the nonprofit Jewish fundraising world. Expertly moderated by Tamar Snyder, a staff writer at The Jewish Week, the panel explored complex issues related to Jewish philanthropy. While few answers were provided, the questions posed are relevant to anyone concerned with the relationship of young Jews to philanthropy:
- What exactly does it mean to be a young Jew? Is it defined by one’s age, or one’s self perception?
- What is a social entrepreneur? Can there really be so many? Is the title earned, or self-proclaimed?
- Does innovation really exist? Or is it execution and packaging that distinguishes new ideas from the old?
On free programming:
- Has free programming created a generation with a culture of entitlement?
- Is free sustainable? Does sustainability matter?
- Does free signify that a product is not worth the price?
- Is volunteerism a trend or a sustainable model?
- Should volunteerism be ritualized and institutionalized within the Jewish community?
- Does philanthropy encompass volunteerism or is it exclusively financial giving?
- Is it a cause for concern that many Jews give more to universal causes than to Jewish organizations?
- How do we educate people to give?
- What values are worth supporting?
- What can we learn from historic philanthropic models? Do we look to the past often enough?
A spirit of questioning was a key aspect of the evening’s lively conversation. As Gali Cooks aptly stated, “I am not a cynic, but a skeptic.” Although the questions raised may not have easy answers, reflecting on them is critical.
Miriam Bader is Director of Education at the Museum at Eldridge Street, an ROI alum, as well as a writer and editor at PresenTense Magazine.
This was originally published at eJewishPhilanthropy.
>>Thu Dec 3, 2009
In Friday's The Jewish Week, Sandy Cardin and Ted Sokolsky highlight a new level of cooperation between the 'old guard' - federations and foundations - and young grassroots organizations.
Federations and foundations opening up and partnering with grassroots organizations? We are indeed serious, and here are some examples from the article:
Federations and foundations are also working together to help new, grassroots organizations reach wider and wider audiences. PresenTense, a start-up organization based in Jerusalem that runs programs for several federations in North America, receives funding from a variety of sources, including federations and foundations. JDub is another new enterprise garnering financial and other forms of assistance from various places, including funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles for its recent adoption of the online media outlet, Jewcy.
These are just a few examples of a new spirit of cooperation emerging in the Jewish philanthropic world, recognition that we are not engaged in a zero-sum game. As Aharon Horwitz, co-founder of PresenTense, points out, “It is nice to see that all of us who care about the Jewish future are beginning to realize that we’re in this together, and that to succeed we need to envision one people, in cooperation, leveraging all of our myriad assets.”
Take PresenTense for example - we are funded by a number of federations and foundations, and are extremely grateful for their assistance. Our Boston Fellowship is built in partnership with the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. And, we are planning to expand to more cities around the US in coming months, in partnership with local federations.
It's not about how my organization can beat your organization, or how my startup is better than your federation - today it's about how we can work together to achieve common goals and upgrade the Jewish people for the next generation.
>>Wed Dec 2, 2009
New York's The Jewish Week featured an article on TAMID Israel Investment. Founded by Eitan Ingall, PTI '08, and Sasha Gribov, TAMID connects American business-minded students with Israeli startups and entrepreneurs, connecting college and graduate students with Israel while helping them further their career aspirations.
From the article:
"At 1:45 a.m. on a recent weeknight, a group of 27 Jewish students gathered in the main auditorium at University of Michigan’s Hillel. Instead of breaking out the beer, they video-conferenced with Nir Elperin, vice president of Arba Finance, a venture capital firm in Tel Aviv."
A middle of the night conference call when you could be surfing facebook in your pajamas? Now that's commitment.
>>Sun Nov 22, 2009
By Sarah Kass
(Originally published in Haaretz)
Who can forget December 11, 2008? On the day Bernie Madoff was arrested, millions if not billions of (Jewish) philanthropic dollars went up in smoke. Since then, surviving Jewish philanthropists have rearranged their investment strategies and surviving Jewish nonprofits have rearranged their donor bases. As we approach the first anniversary of that day, we remember the devastation and think about how it has changed us. It is possible that December 11, 2008, launched the transformation of the Jewish third sector.
Imagine you are in synagogue and the Torah reading has just ended. As the magbiyah lifts the Torah aloft, you and your fellow congregants stand, holding your right pinkies in the direction of the raised Torah; each of you is, as it were, putting your skin in the game. Indeed tradition has it that if the magbiyah drops the Torah, all those present - holding it up, symbolically - are required to fast. The beneficiaries are the benefactors.
Outside the Torah service, Jewish organizations behave differently. Benefactors and beneficiaries are typically like meat and dairy dishes, never to be mixed. As a consequence, nonprofit leaders serve two bosses. With one (helping) hand they devote themselves to righting wrongs, feeding the hungry, inspiring the young, strengthening communities; with the other (upturned) palm they strive to keep their benefactors well cared for, well fed and on board. If the true focus of an organization is reflected in how its leader spends time and energy, then nonprofits are more often more about benefactors than beneficiaries. Lofty grant proposals notwithstanding, the unspoken assumption of the nonprofit manager is that the benefactors are big and powerful and the beneficiaries small and weak.
What would it take to say that December 11, 2008 was the day we began to build organizations the same way we hold up the Torah, so that beneficiaries are benefactors and benefactors are beneficiaries?
First, we need to rewrite the core story of our communal work. Instead of thinking of nonprofits as spending benefactors' wealth to repair beneficiaries' impoverishment, could we speak about building a shared future? Instead of thinking of our organizations as service providers, or even membership organizations, might we learn to describe them as skin-in-the-game organizations, where beneficiaries and benefactors alike are accountable for success?
Second, we have to rethink organizational structure. Instead of insisting that board seats are for people with big money, could we imagine seating on our boards people with big social networks? Could the power of the people we are serving power our organizations? Could deep pockets be measured in terms of numbers of Facebook friends?
Third, we have to re-imagine the communal work itself. Today, organizations attend to the people they currently serve. People they served previously are names in a database, perhaps waiting to become solicited alumni. Community today; commodity tomorrow. What if every person served was regarded as a lifetime participant? What if programs were conceived as open-source platforms, in which consumers (participants) could become producers (providers of ideas, outreach, time, friends or money)? What if organizations were built to be "prosumer" movements?
Fourth, it would mean changing which instrument has strings. Presently, foundations are infamous for giving grants with strings attached, and nonprofits are famous for taking them. What if grants came with strings for the benefactor? What would happen if nonprofits told funders: "We will accept your $100,000 check after you work with us to bring a thousand $100 donors to our table." Or what if nonprofits told donors their gifts came with participation requirements: "In order for us to spend your money, we look forward to you spending time with us."
Fifth, we would need a new yardstick for measuring success. How many participants remain engaged? How many participants engaged how many people to become new participants? How many participants created new ways of participating? Were beneficiaries benefactors? Who had skin in the game? Would the organization hold up, if someone, heaven forbid, made off with the biggest donors' money?
Sixth, we would need to change our body language. Rather than the helping hand or the upturned palm, could our organizational leaders' hands beckon us all to follow? When we stand in synagogue, our pinkies held aloft, yes, we watch the Torah. But we also marvel at the person who is holding it up. What would it mean for nonprofit leaders to comport themselves as the movers and shakers of our Jewish future? Imagine the gesture that says, "Come with us, and together we will all go to a better place!"
From its beginning, the wealth of the Jewish people has always come from its human resourcefulness rather than from its material resources. We have no ever-flowing Nile; instead, we pray for rain. We bow to a Sabbath Queen, not to a golden calf. As we approach December 11, 2009, perhaps we can understand the loss of so many big donors as an opportunity to remember what we really value, and as an invitation to look to our people's spiritual and creative wealth rather than merely to our big bank accounts to do God's work.
Sarah Kass is director of strategy and evaluation at the Avi Chai Foundation, and is on the board of PresenTense. This piece was published in Haaretz and is based on a recent talk at the PresenTense Institute.
>>Mon Nov 16, 2009
>>Tue Oct 27, 2009
So Shimon Peres, Tony Blair, Dr. Ruth, and Ray Kurtzweil walk into a conference...
We're serious! Last week's President's Conference brought together leaders, thinkers, and innovators from around the world to focus on the big issues of tomorrow. From the President of Croatia to past PT fellows, Jerusalem's conference center was awash with Jewish leaders, scientists, academics, social entrepreneurs, and a large number of security entourages.
PresenTense's own Ariel Beery participated in a panel discussion at the President's Conference on the topic "Should the Jewish World Be Reorganized?" - making the case for upgrading the Jewish people's infrastructure in three minutes. (The short answer is: YES.)
The panel also included Yossi Beilin, the renown Israeli politician; Pierre Besnainou of the French Jewish community; Colette Avital of the Labor Party; and Richard Pearlstone, Chairperson of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, and was moderated by David Landau, who added his own opinions to the discussion.
As one might imagine, putting these six individuals on a stage together with an enthusiastic audience generated quite a bit of heated discussion. The speakers touched upon the role of technology in bringing people together from around the globe, social media's postivies and negatives, Diaspora Jewry (there are other communities besides the US!), and how the American Jewish Committee (not to be confused with the American Jewish Congress) might be reimagined, and included earnest cheerleading from Beilin on behalf of Birthright Israel.
Catch some clips from the panel discussion here:
Ariel's 3-minute pitch:
Yossi Beilin's initial speech:
David Landau stirs the pot:
Ariel brings the discussion back to the topic at hand with some strong words on global engagement:
Richard Pearlstone talks about supporting the next generation:
And Yossi Beilin closes with yet another push for Birthright to save Diaspora Jewry:
>>Thu Oct 15, 2009
Maybe you've been reading the magazine and wondering who are all these volunteers who put together each issue. Or perhaps you're a writer or editor who would like to match a face with that address you've been emailing all summer long. Or you're an innovator or creative type and are looking to meet like minded people devoted to Jewish pioneering.
Come to PT's New York Bar Night! Meet up with members of the PresenTense community, chat with Ariel Beery, Co-Director of PresenTense who's currently in the city, and welcome Deborah Fishman, PT Magazine's Managing Editor, newly transplanted back to the tri-state area.
Saturday night, October 17 at Think Coffee, 248 Mercer Street.
Want more info? It's on Facebook, natch - do RSVP and share with your friends! We hope to see you there!
>>Thu Oct 15, 2009
Slingshot, recognized as the leading guide to our community's most innovative organizations, has named PresenTense as one of the nation's 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits. Now in its fifth year, Slingshot features organizations, leaders, and programs that have taken an innovative approach to addressing age-old concerns of identity and community in Jewish life today. PresenTense made the cut this year after an extensive evaluation process overseen by several dozen foundation professionals.
We're pleased and grateful for the exposure this will bring to PresenTense and its work, helping us engage more activists and pioneers, and exposing us to a vibrant funding community as we grow our capacity in North America.
A quote from Slingshot's Director, Will Schneider:
For the fifth edition of Slingshot we received an incredible group of nominees. The evaluators had their work cut out for them. In a difficult economic cycle, we believe that many organizations cannot survive without placing an emphasis on innovation, and the 50 organizations featured in Slingshot ‘09/’10 prove that innovation can be the organizational engine for sustainability.
And from Gali Cooks, Executive Director, Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation, who participated in the creation of the just released PresenTense Magazine Issue 9:
The due diligence and thoughtfulness that goes into the Slingshot process is incredibly helpful. If an organization is in Slingshot, we know that it has been vetted by professionals and colleagues whom we trust. As a result, we tend to give the Slingshot organization very close consideration.
And from 2009 Slingshot Fund investor Dave Moss:
The Slingshot experience has meant a great deal to me. It has given me the opportunity to strengthen my professional skills, sharpen my philanthropic acuity and develop relationships with other young funders. All while contributing to organizations I care about at a level I otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford. Through Slingshot, young philanthropists are able to pool resources and knowledge and insodoing send a message to the Jewish Community about what the next generation of funders considers important.
You can all find a free download of the book at www.slingshotfund.org.
We look forward to continuing to build together.