From Johannesburg to Jerusalem and many places in between, we have had the privilege of meeting with young Jewish adults all around the world this year who are fueling our optimism about the Jewish future. They are left wing, right wing, straight, gay, religious, secular, from big cities and small towns. But where some might see divisions and irreconcilable differences, these young people see potential for partnerships, for building bridges, for working together to contribute to the global Jewish community and to the world at large.
Indeed, each encounter further confirmed our belief that to be most effective in creating a vibrant Jewish future, we need to put young people—not our organizations, programs or egos—at the center of the relationships, experiences and networks we are supporting.
Herewith, some of the highlights …
Australian Gathering for Young Jewish Leaders
More than 50 young Jewish social entrepreneurs, thought leaders and community activists from Melbourne and Sydney participated in the first Australian Gathering for Young Jewish Leaders, a joint initiative of the Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) and the ROI Community. The day-long gathering of gathering of intense networking was designed to begin important conversations about the role of young people in powering a vibrant Jewish future in Australia.
The gathering also saw the launch of “Dave Grants”—a fund to support collaborative projects that have a fresh and dynamic approach to Jewish community-building. It honors the memory of Dave Burnett, an outstanding young Australian Jewish leader and ROI Community member. Learn more
Make It Happen South Africa
Following our South African Young Jewish Innovators Gathering in February, we returned in August to launch the “Make It Happen” micro-grants programs in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Building on the successful micro-giving model, our Make It Happen program enables young innovators to apply for small pools of funding to build their skills through professional development or create Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers.
US-based Schusterman Foundation makes micro grants available in SA (page 22) South African Jewish Report
REALITY Israel Experience
In July, 70 Teach For America corps members traveled to Israel as part of a leadership development program designed to deepen their commitment to education reform and service. During their 12-day journey, they explored alternative models of education and methods of approaching complex societal challenges, including how Israeli schools address issues of co-existence, religion and minority populations. Learn more
In June, 150 young Jewish innovators and entrepreneurs traveled to Jerusalem for the 7th Annual ROI Summit to collaborate on trailblazing initiatives designed to impact the Jewish world and beyond. ROI Community, part of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, is an international network of over 800 social entrepreneurs and innovators in more than 40 countries who are leaders and change agents shaping the Jewish world. This year’s Summit participants hailed from 26 countries, including first-timers from Bolivia, Iceland, Peru and Uganda. Learn more