MOISHE HOUSE TO IMPLEMENT STRATEGIC GROWTH PLAN FOCUSED ON EXPANSION AND SUSTAINABILITY
$6 Million Investment from Foundations Supports New Projects and Organizational Infrastructure
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Seeking to help Moishe House implement a new Strategic Growth Plan to broaden and deepen its impact on Jewish young adults in their 20’s, the Jim Joseph Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, Genesis Philanthropy Group and Maimonides Fund today announced a total of $6 million of investment to the international organization.
The grants are a significant, collaborative investment of second-level funding to Moishe House, which has 46 residences in 14 countries that engage more than 50,000 attendees a year. The combined efforts of the five foundations, which build on previous multi-year grants from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (CLSFF) and Jim Joseph Foundation, demonstrate a common goal to expand proven initiatives that reach young Jewish adults and foster vibrant Jewish lives.
“These grants will help Moishe House engage and educate more young Jewish adults through both expanding our existing model as well as new and creative channels,” says David Cygielman, CEO of Moishe House. “The Strategic Growth Plan charts a course that is both innovative and comprehensive in its approach, allowing the organization to implement pilot projects and expand our reach to new regions.”
Core elements of the Growth Plan include expanding Moishe House to new locations, offering Jewish educational training for Moishe House residents and their peers, and investment in Moishe House’s organizational infrastructure and fundraising.
The Growth Plan was developed by Moishe House professionals and Board Members with guidance from Olive Grove Consulting, which specializes in providing technical assistance for organizational expansion. The Jim Joseph Foundation funded this work after an August 2011 external evaluation of Moishe House demonstrated that the organization has developed an effective, affordable, and scalable approach to achieving its mission.
This latest investment follows five-plus years of core support from CLSFF and the Jim Joseph Foundation, which began funding Moishe House in 2006 and 2009, respectively. This support has enabled Moishe House to expand its reach and deepen its impact, enhance its operations, and gain stability and credibility with additional local and national supporters.
“Moishe House is a vital gateway through which young Jewish adults can shape Jewish life in their own image,” said Lynn Schusterman, Chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, which includes CLSFF. “The incredible pace at which Moishe House has grown is testament to its resonance with the young people it seeks to engage. We are excited to build on our past commitments by partnering with these foundations to help bring Moishe House’s programming to even more people.”
The Growth Plan includes replicating on a larger scale a pilot grant coordinated by the Maimonides Fund, which initiated learning retreats for residents.
“During the three day learning retreats, led by a wide array of Jewish educators, Moishe House residents, Birthright alumni, and participant leaders learn how to create meaningful Jewish experiences, such as hosting a Shabbat dinner or leading a Passover Seder,” adds Cygielman. “The retreats have been oversubscribed, showing a strong demand for this type of peer-to-peer learning.”
It also includes implementation of Moishe House Without Walls, a new pilot project for young Jewish adults in San Diego and Moishe House resident alumni. Through the project, initiated with a grant from the Leichtag Foundation, young Jewish adults in San Diego and Moishe House alumni are able to build networks and create similar Jewish experiences to those in Moishe House. By registering programs in one of three categories—Jewish learning, Repair the World and Jewish Culture and Holidays—the resident alumni and San Diegans are supported by Without Walls after each completed program.
Implementation of the Growth Plan will result in an increase in the number of Moishe Houses serving the Russian-speaking Jewish community, of which currently three are in North America and six in the Former Soviet Union (FSU). Moishe House’s effort in the Russian-speaking Jewish community, initiated with a grant from Genesis Philanthropy Group in 2009, will now include expansion of the learning retreats model to the FSU as well.
“What started out as a single Russian-speaking Moishe House in Chicago is now part of the broader, strategic, collaborative initiative to help widen and deepen Moishe House’s engagement with young Jewish adults from Russian-speaking communities across the globe,” said Stan Polovets, CEO and co-founder of Genesis Philanthropy Group.
Many forward-thinking Jewish federations, foundations, and individuals currently provide significant support to Moishe House. The five foundations hope that their collective investment in Moishe House’s future will encourage other foundations, federations, and individual philanthropists to support this dynamic organization with a proven model for reaching young Jewish adults.
To help catalyze support from additional federations and individuals, which the Growth Plan has identified as key areas for fundraising, the Jim Joseph Foundation is offering up to a $3 million, dollar-for-dollar match to Moishe House for all funds raised from federations and individuals over the next four and half years.
Al Levitt, Jim Joseph Foundation Board President, notes that this coordination of funders and funding support provides generous resources to a thriving, and still young, organization. “We are optimistic that this grantmaking will help carry Moishe House through a second stage of growth,” Levitt says, “to a point of long-term viability.”
“Moishe House already reaches tens of thousands of young Jewish adults each year, providing them opportunities to live vibrant Jewish lives,” adds Chip Edelsberg, Executive Director of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “With this Strategic Growth Plan, and the support of numerous organizations and individuals, Moishe House is positioned to cultivate even more young Jewish adults engaged in personally relevant Jewish learning and creating home-based communities for their peers.”
Contact: Jason Edelstein, (510) 239-1102, Jason@edelsteinpa.com
Analucia Lopezrevoredo is a resident of the Moishe House in Portland, Oregon. Moishe House is an international organization providing meaningful Jewish experiences to young adults in their twenties through home-based communities. Moishe House recently partnered with Repair the World to host a retreat on Jewish service-learning. Repair the World is an organization that is working to build a movement to make service a defining element of American Jewish life, learning and leadership. This post is a reflection on that retreat.
The term “tikkun olam” has become synonymous with social justice and social action. As Jews, our goal is to fulfill the idea of “repairing the world” by serving communities in need. Though this notion is far from new (dating back to classical rabbinic literature in Lurianic kabbalah), many Jews still find themselves unable to truly connect with this concept. As residents of Moishe House, our goal is to facilitate the fulfillment of “tikkun olam” on a micro and macro level for young Jewish adults in our respective communities. With the help of both Moishe House International and Repair the World, residents of various Houses came together a few weeks ago to critically discuss ways to effectively create service-learning programs. Read More »
This post by Joel Stanley, Director of International Programming for Moishe House, initially appeared in the June 2012 Moishe Monthly.
It has been a while since I moved out of Moishe House London as a resident and transitioned into the role of Regional Director for the international houses. But I was given the opportunity to get involved with the nitty gritty of the house’s programming again when a couple of participants, Symon and Zoe, asked if they could have their aufruf (in which the groom is called up to the Torah the week before his wedding) at Moishe House London, and if I would help organize.
Symon sourced 50 chairs, a full Kiddush and a Sefer Torah in order to make the event happen, and the service was led entirely by friends of theirs, who happened to also be Moishe House participants. Being quite an egalitarian community, there were aliyot not only for the groom but also for the bride, both sets of parents and at least one grandparent too. The weather held and afterwards everyone gathered in the garden for bagels and cakes.
The event was unique in a number of ways and it got me thinking about a few important things related to the global Moishe House community … Read More »
Martin Storrow is a resident of Moishe House West LA and an accomplished singer/songwriter. Last month, he attended Moishe House’s Shavuot Retreat at Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA, where he and about 20 other Moishe House residents and community members spent the weekend learning, getting to know one another and celebrating Shabbat.
“In honor of Shavuot, let’s go around and and each share one thing we hope to harvest this weekend.”
We were sitting in a shaded amphitheater, surrounded by trees. Zvi, our facilitator, was engaging and warm. But I was having trouble paying attention. I was distracted by the sun, the birds, the breeze. Mostly, I was distracted by the 20 or so people in our group, who were all seated in a semi circle around the amphitheater. I found myself noticing little details I might not normally focus on: hints of accents in peoples’ voices, the stylistic differences between a Portland beard and an East Coast beard (they’re like two different dog breeds!). I was noticing a couple in a long-distance relationship who had each come from different parts of the country to be at the retreat together and were now in their own blissful world. I was noticing a girl with the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen.
“Presence,” I said, when the discussion came around to me. “I’d like to work on being present this weekend.”
To view the a social media version of this release, click HERE
YOUNG INNOVATORS WILL TAKE CENTER STAGE AT ROI GLOBAL SUMMIT IN JERUSALEM
Three-time Cancer Survivor and LIVESTRONG CEO Doug Ulman to Keynote on Overcoming Adversity as a Catalyst to Social Entrepreneurship
June 10-14, 2012, Jerusalem Crowne Plaza Hotel
(Jerusalem, May 22, 2012) In June, 150 Jewish social and business entrepreneurs, technology whizzes, thinkers and artists will model the Jewish future in action as they collaborate on trailblazing initiatives designed to impact the Jewish world and beyond at the ROI Global Summit in Jerusalem. The five-day gathering will connect participants to leading global innovators and activists, including keynote speaker Doug Ulman, president and CEO of Lance Armstrong Foundation—better known as LIVESTRONG—who will share how his three-time struggle with cancer led him to shape a foundation that supports cancer survivors and the fight against the disease.
ROI Community 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 hail from 26 countries, including first-timers from Bolivia, Iceland, Peru and Uganda.
“ROI is a proudly diverse community, bound by our love for the Jewish people and for Israel,” said Lynn Schusterman, the American Jewish philanthropist who, in 2005, created ROI Community. ”Individually and collectively, ROI members are creating new avenues of Jewish expression and experiences that are enabling more people to explore Jewish life in exciting, meaningful ways. At the heart of our investment in these young leaders and activists is our belief in their limitless potential to inspire their peers, transform communities and strengthen the Jewish future.”
Highlights of the 7th annual ROI Summit will include master classes by top Israeli entrepreneurs and thought leaders, such as social media wizard Lior Zoref – who gave the first-ever crowd-sourced TEDtalk in February; Jerusalem Global Group CEO Dr. Shlomo Kalish; Jerusalem YMCA CEO Forsan Hussein; and, Start-Up Nation co-author Saul Singerand, former Israel ambassador to the United States and Syria expert Itamar Rabinovich; as well as environmental sustainability expert and TEDxAmsterdam organizer Irene Rompa. Participants will also engage in peer-to-peer training and collaborative project-building. And, there will be a global brainstorm, where ROIers in Jerusalem and potential partners throughout the ROI Community abroad will generate ideas and initiatives to present at the ROI Innovation Showcase, before a panel including high tech start up guru Yossi Vardi and Azrieli Group Vice Chair Danna Azrieli.
At the heart of the Summit, of course, are the newest ROIers. Among them:
- Moshe Madoi, of Uganda, who is now studying in Israel and will return to teach and serve as a ritual slaughterer for the 142 other Jews in his village
- Melisa Goldfinger, of Argentina, who oversees a network of 10 golf therapy schools in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay for children and adults with special needs
- Hollywood screenwriter Micah Fitzerman-Blue, whose first feature film, The Motel Life, starring Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch and Kris Kristopherson, is due out this fall. Even as he continues to develop comedies for Fox TV Studios, Micah co-founded East Side Jews, transforming LA’s East Side into a hopping Jewish scene.
- Magda Koralewska, who symbolizes the flowering of Jewish life in post-communist Poland. Vice President of Warsaw’s New Jewish Music Festival, Magda co-founded Beit Krakow, southern Poland’s first progressive community since before the Shoah.
- Eyal Levit, who opened Mikveh Bar, which gave Jerusalem’s gay community its first safe environment for hanging out openly. A music producer, Eyal has introduced more than 40 singers and bands to stages across the city, highlighting how much Jerusalem has to offer in arts and culture.
“This community is about creative engagement, connecting dynamic innovators, and watching the sparks fly as they conceive ways to transform the Jewish world,” said ROI Community Executive Director Justin Korda. “These new ROI members will now be joining a network of over 800 around the world, who learn from and nurture each other as they engage their circles and communities.”
ROI Community has played a key role in supporting such cutting-edge Jewish start-ups as Moishe House, G-dcast, Jewcology and Omanoot. ROI also offers an expansive Micro Grants program to help ROI members bolster their professional and leadership development as well as their projects.
ROI is a part of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, a global network of philanthropic initiatives focused on igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create change for themselves, in the Jewish community and across the broader world. CLSPN also includes the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (CLSFF) and the Schusterman Foundation-Israel (SFI).
To learn more about this year’s ROI participants, click here.
Sara Averick, Israel: 052-867-4966 or email@example.com
Jose Rosenfeld, Israel: 052-287-7646 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Toby Dershowitz, USA: 202-250-6104 or email@example.com
Abram Shanedling, USA: 202-250-6158 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of eJewishPhilanthropy’s crowdsourced conversation, What is Jewish Philanthropy?, I share why I am more optimistic than ever about the future of Jewish philanthropy. I invite you to comment below. Do you agree that the future of Jewish philanthropy looks brights? Do you believe that the greatest philanthropists are those who give both time and money?
Ask anyone to name the greatest philanthropists of all time—Jewish or otherwise—and they will invariably identify people known for giving away huge sums of money. From Rockefeller to Rothschild, from Buffet to Blaustein, from Morgan to Montefiore, most of us have come to equate philanthropy with the charitable contributions of people of immense wealth. Read More »
Leaders and creators of Jewish life are embracing a networked mindset, and in an effort to help initiate a community-wide shift, we convened some of the best and brightest minds working in Jewish life today to discuss the implications of networks and network theory for the future of the Jewish community.
From Nov. 8-10, 2011, in Boulder, CO, our Foundation hosted NetWORKS: Exploring the Power & Possibilities of Networks in the Jewish Community, which brought together leading thinkers, experts, innovators and activists to discuss how we can harness the power of networks to empower Jewish young adults to strengthen both the Jewish community and the broader world.
We partnered with Leadel.net, a Jewish media hub showcasing the rich variety of contemporary Jewish voices and expressions, to create a series of videos that we hope will our community continue to expand the networks conversation. Read More »