An explosion of creative Jewish social entrepreneurship is giving shape to an emergent Judaism outside the walls of institutional Jewish organizations and beyond the labels of movement affiliation. A new generation is seeking and building dynamic, inclusive, and diverse new organizations and communities that reflect their personal identities and experiences in the world. There are more creative, passionate, authentic, and compelling ways to engage Jewishly than at any time in recent history. But current economic conditions are conspiring to put a lid on all that dynamism. And without structural support—not just money, but capacity and knowledge—many of these great new projects may not survive, or at least not thrive, in this period of uncertainty. Our challenge is to harness the energy created by these new endeavors, sustain it, and empower new leaders to create new Jewish destinies for themselves and their peers.
Jumpstart’s mission is to develop, strengthen, and learn from emerging nonprofit organizations that build community at the nexus of spirituality, learning, social activism, and culture, in order to transform the broader Jewish community and the world.
Jumpstart envisions a Jewish community that is a multi-generational partnership, committed to continuous and intentional self-renewal.
- Visionaries with great organizational ideas will have unfettered access to one another and to the resources and expertise they need to achieve success and sustainability;
- Philanthropic leaders will take a portfolio approach to their funding strategies, setting aside a proportion of their annual giving to invest in start-ups and new ideas, even as they continue to honor their commitments to successful ongoing initiatives;
- Thinkers and doers will collaborate to hone their ideas, interweaving wisdom from across the spectrum of Jewish life to build the vibrant next stage in our journey toward a world redeemed, a world of wholeness, pluralism, justice and peace.
Jumpstart was launched in 2008 to serve a growing need in early-stage Jewish nonprofits. While working at Synagogue 3000 on the Jewish Emergent Initiative, a multi-year project for leadership development within emerging Jewish spiritual communities, Jumpstart’s founders became increasingly aware of three major needs among the growing number of emerging community organizations across the spectrum of spirituality, learning, social activism, and culture:
- infrastructure development and organizational capacity-building for visionary next-generation leaders and groups
- development of sector-wide strategies for communal and philanthropic support of emerging organizations
- continuing analysis and assessment of key trends and exchange of best practices
Jumpstart’s founders conceived of the Jumpstart framework in order to meet these established needs and to promote sustainable Jewish innovation.
See http://jewishecosystem.org/resources/samplepolicies.html for Jumpstart policies.