The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (Schusterman) is launching its 2015 Schusterman Connection Points program, a global initiative that will engage more than 500 young Jewish activists in 10 gatherings across Europe, Israel, South Africa and the United States.
Connection Points empowers young leaders to create thematic three-day gatherings that meaningfully engage like-minded peers and equip them to infuse new energy and ideas into their work and local Jewish communities. They aim to jumpstart a global network of self-organized micro-communities, in which young Jews, united by a common interest and shared experience, can connect with each other, engage with Jewish thought and values, and work collaboratively to move the needle on substantive issues.
This year’s Connection Points will address a wide range of topics and critical issues facing Israel and the Jewish people, including pluralism in Israel, social change in South Africa, next-generation Jewish leaders in Europe, women entrepreneurship, LGBTQ activism, Jewish food culture and Jewish art.
“Connection Points taps into an incredible well of passion and creativity already present among young Jews,” said Justin Korda, Executive Director of Schusterman’s ROI Community, which oversees the program. “By providing them a platform for collaboration, exploration and action, these gatherings are helping young Jews foster tailored micro-communities, form ongoing relationships and seed new initiatives flush with potential to create reverberating impact across diverse fields.”
The 2015 gatherings include:
- YOM | A Workshop for Pluralism in Religion and State in Israel | February, Israel
- Elevation W | Desert Retreat for Female Jewish Entrepreneurs | March, Israel
- Asylum Arts | International Jewish Artist Retreat | May, USA
- Madreamim | Young Southern Israeli Activism | July, Israel
- REALITY Outside | Exploring next level leadership among past and present education professionals | August, USA
- ID²: Invest for Impact | A Convening of International Development Professionals and Impact Investors | September, Israel
- Scale UP | Career Development for Young Professional European Jews | October, Spain
- The Change Charter | Collective Change Making in Africa | October, South Africa
- The Harvest | A Convening of Jewish Food-Professionals | October, USA
- Eighteen:22 | A Think-Tank for Jewish LGBTQ Activists | August
Participants in Connection Points gatherings are selected through a competitive application process. Each gathering is organized by two Connectors, who receive extensive training, coaching and support throughout the design and implementation phases. Connectors are able to further develop as leaders in their communities and fields of interest while also creating an impactful Jewish experience for all who attend.
Since the program’s inception in 2012, 17 Connection Points gatherings have taken place on 4 continents and engaged more than 1,000 young Jewish leaders. Earlier gatherings included a Tikkun Olam Hackathon that used 3-D printing technology to design aids for the disabled, a Budapest conference on Jewish social and environmental activism and a New York festival of Jewish artists from around the world.
The Connection Points program is part of Schusterman’s broader investment in organizations and initiatives that expand opportunities for young Jews to engage in meaningful Jewish experiences and take an active role in shaping the Jewish future.
For more information about Connection Points and the young leaders convening them, visit schusterman.org/connectionpoints.