AMHSI Scores a First With Google Translate

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In what we believe is a first for an Israel based initiative of its kind, Alexander Muss High School in Israel has added Google's latest translator tool to the top-right hand corner of every page of their website. As AMHSI endeavors to expand to international markets, the ability to instantly translate into 51 different languages offers them measurable marketing advantages. The school is already creating buzz in France among potential participants and their families. AMSHI is also a founding member of Lapid, a coalition of twenty-two high-school age programs in Israel whose goal is to strengthen awareness, recognition and financial aid for participants [on par with university-age programs]. Unlike MASA and Taglit Birthright-Israel, programs directed to high school participants receive no … [Read more...]

Not Too Small to Matter: Hybrid Organizations and the Future of Jewish Innovation

A few weeks ago one of my friends suggested a new game - innovation bingo. The rules are simple, sit in a room full of under-40 Jewish volunteers and professionals and wait until the word ‘innovation’ (or some variant) is used. Then yell bingo, and you win. The real fun, my friend joked, is not whether someone wins, but how quickly it takes for someone to win. Unfortunately, nothing about Jewish innovation is as simple as the rules to my friend’s proposed game.  Inspiring and nurturing Jewish innovation is still easier said than done, and the manner in which the rapid increase of Jewish start-ups are supported and integrated into the broader fabric of contemporary Jewish life presents not only opportunities but  challenges as well. Whereas the last Jewish century has been, in part, built on … [Read more...]

Why Should We Care?

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Over the past year or so, we've often written about the projects and the people, connected to the PresenTense network. Most of the stories have centered around their flagship fellowship program that takes place here in Jerusalem each summer. However, before there was a summer institute, there was PresenTense Magazine. Like eJewish Philanthropy, the magazine is as an all volunteer effort; and one that "provides a nurturing environment where Jewish youth are able to explore and enrich their Jewish identity within a pioneering framework." Their most recent issue deals with Philanthropy; currently at the printers it will be available shortly. Some of the questions the issue addresses are: what is the point of volunteering for non-Jews? Is the Jewish Philanthropic establishment relevant anymore? What … [Read more...]

In Israel for Sukkot? Come Join in The Future of the Jewish People

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Visit the PresenTense Open House to experience first hand the future of Israel and meet the social entrepreneurs who are lunching and managing ventures that take on social challenges facing Israel and the Jewish People. Located in the heart of the German Colony, PresenTense's Hub offers workspace, a conference room, conversation clusters and an environment that is both inspiring and animating. Come hear about PresenTense's range of activities, speakers and events - and how you can contribute to the future, wherever you are. Open House: October 5th; 10 am- 12 noon Emek Refaim 64, Jerusalem … [Read more...]

From WestHampton, New York to Russia’s Far East, Limmud FSU Makes Inroads

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Seven time-zones from Moscow, about as far east as one can travel in Russia, lies the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, or Region. Established in 1934 “for the Jewish population of the Soviet Union to receive a territory in which to pursue Yiddish cultural heritage within a socialist framework” this out-of-the-way region is today largely forgotten by world Jewry. But here, last week over 300 [mostly] young Russian Jews gathered in the capital city of Birobidzhan for four days of seminars, workshops, entertainment and just plain fun at the first ever Limmud in Russia’s Far East. Planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Oblast’s founding, the attendees were provided a window not only to their own heritage but an opportunity to connect to the global Jewish … [Read more...]

Breaking The Myths of Innovation

by Bill Robinson Well, it’s a beautiful summer day here in Reisterstown, MD as the fellows and faculty of Project InCiTE take the first steps toward tearing down the myths of innovation to which we have succumbed over the last decade. Fifteen years ago, I entered the world of Jewish education as a full-time researcher for arguably the first national philanthropic initiative - Mort Mandel’s Council for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) - bringing innovations from general education into a moribund Jewish world. Today, I see our world filled with dozens of new philanthropic initiatives offering innovative solutions for engaging Jews. Great strides have been made and yet at times all seems to remain the same. Everyone is still searching for the next great innovation. We have … [Read more...]