Accelerating Social Change: Celebrating My First Year as CEO of PresenTense Israel

by Guy Spigelman Actually, I have the best job in the world. It’s true. Everyday, I get to meet incredible people who are going to make their communities, countries and the world a better place. If optimism was a currency, and some say that it is, well I am surrounded by a treasure trove. I had the good fortune to join a relatively young organization with very solid foundations, made up of a fantastic professional team, unique curriculum and methodologies, and a large and growing community of supporters. Ariel Beery and Aaron Horowitz, and all the others, did a great job. Of course there were and are challenges, but as my friend Mike Prashker (the Founder of Merchavim) says, “joy at work is about facing challenges you know you can meet head-on.” The main task at hand was to do more, to … [Read more...]

Applications Open for 5 PresenTense Accelerators in Israel

Israel programs

PresenTense Israel has opened applications for its next round of accelerators, to foster change in Israel. A3i, the first accelerator dedicated to ventures which address the needs of people with disabilities nazTech, the first technology accelerator for Arab-Israeli entrepreneurs The Haifa Project, focused on social ventures for the local Haifa community Yazamim, our successful Jerusalem accelerator which is entering its 5th year. Scale. By PresenTense, our second program for more advanced entrepreneurs who want to scale up their Jerusalem-based ventures. Learn more about the programs, apply today, and help spread the word! … [Read more...]

Announcing Israel’s First Accelerator Program Dedicated to Addressing People with Disabilities


PresenTense Israel (PT), Beit Issie Shapiro and The Ruderman Family Foundation have launched A3i - Accelerating Inclusion In Israel - and are calling for change-makers with ideas to fundamentally improve the quality of life for people with disabilities to apply for the program. A3i is a groundbreaking program, as it is the first accelerator focused on solutions that address the needs of people with disabilities. The PresenTense community-based accelerator model has been run 36 times and currently operates in 16 cities. The program combines intense training, mentorship, one-on-one consulting, and community engagement, to help entrepreneurs catalyze their ideas into fully-fledged ventures. “Innovation has the capacity to transform lives,” said Guy Spigelman, CEO of PresenTense Israel. “If you … [Read more...]

Yazamim: Social Entrepreneurship in Jerusalem is Accepting Applications


Do you have a social enterprise idea to change the face of Jerusalem? Do you dream to build the next social project? Is social business in your blood? Apply now for the Jerusalem Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator. For more information, and to apply, click here. Yazamim is an initiative of PresenTense Israel. Note: This program is for Hebrew speakers. … [Read more...]

Social Innovation in Russia

Kaet Fellow Olga Bochkova at 2013 Launch Night program

by Alina Shkolnikov “Russians aren’t social or entrepreneurs, therefore it will be impossible to create community-based and community-supported grassroots projects.” These were the words of a Jewish communal professional, who shared them with me a year ago, prior to my very first trip to Moscow. I didn’t quite believe him, but I didn’t know what to expect either. Eight months later, I stood in the hall of Moscow’s “Zavtra” restaurant, waiting for Launch Night to begin, surrounded by the social entrepreneurs of our second Moscow Fellowship, run in partnership with the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). I heard how Ludmila created the first Jewish old age community in a suburb of Moscow; Yulia ensured the entire Launch Night was zero-waste as part of her ecological venture; and Oksana created … [Read more...]

A Pivotal Moment

by Elizabeth Weingarten Racing down King George Street in Jerusalem, I reached a sweaty hand into my messenger bag to grab money for the bus. I was rushing to an important meeting with an organization I hoped would be a partner in my social jewelry business, Tribelle. My fingers clawed the inside of my bag. No wallet. I dumped my bag on the cobbled pavement, and stooped over to peer inside. It was gone. … [Read more...]

PresenTense Global Laboratory: Changing the Jewish World as We Know It

Mila Finkelshtein pitches her venture, Talmud Aviv at Global Lab Venture Showcase; photo courtesy PresenTense

by Frayda Leibtag One of the lessons that PresenTense has taught its fellows over the years is the importance of the ability to upgrade and update a product, idea or organization. PresenTense is no exception to this rule and six years after the founding of the cornerstone Global Institute, the organization announced that the inaugural Global Laboratory would be taking place in July 2013. The Global Lab was developed for both emerging visionaries and returning PresenTense alumni, and consists of two tracks: Seed, for new fellows to learn how to develop ideas into viable ventures that will impact their local communities, and Scale, for PresenTense alumni who have completed a local fellowship or the Global Institute and are looking to scale their venture in the context of an international network. … [Read more...]

The Mincha Minyan


by Julie Sugar In the Jewish communal world, there is an ongoing conversation about how to activate and dazzle uninvolved or unaffiliated Jews. I think the conversation needs to be reframed; I believe that many people want to be involved, but for different reasons aren’t able to access the Jewish ritual and communal space. … [Read more...]