Reflections: 20 Years of Hillel in the FSU

by Sanford R. Cardin In 1994, in the wake of the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Charles and Lynn Schusterman seized upon what they determined was a window of opportunity to begin rebuilding a sense of community among those whose Jewish identities had been repressed by the twin forces of the Holocaust and state-supported persecution. The Schustermans had traveled to the region several times in the 1980’s to meet refuseniks, and they knew there was a generation of young adults, embracing new identities in the post-Soviet era, who wanted to learn about their Jewish heritage and reclaim the traditions that had been too far out of reach for far too long. … [Read more...]

What Does Collaboration Look Like?


As a "sector-within-a-sector," the Jewish innovation space must work together if we are to achieve maximal impact. Important conversations about growth, sustainability, and impact cannot take place exclusively behind the closed-doors of boardrooms or within the four walls of any one organization. by No'a Gorlin, Lisa Lepson, Aliza Mazor, Toby Rubin, Jenny Kibrit Smith, Justin Rosen Smolen and Naomi Korb Weiss Business experts tell us that the proverbial saying "two heads are better than one" is actually true. Organizations that stress cross-functional collaboration in diverse teams see the benefits of enhanced camaraderie, heightened creativity, and a greater return on investment than organizations that operate in compartmentalized silos. But thinking more broadly, what does collaboration look … [Read more...]

You’re Invited to Join PresenTense at a Local Launch Night

PresenTense Launch Night

Join PresenTense and their partners in celebrating innovation at one of 9 Launch Nights worldwide! Starting on May 21st, PresenTense and their partners are hosting 9 local Launch Nights around the world to showcase the 120 new community-transforming social ventures that their fellows have developed over the past six months. Will you be in Boston, Chicago, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, St. Petersburg or Washington DC? Join their fellows, learn about their ventures, and discover how you can help them build the future today! Click here to see dates and locations, and request your invitation! … [Read more...]

WANTED: More Spaces to Harness Leadership Talent


by Justin Korda The application process for the ROI Summit is simultaneously one of the best and hardest times of the year for me - best because it reinforces the incredible young Jewish talent coming of age in communities around the world; hardest because I'm reminded that the Jewish world still does not have enough compelling opportunities to nurture all of it. Until we do, far too many young Jews who want to contribute to strengthening the Jewish future will be told “no, but” rather than “yes, and.” Faced with a negative response, many will choose to focus their time and talent elsewhere - a loss for them and for our community. … [Read more...]

The University Education and PresenTense

by Ariel Beery In my opinion, there are few things more enjoyable and more rewarding than teaching a person new skills that can help them make an impact on the world. Over the past five years, since we established the PresenTense Institute for Creative Zionism (and with it our program for social entrepreneurs in communities around the world), I've had the privilege to teach hundreds of entrepreneurs and organizational professionals tools and tricks for how to start social ventures. But it wasn't until this year that our unique curriculum was honored by being included among college courses - available only to honors students, no less. In the fall semester of 2012, the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (known as the IDC, and one of Israel's leading undergraduate institutions) offered A … [Read more...]

Announcing PresenTense’s Global Laboratory

PresenTense has announced the inaugural Global Laboratory, a new initiative developed six years after the founding of their cornerstone project, Global Institute. Who Emerging visionaries and returning PresenTense alumni to work side by side as they build and scale their ventures, respectively. The Global Laboratory will consist of two tracks: SEED: New Fellows who will learn how to develop an idea into a viable venture that will impact their local communities SCALE: 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. What Each track will attend a separate seminar in the morning. In the afternoon and evening the whole group will have intensive workshop time with a … [Read more...]

400 Emerging Jewish Leaders Gather in Jerusalem for Masa Israel Leadership Summit

This week, nearly 400 students, interns, volunteers and gap year participants from all over the world have gathered in Jerusalem for an intensive week of social activism and community organizing training at the Masa Israel Leadership Summit. Now in its third year, the Masa Israel Leadership Summit provides training, tools and networking opportunities to young adults who are in Israel for five months to a year on gap year and post college programs and have demonstrated a commitment to leadership. By partnering with renowned educational organizations such as Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and PresenTense, Masa Israel is providing cutting-edge programming for summit attendees, and valuable contacts for them when they return to campuses and Jewish communities in their home countries … [Read more...]

PresenTense Brings Entrepreneurship Component to JCCA’s Merrin Fellowship

PresenTense and the Jewish Community Center Association have announced a new partnership through JCC Association’s Merrin Teen Professional Fellowship. The Merrin Fellowship is a selective continental training program that helps JCC professionals working directly with teens develop their own leadership and management skills, enrich their Jewish identities and those of their participants, and network and collaborate with teen professionals from JCCs across North America. This year’s fellowship will have a special focus on social entrepreneurship, empowering professionals to create new kinds of initiatives to achieve high programmatic outcomes while promoting a culture of innovation within their institutions and movement-wide. JCC Association has engaged PresenTense as a content provider and … [Read more...]