An often-heard lament among supporters of startups is that philanthropists have never fully embraced Jewish innovation. To the extent that that's true, it may be partly because of the way innovation has been marketed. Successful marketing depends on persuading the target audience that a product offers something that the buyer wants. In the case of innovation the value proposition includes its very newness: it's a new movement, it helps new … [Read more...] about Selling Innovation
From the reactions to the closing of JDub Records, you might imagine that it was the only music company serving younger Jews. One of the exceptions was the astute, must-read commentary by Jo Ellen Green Kaiser on the Zeek page of The Forward, which acknowledges “'underground' record labels like Erez Safar’s Shemspeed outfit.” It pointedly captions Safar's photo “Last Man Standing.” Shemspeed's music may not be “underground” but its reputation … [Read more...] about The Day the Music Died?
Many of the first reactions to the closing of JDub Records have followed the same pattern: they look for someone to blame. Some fault philanthropists for lacking a true commitment to innovation, notwithstanding the enormous and ongoing support for the startup sector by Jewish foundations. Others point to traditional institutions for not embracing innovators, even though many Jewish institutions have had partnerships with startups like JDub and … [Read more...] about Fundamentals
Last week, before a very international group of younger Jewish leaders, Prof. Ruth Gavison asked Natan Sharansky a timely question. “The 'Arab Spring' may turn out to be less stable than nondemocratic regimes,” she began. “What impact will this have on Israel's prospects for peace?” Prof. Gavison, who was awarded the Israel Prize this year for legal research, is the founder and president of the Center for Zionist-Jewish-Liberal- Humanistic … [Read more...] about 25 Years of Leadership
by Bob Goldfarb Whom does Jewish innovation serve? It's a question that needs closer attention as the sector continues to grow. According to a recent report, The Jewish Innovation Economy, this sector “is more focused on Jewish identity and belonging, along with religious expression, than on social services and large-scale institutional action.” That's markedly different from Federations, which typically have a primary commitment to caring for … [Read more...] about Innovation and Responsibility