Introducing the Slingshot Class of 2013-2014

Slingshot 13-14Slingshot has released Slingshot 2013-14 – its ninth annual guide to North America’s top innovative Jewish organizations. The Guide, a go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects, will help ensure the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving.

Among the hundreds of organizations that applied for inclusion 50 were selected, along with 17 “standard bearers” – organizations included year after year as models in innovation. Organizations included in this year’s Guide were evaluated on their innovative approach, the impact they have in their work, the leadership they have in their sector, and their effectiveness at achieving results.

For the first time, Slingshot also published two supplements to accompany the Slingshot Guide. The supplements, Disabilities & Inclusion, and Women & Girls, each recognize 18 Jewish organizations supporting specific populations in novel ways. The supplements are a means for even more groups to be part of the Slingshot community and to attract public interest and donor support toward these areas.

The Women & Girls supplement was supported through a partnership with the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, and the Disabilities & Inclusion supplement through a partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation.

This year, the guide also shows evidence of innovation happening in new ways and new places.

Innovation Promotes Innovation:

As pioneering organizations continue to innovate, lessons from their beginnings are adapted and built upon in new locations with different audiences.

  • Alternative spiritual communities like IKAR, Mechon Hadar, and Sixth & I have inspired the launch of similar initiatives. This year, Slingshot highlights the work of The Kitchen and Mishkan Chicago, each adapting the successful models of Slingshot Standard Bearers to their local communities in San Francisco and Chicago, respectively.
  • Best practices of the Jewish environmental education and community-building fields, gleaned from organizations like The Pearlstone Center, Wilderness Torah, and Urban Adamah, now also take root in Toronto at Shoresh’s Bela Farm.
  • Social Services: Traditionally seen as providing vital services, but not always on the cutting edge of programmatic innovation, the social services field has demonstrated its ability to remodel in ways that provide better or newer resources to Jews in need.
  • Organizations like Footsteps, which provides services to individuals transitioning out of ultra-Orthodox communities, City Harvest’s Kosher Initiative, which focuses on feeding New York City’s impoverished Jewish communities, or Kavod v’Nichum’s resources that support end-of-life Jewish rituals, provide just a few examples of projects that support today’s Jewish community in caring and creative ways.

Without further ado, here are this year’s Slingshot 50 followed by the 17 Standard Bearers and the two supplements (in alphabetical order):

  1. A Wider Bridge
  2. Amir
  3. Ask Big Questions
  4. AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
  5. BBYO Stand UP
  6. City Harvest’s Kosher Initiative
  7. Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations
  8. The David Project
  9. Eden Village Camp
  10. Footsteps
  11. G-dcast
  13. Havurah at Camp Tel Yehudah
  15. Hidden Sparks
  16. Innovation: Africa
  17. J’Burgh
  18. J-Teen Leadership
  19. Jewish Farm School
  20. Jewish Learning Venture
  21. Jewish New Teacher Project
  22. The Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation
  23. Jewish Without Walls (JWOW)
  24. Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
  25. Jews United for Justice
  26. JOIN for Justice
  27. The Kavana Cooperative
  28. Kavod v’Nichum
  29. Kevah
  30. The Kitchen
  31. Luria Academy of Brooklyn
  32. Matan
  34. Mishkan Chicago
  35. MyJewishLearning, Inc.
  36. Nehirim
  37. NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change
  39. The Pearlstone Center
  40. Rabbis Without Borders
  41. Ramah Service Corps
  42. Ramah Tikvah Network
  43. Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council
  44. Shoresh at Bela Farm
  45. The Tribe
  46. Urban Adamah
  47. Wilderness Torah
  48. Wise Aging
  49. Yeshivat Maharat
  50. Yiddish Book Center

Standard Bearers

  1. Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community
  2. Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice
  3. Encounter
  4. Gateways: Access to Jewish Education
  5. Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life
  6. Hazon
  7. IKAR
  8. InterfaithFamily
  9. Keshet
  10. Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center
  11. Mechon Hadar
  12. Moishe House
  13. Moving Traditions
  14. Reboot
  15. Sharsheret: Your Jewish Community Facing Breast Cancer
  16. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
  17. Uri L’Tzedek

Supplement on Disabilities & Inclusion

  1. Camp Dream Street Mississippi
  2. Friendship Circle International
  3. Gateways: Access to Jewish Education
  4. Hidden Sparks
  5. INCLUDE North Peninsula
  6. JCC Maccabi Camp Kingswood Zohar Program
  7. JCHAI at Home
  8. Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore
  9. Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s Opening The Doors Program
  10. Keshet Avodah at Camp Chi
  11. Matan
  12. Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center
  13. MetroWest ABLE
  14. The Miracle Project Judaica
  15. Ramah Tikvah Network
  16. Sabes JCC Inclusion Department
  17. Sunflower Bakery
  18. Yad HaChazakah-The Jewish Disability Empowerment Center, Inc.

Supplement on Women & Girls

  1. Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community
  2. The Career Gateway
  3. Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
  4. Jewish Women International
  5. Jewish Women’s Archive
  6. Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
  7. Ma’yan
  8. Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center
  9. Moving Traditions
  10. MyJewishLearning, Inc.
  11. Nishmah
  12. Organization for the Resolution of Agunot
  13. Shalom Bayit
  14. Sharsheret: Your Jewish Community Facing Breast Cancer
  15. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
  16. Unchained At Last
  17. The Women’s Jewish Learning Center
  18. Yeshivat Maharat

Slingshot ’13-’14 and the two new supplements are available for download at