Natan/NEXT Grants for Social Entrepreneurs Announce Awards

NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation and the Natan Fund today announced the recipients of the 2013 Natan/NEXT Grants for Social Entrepreneurs, designed to support ongoing cultural, educational, service, and community-building projects run by young Jewish adults for their peers. The grants will total $25,000 to four recipients to further realize their vision of Jewish life in their communities.

This year’s Natan/NEXT Grants for Social Entrepreneurs recipients are:

Jesse Freedman, Jewish Plays Project

  • The Jewish Plays Project puts bold, progressive Jewish conversations on world stages. It aims to bring great plays to life in order to create new pathways to Jewish identity. Jesse is a New York City-based theater artist and teaching artist. He is also the co-founder of Meta-Phys. Ed, a multidisciplinary performance collective that creates Jewish text-based theater.

Naomi Leight, Jewcer

  • Jewcer teaches independent Jewish creators and organizations how to use crowdfunding technology to fundraise for their initiatives and the global Jewish community. Naomi is co-founder of and serves as the media, communications and diplomacy specialist. Currently, she is the assistant director for Research & Publications at the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School and a partner in Rimona Consulting.

Steven Philp, Mishkan Chicago

  • Mishkan Chicago is an independent spiritual community reclaiming Judaism’s dynamic core through creative, intellectual, and authentic engagement with our inherited tradition. Steven is Mishkan’s rabbinic intern and graphic designer. He is currently a dual-degree student at the University of Chicago, pursuing his Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work.

David Singer, Makom

  • Makom, an innovative spiritual community in Dallas, is a hub for experimentation and imagination. Makom takes the synagogue out of the synagogue, empowering Jews to build traditional, dynamic Jewish life on their own terms. David is the founder and rabbi of Makom, and was named by The Jewish Daily Forward as one of American’s Most Inspiring Rabbis.