Natan/NEXT Grants for Social Entrepreneurs Announced

New York, N.Y., August 13, 2014 – NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation and the Natan Fund announced the recipients of the 2014 Natan/NEXT Grants for Social Entrepreneurs, designed to support ongoing cultural, spiritual, educational, service and community-building projects run by young Jewish adults for their peers. The grants will total $25,000 to three recipients to further realize their vision of Jewish life in their communities.

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

  • Leora Maccabee Itman, TC Jewfolk
    TC Jewfolk is an independent, entrepreneurial start-up using social media and community-based journalism to connect, engage, and inspire young Jews in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Leora is the founder of TC Jewfolk and Chair of the Board of Directors for Jewfolk Media, its parent nonprofit organization. Leora is an attorney at Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand, LLP.
  • David Zvi Kalman, Open Quorum
    Open Quorum/Jewish Public Media is a new online platform for creating, curating, and promoting excellent Jewish ideas and creative expression through podcasts like Talking in Shul and Responsa Radio, videos, and live events like SermonSlam. David is co-founder and president of Open Quorum, a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania in medieval Jewish and Islamic law, and serves as one of Mechon Hadar’s Campus Scholars.
  • Nathan DeGroot, Mikdash: Portland’s East Side Jewish Cooperative
    Mikdash is a cooperative community based in Portland’s East Side that supports creative Jewish living, encourages meaning-making, and builds community amongst young Jewish adults in the Portland area. Nathan is a fifth-year student at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, and is genuinely excited by the potential community that Mikdash could help support. (

In previous grant rounds, Natan and NEXT awarded more than 21 grants to social entrepreneurs, totaling $156,000.