The Best of The Year: 2016

In case you missed any, here – based on site analytics, and in alphabetical order – are our Top Ten posts from 2016:

First-ever study of Chabad on Campus Emphasizes Increased Jewish Engagement
By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman

“What Chabad has achieved in the last 15 years is quite remarkable,” said Mark Rosen, noting the movement’s explosive growth on U.S. college campuses from 35 in 2000 to 187 today.

First Pew Study in Israel Finds Increasing Polarization Amongst Jews
By Judy Maltz

Israel is becoming a more religiously polarized society, with both ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews gaining ground on more moderately observant groups, according to a first-of-its-kind report published by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center.

Four Organizations Merge to Lead Next Stage of Jewish Innovation

UpStart, Bikkurim, Joshua Venture Group, and U.S. based–programs of PresenTense
consolidate to be central resource for Jewish Innovation

GAME CHANGER! With $38m gift, Hillel International Launches Talent Grants

“These grants will not just transform Hillel, but transform the Jewish world.” (Eric D. Fingerhut)

Google Announces $700,000 Grant to ‘Tikkun Olam Makers’
By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman

“Most people fail to achieve success because there is no strategic plan or they fail to follow through with the plan. The greater the goal, the more important it is that you invest proper time in building your plan.” (Jim L. Smith)

Introducing the Slingshot Class of 2016

The organizations included in the Guide are driving the future of Jewish life and engagement by motivating new audiences to participate in their work and responding to the needs of individuals and communities – both within and beyond the Jewish community.

The Difference Between Partnerships and Collaboration
By Rabbi Aaron Bisno

Two years ago I began speaking of the need for communal collaboration. I laid down this gauntlet for both my own congregation in Pittsburgh, Rodef Shalom, as well as for our neighbors because I felt the challenges we faced were so significant that no single entity could possibly solve them alone.

**Originally published in Jan. 2013, Rabbi Bisno’s op-ed was solidly among 2016’s “Top Ten**

The Future of Jewish Day Schools
Remarks delivered by Michael Steinhardt

“Too many contemporary Jews view the prospect of sending their children to an exclusively Jewish school for full time education as a step backward in their American engagement, regardless of the cost.”

The Substitute Storyline: What a Trump Victory Means for American Jewry
By Steven Windmueller, Ph.D.

This election has fundamentally shocked mainstream voters. So what happened to generate this historic, unexpected outcome?

Will Your Synagogue Be a Club or a Cause?
By Rabbi Joshua Rabin

At a time when all membership organizations face dwindling numbers, a thriving synagogue in the twenty-first century must be a cause, a place where people invest their time, energy and money because the purpose and mission of that synagogue compels them to engage.