The Collaboratory Playlist: Reimagine Gathering

By The Collaboratory Team

When you can’t attend a convening, too often its content is off-limits. Even if you do go, you might be left with only a few handouts or notes jotted down quickly on your phone. In the spirit of ‘Reimagine Gathering’ – this year’s theme of The Collaboratory – we’re reimagining how we can share some of the powerful conversations, sessions, and storytelling that came out of this year’s event.

The Collaboratory is the Jewish community’s largest annual gathering of community visionaries, activists, and catalyzers of change in North America – co-produced by UpStart and ROI Community, with UJA-Federation of New York as this year’s host convener. The convening sold out within two weeks, and even after we opened up more slots (doubling the size from last year!), there were still 100+ people on the waitlist. We wanted to make the content more accessible, and to invite more people into The Collaboratory’s conversations – the specifics of how we gather, the big, existential Jewish questions, who’s gathering and who isn’t, and so much more.

Explore the playlist, and feel free to leave us a note in the comments to let us know what resonated with you. To be the first to hear about the next Collaboratory, sign up here.

Watch & Browse

Why does Judaism matter? It might seem like an impossible question to answer, but that’s what four bold Jewish leaders tackled with Collaboratorians at “Building the Jewish Community of the Future,” a session focused on asking the big questions…and trying to answer them. Watch the video,Why Judaism Matters(or just check out the short trailer).

Featuring: Rabbi Sara Luria, co-founder of Beloved; Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder of Lab/Shul; Elad Nehorai, founder of Hevria; David Yarus, founder of JSwipe; Sarah Hurwitz, former head speechwriter for Michelle Obama; moderated by UpStart board member, Harry Nathan Gottlieb

Want to relive some of the Collaboratory magic? Browse this Instagram story of highlights.


Elizabeth Mandel, founder of jGirls Magazine (UpStart Venture Accelerator Cohort 11) and Aliza Mazor, UpStart’s Chief Field-Building Officer, dive deeper into gender equity. Learn about Elizabeth’s Jewish feminist awakening moment, empowering teens and tweens to tell their own story, and being a Jewish social entrepreneur in the #MeToo era.

Building on: Power Dynamics & Gender Equity: A Conversation Among Women Leading Change panel

Matthew Forti, Managing Director of One Acre Fund, and Aleeza Lubin, UpStart’s Innovation Lead in Chicago, hash out the finer points of how to create a board that works for your organization, specific challenges, and making concrete changes.

Building on: The Reimagine Boards Lab, an intensive, interactive day of redesigning boards


How did we get 450+ people excited about physical consent at Collaboratory? UpStart’s Communications and Content Manager, Elisheva Thompson, shares the low-down on how a simple button delighted attendees and made The Collaboratory a safe space.

Losing – and gaining – the Jewish future” is Collaboratorian Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach’s take on the many paths to new Jewish life in The Jewish Standard.

Explore what augmented reality has to do with Jewish forms of gathering with UpStart’s CEO Aaron Katler.

Dan Berelowitz, founder of Spring Impact, on three vital steps to scaling your organization. If you missed his two sessions at Collaboratory, this article is a great summary!


The Collaboratory is produced by UpStart and ROI Community, and UJA-Federation of New York was the host convener of this year’s Collaboratory in Brooklyn. To learn about next year’s gathering, sign up for our mailing list.