As part of a widespread effort to support and cultivate change agents in Jewish institutions, UpStart is bringing its transformative Change Accelerator program to Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, with other locations to come. Over the course of six months, this experiential, highly-selective professional development program will empower a talented cohort of participants with the skills to identify and launch bold initiatives that meet their communities’ evolving needs. UpStart is bringing the same combination of practical skills and expert coaching that it’s known for with its flagship Venture Accelerator, as well as its robust network of change-leaders, to existing institutions within Jewish life.
Across the established institutions that drive so much of Jewish life, individuals can play a pivotal role in creating vibrant opportunities for the Jewish community to connect. But too often, these potential change agents face obstacles, lacking the authority to test bold new ideas, the skills to gain buy-in across teams, and the supportive network to turn dreams into reality. UpStart’s Change Accelerators enable participants to spark culture change within their organizations, learn new methodologies to address a particular opportunity for redesign, and test a new program or project. As they shape their ideas, they are supported by a community of peers and expert coaches.
In the Denver-Boulder area, UpStart will be running two unique Change Accelerators: one for Jewish communal professionals, and one specifically for professionals working with Jewish teens, including b’nei mitzvah programs. In Chicago, UpStart will launch its third cohort of the Change Accelerator, building on the success of the previous years and creating a vibrant cohort of leaders to move the needle on local challenges. Los Angeles and the Bay Area will also both be launching their inaugural Change Accelerator this year. More programs are under development in other cities.
Robyn Brenner, a participant in UpStart’s inaugural Change Accelerator in Chicago, said “[The program] gave me a framework to think about a challenge through a different lens, to take risks and get outside of my comfort zone, but most importantly, it gave me the skills to make an impact in integrating and executing innovation within my organization.”
Applications for this year’s groundbreaking program are currently open in Chicago, Colorado and Los Angeles, and will close on August 16. The Bay Area will be accepting applications in the fall.