Welcome to the Present and Future Tense
Tamar Snyder writing in The New York Jewish Week
While Jewish nonprofits are largely scaling back their budgets and slashing programming, PresenTense, which was launched four years ago, is a rarity in the sense that it’s still plugging forth, full speed ahead. The group, which prides itself on “growing pioneers who are solving Jewish problems with sustainable solutions,” has seen its annual operating budget rise nearly 200 percent, to $580,000 for the current fiscal year (PresenTense runs on a Hebrew calendar).
“The key thing is to keep our foot on the gas pedal,” says Aharon Horwitz, co-director of the PresenTense Group. In just three years, PresenTense has emerged from an all-volunteer-run organization to a known entity employing eight staffers (many of them working part time).
Cutting back wasn’t an option, says PresenTense co-founder Ariel Beery. “We’re not in this to build an organization; we’re in this to grow pioneers,” he says. “If we’re not launching new ventures or developing a creative community around a shared value, then we’re not doing our job.”