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Introducing the Slingshot Class of 2013-2014

Read this story in eJewish Philanthropy

Slingshot has released Slingshot 2013-14 – its ninth annual guide to North America’s top innovative Jewish organizations. The Guide, a go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects, will help ensure the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving.

Among the hundreds of organizations that applied for inclusion 50 were selected, along with 17 “standard bearers” – organizations included year after year as models in innovation. Organizations included in this year’s Guide were evaluated on their innovative approach, the impact they have in their work, the leadership they have in their sector, and their effectiveness at achieving results.

For the first time, Slingshot also published two supplements to accompany the Slingshot Guide. The supplements, Disabilities & Inclusion, and Women & Girls, each recognize 18 Jewish organizations supporting specific populations in novel ways. The supplements are a means for even more groups to be part of the Slingshot community and to attract public interest and donor support toward these areas.

The Women & Girls supplement was supported through a partnership with the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, and the Disabilities & Inclusion supplement through a partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation.

This year, the guide also shows evidence of innovation happening in new ways and new places.

Innovation Promotes Innovation:

As pioneering organizations continue to innovate, lessons from their beginnings are adapted and built upon in new locations with different audiences.

Alternative spiritual communities like IKAR, Mechon Hadar, and Sixth & I have inspired the launch of similar initiatives. This year, Slingshot highlights the work of The Kitchen and Mishkan Chicago, each adapting the successful models of Slingshot Standard Bearers to their local communities in San Francisco and Chicago, respectively.

Best practices of the Jewish environmental education and community-building fields, gleaned from organizations like The Pearlstone Center, Wilderness Torah, and Urban Adamah, now also take root in Toronto at Shoresh’s Bela Farm.

Social Services: Traditionally seen as providing vital services, but not always on the cutting edge of programmatic innovation, the social services field has demonstrated its ability to remodel in ways that provide better or newer resources to Jews in need.

Organizations like Footsteps, which provides services to individuals transitioning out of ultra-Orthodox communities, City Harvest’s Kosher Initiative, which focuses on feeding New York City’s impoverished Jewish communities, or Kavod v’Nichum’s resources that support end-of-life Jewish rituals, provide just a few examples of projects that support today’s Jewish community in caring and creative ways.

Without further ado, here are this year’s Slingshot 50 followed by the 17 Standard Bearers and the two supplements (in alphabetical order):

A Wider Bridge


Ask Big Questions

AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps


City Harvest’s Kosher Initiative

Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations

The David Project

Eden Village Camp



Havurah at Camp Tel Yehudah


Hidden Sparks

Innovation: Africa


J-Teen Leadership

Jewish Farm School

Jewish Learning Venture

Jewish New Teacher Project

The Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation

Jewish Without Walls (JWOW)

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

Jews United for Justice

JOIN for Justice

The Kavana Cooperative

Kavod v’Nichum


The Kitchen

Luria Academy of Brooklyn


Mishkan Chicago

MyJewishLearning, Inc.


NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change

The Pearlstone Center

Rabbis Without Borders

Ramah Service Corps

Ramah Tikvah Network

Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council

Shoresh at Bela Farm

The Tribe

Urban Adamah

Wilderness Torah

Wise Aging

Yeshivat Maharat

Yiddish Book Center

Standard Bearers

Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community

Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice


Gateways: Access to Jewish Education

Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life





Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center

Mechon Hadar

Moishe House

Moving Traditions


Sharsheret: Your Jewish Community Facing Breast Cancer

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue

Uri L’Tzedek

Supplement on Disabilities & Inclusion

Camp Dream Street Mississippi

Friendship Circle International

Gateways: Access to Jewish Education

Hidden Sparks

INCLUDE North Peninsula

JCC Maccabi Camp Kingswood Zohar Program

JCHAI at Home

Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore

Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s Opening The Doors Program

Keshet Avodah at Camp Chi


Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center

MetroWest ABLE

The Miracle Project Judaica

Ramah Tikvah Network

Sabes JCC Inclusion Department

Sunflower Bakery

Yad HaChazakah-The Jewish Disability Empowerment Center, Inc.

Supplement on Women & Girls

Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community

The Career Gateway

Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

Jewish Women International

Jewish Women’s Archive

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice


Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center

Moving Traditions

MyJewishLearning, Inc.


Organization for the Resolution of Agunot

Shalom Bayit

Sharsheret: Your Jewish Community Facing Breast Cancer

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue

Unchained At LastThe Women’s Jewish Learning Center

Yeshivat Maharat

Slingshot ’13-’14 and the two new supplements are available for download at

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