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BBYO Panim Institute Named One of North America’s Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits by Slingshot Guide

October 19, 2011

Seventh Annual “Slingshot” Guidebook Names 50 Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits in America

The BBYO Panim Institute has been named one of the nation’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in Slingshot ’11-‘12, a resource guide for Jewish innovation. According to Slingshot, Panim was selected for this list because “after last year’s merger (2009) with the powerful BBYO, the BBYO Panim Institute is in a unique position to engage a generation of Jewish teens with community service opportunities focused on social change and rooted in Jewish values.”

Slingshot is used by philanthropists, volunteers, not-for-profit executives, and program participants to identify path-finding and trailblazing organizations grappling with concerns in Jewish life such as identity, community, and tradition. Panim was chosen for the third time by a panel of 36 foundation professionals from across North America.

In order to be listed in Slingshot, organizations are selected from among hundreds of nominees. Finalists are chosen based on their strength in four areas: innovation, impact, leadership, and organizational efficiency.

“We are honored to be a part of this elite group. It speaks to the power of investing in teens, empowering them, guiding them, and then being inspired by them,” said Rachel Meytin, director of the BBYO Panim Institute.

Since joining BBYO in 2009, Panim has been addressing teens’ interest in serving and improving their communities in sophisticated ways. Through the BBYO platform, Panim has been able to engage, inspire, and train more than 30,000 teens and 1000 Jewish professionals and educators.

According to Will Schneider, Executive Director of Slingshot, “Slingshot celebrates the relative peace and prosperity that Jews enjoy in the United States and Canada while highlighting those organizations that work to ensure that Jewish life isn’t left behind as the world moves forward. Slingshot ’11-’12 is an inspirational look at a Jewish community that is adapting to changing needs in Jewish life. We had more applications than ever this year, with a wider variety of missions. In order to be selected by our evaluators, innovations and their impact had to resonate more than ever.”

Inspired five years ago by Slingshot, a group of next-generation philanthropists launched the Slingshot Fund, a collective giving mechanism to support innovative Jewish life. In just five cycles, 55 members of the Slingshot Fund have contributed more than $1.8 million to innovative Jewish not-for-profits.

Jonathan Raiffe, the Chairman of Slingshot shared, “The Slingshot guide makes a statement to the Jewish community and beyond that next gen funders embrace change, innovation, and evaluation when meeting the needs of our community. Slingshot promotes organizations that hold themselves accountable to all their stakeholders and up to the same scrutiny as for-profit organizations, while pushing the boundaries of how to solve the most pressing issues. Slingshot is about making a statement as to what we believe are the greatest needs and what organizations are doing the best job to fulfill those needs. Organizations that receive grants from Slingshot clearly identify an unmet need and offer proven models and solutions that can have a far-reaching impact.”

Slingshot ’11/’12 was released on October 18, 2011. The community will meet on March 14 in New York City at the annual Slingshot Day, where over 250 not-for-profit leaders, foundation professionals, and funders of all ages will engage in candid conversations about philanthropy and innovation.

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