DENVER – Oct. 18, 2011 –Judaism Your Way (JYW), a Denver-based outreach organization, has been named one of the 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in North America by Slingshot ’11-‘12, a resource guide for Jewish innovation. JYW was selected because of its pioneering work in offering education, rabbinic services, and holiday celebrations for all Jews and their loved ones in a wholly inclusive and pluralistic manner. JYW’s goal is to be responsive to people “wherever they are on their Jewish journeys.”
The Slingshot guide is used by philanthropists, volunteers, not-for-profit executives, and program participants to identify trailblazing organizations grappling with concerns in Jewish life such as identity, community, and tradition.
Lolly Gold, JYW’s executive director said:
Our inclusion in Slingshot ’11-’12 is a tremendous honor and a strong validation of our approach to outreach. We believe that what’s needed is a Judaism that goes beyond welcoming, and opens a gateway for all Jews and their loved ones. They may be interfaith, LGBT, single, too young, too old, too free-spirited, too poor, or too something to fit into or feel welcomed by other Jewish institutions.”
Judaism Your Way offers low barrier, innovative opportunities for unaffiliated, disengaged or disaffected Jews and their loved ones of all identities looking for opportunities to explore and expand their experience of Judaism in personally relevant and meaningful ways.
If the Jewish people are going to grow, then inviting the richness offered by all Jews and those who love and support them can only make the soil more fertile,” said JYW’s Rabbi Brian Field. “JYW’s outreach not only seeks to gather people from multiple constituencies, but in fact successfully attracts them.”
JYW was chosen for inclusion in Slingshot ’11-’12 for the first time by a panel of 36 foundation professionals from across North America. Finalists are chosen based on their strength in four areas: innovation, impact, leadership, and organizational efficiency.
According to Will Schneider, executive director of Slingshot:
Slingshot highlights those organizations that work to ensure that Jewish life isn’t left behind as the world moves forward. 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.”
The Slingshot guide contains information about each organization’s origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at www.judaismyourway.org and www.slingshotfund.org.
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.