Orthodox Union’s Impact Accelerator Will Support 4 Innovative Nonprofit Startups

21 Jan 2020

New Cohort Addresses Poverty, Substance Abuse & Education

NEW YORK – OU’s Impact Accelerator, a mentorship program for growth and early-stage funding for Jewish non-profit entrepreneurs and a division of The Orthodox Union (OU), the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, has announced its second cohort of four startup ventures. The organizations chosen for this year’s cohort are using innovative models to address issues that impact the Jewish community including: fighting poverty, substance abuse recovery and education.  

Launched in early 2018, the OU Impact Accelerator was created to provide mentorship and early-stage funding for Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs with the next groundbreaking ideas, over the course of a 10-month program. 

The second cohort of the OU’s Impact Accelerator, chosen from a pool of over 80 applicants, will include the following four ventures: 

Led by Jenna Beltser and the Accelerator Executive Board, chaired by Ezra Friedberg, the OU’s Impact Accelerator will pair members of the selected cohort with experienced professional mentors and provide them with OU resources and network infrastructure. The entrepreneurs will take part in a customized curriculum of business skills, coaching, fundraising and implementation strategies over the next 10 months to accelerate their ventures.  

“The organizations we chose for the second cohort are dedicated to creating solutions and opportunities for our community,” said Beltser. “We are excited to provide them with resources and the guidance to help them expand the impact they make within the community.” 

“Our community enjoys many opportunities and faces many challenges,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane. “It is inspiring and invigorating to be engaged with the growing number of community members harnessing their creativity and passion to help move the community forward.”

“Our community is blessed with many wonderful nonprofits and people with the vision to develop innovative solutions to issues impacting our community,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “Our goal with the Impact Accelerator program is to harness their passion and to provide the tools and mentorship they need in order to help their ideas flourish. 

 The application process for this cohort included completing a rigorous online form, followed by interviews with the OU Impact Accelerator team and pitching the ventures to a selection committee. Criteria for projects chosen focused on solving the critical challenges of the Jewish community through innovative solutions, with five main elements: communal need, innovation, maturity, leadership and potential for impact. Candidates also needed to be nonprofit entrepreneurs who live in and cater to the North American Jewish Community.  

Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs. For more information, visit https://www.ou.org/.