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

23 Feb 2021

New Cohort Addresses Philanthropy, Cremation, Female Creativity & Education

NEW YORK – The Orthodox Union (OU), the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, has announced its third cohort of six winning nonprofit organizations that it will support through its Impact Accelerator. The organizations chosen for this year’s cohort are working to address issues that impact the Jewish community including charitable engagement, promoting religious female creativity, reducing the number of Jewish bodies cremated, and education.

The OU Impact Accelerator is designed to provide mentorship-based growth and early-stage funding for Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs with the next groundbreaking ideas, over the course of a 12-month program.

The six winners were chosen from 51 applicants. The third cohort of the OU’s Impact Accelerator will include:

The OU’s Impact Accelerator, led by Jenna Beltser and the Accelerator Executive Board, chaired by Riverdale’s Ezra Friedberg, 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, funding and implementation strategies over the next 12-months to accelerate their ventures.

“The organizations we chose for the third cohort are dedicated to creating solutions and opportunities for our community at a time when we need to be thinking about new and creative solutions,” said Beltser. “We are excited to work with them and provide resources and guidance to help them expand the impact they will make within the community.”

“Our goal for the Impact Accelerator is to nurture early stage Jewish communal projects and to inspire a greater focus on social entrepreneurship,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane. “The winning groups are more geographically diverse than ever before, introducing new and innovative ways of educating children and young adults, helping us fulfill the mitzvah of charity, empowering us to choose proper Jewish burial and to combat a rise in Jewish bodies that are being cremated, and providing female members of our community with a platform to express their artistic creativity aligned with Torah values.”

“Our community is blessed with many wonderful projects and dreamers with visions to develop innovative solutions to issues impacting our community,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer. “Our goal with the Impact Accelerator program is to harness their passion and provide them with access to the tools and mentorship they need in order to help their concept flourish.”

Launched in early 2018, the OU Impact Accelerator was created to provide mentorship and early-stage funding for Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs and their ventures. To learn more about the Impact Accelerator and to participate in their virtual Demo-Day honoring their outgoing cohort on March 8th, sign up at https://www.ou.org/accelerator/demoday/.

Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), 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.