ORTHODOX UNION LAUNCHES FIRST IMPACT ACCELERATOR PROGRAM TO INVEST IN NEXT GENERATION OF JEWISH NONPROFIT ENTREPRENEURS
UP TO $25,000 IN SEED FUNDING TO BE AWARDED TO EACH WINNING PROJECT
NEW YORK – The Orthodox Union (OU), the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, has launched the OU Impact Accelerator to rapidly identify and invest in solutions for current and future Jewish communal needs.
The program will run over 18-months and is built on mentorship-based growth and early-stage funding for Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs. Between four and six projects will be awarded up to $25,000 each.
“The Torah teaches us that we have a shared responsibility for each other, kol yisrael areivim zeh lazeh, and that the needs of others should always be our own concern,” said OU President Moishe Bane. “Orthodox Jewish social entrepreneurs all over the country are finding innovative ways to address the needs and challenges in our communities. With the OU Impact Accelerator, we can now help scale these important projects to have greater impact and positive change.”
The Impact Accelerator will pair members of the selected cohort with experienced professional mentors and supply them with OU resources, network and knowledge base. Winning entrepreneurs will take part in a customized curriculum of business skills, coaching, funding and implementation strategies to accelerate their ventures that are solving the community’s most significant needs. They will participate in virtual training and group town-halls every other week, with in-person retreats and programming every six to nine months.
Candidates for the program will be Orthodox nonprofit entrepreneurs that live in and cater to the North American Jewish Community. Ideally, applicants will have been operating their ventures for one to four years, and service critical needs of America’s Orthodox community through innovative solutions.
The application process includes completing an online form, an interview with the OU innovations team and pitching your venture to the OU Innovations Board. Selected ventures will begin learning with a cohort of social entrepreneurs in August-September 2018.
The OU Innovations team is comprised of Chief Innovation Officer Rabbi David Felsenthal, Assistant Director of Innovation Jenna Beltser and Chair of Impact Accelerator Charlie Harary.
“Since its inception, the OU has accelerated programs that address the needs of the Jewish people,” said OU Assistant Director of Innovation Jenna Beltser. “The mission of this program is to transform the landscape of the Jewish future, by building on our history of innovation and leveraging the entrepreneurial nature of this generation.”
Applications are due by May 6, 2018. For more information, or to apply, please visit: https://www.ou.org/accelerator/.
About the Orthodox Union
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 and Birthright Israel/Israel Free Spirit trip organizer, and Yachad, the National Council for Jewish Disabilities, among many other divisions and programs. For more information, visit https://www.ou.org/.