(July 15, 2019 / JNS) The Orthodox Union has launched the application process for the second cohort of its Impact Accelerator project to rapidly identify and invest in ventures addressing current and future Jewish communal interests.
The program runs more than 12 months, and is built on mentorship-based growth and early-stage funding for Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs. Chosen ventures will be awarded up to $25,000 each.
Candidates for the program are Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs who 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 Torah teaches us that we have a shared responsibility for each other, 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.”
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 during on-site seminars at the OU headquarters to accelerate their ventures that are solving the community’s most significant needs.
The first cohort’s participants included:
- NechamaComfort, which supports families who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.
- GrowTorah, which develops educational Torah garden programs for Jewish schools and communal organizations, incubating Emunah, environmental stewardship, compassion for creatures and tzedakah.
- Work at It, which helps at-risk youth to find places for themselves within society through meaningful employment.
- imadi, which empowers individuals and families facing mental-health difficulties by providing support, guidance and education.
- TorahAnytime, which enable Jews around the world to access Torah lectures from a wide array of speakers via the Internet.
“The mission of our 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,” said OU Impact Accelerator founding director Jenna Beltser. “These ventures will have the ability to tap into the OU’s professionals, its network and organizational expertise in program development, nonprofit management, marketing and more.”
The application process includes completing an online form, an interview with the OU Impact Accelerator selection committee and a pitch to the program’s board.
Applications open on July 15 and are due by Sept. 5.
To learn more or to apply, see: https://www.ou.org/accelerator/.