Foundation for Jewish Culture


Andrew Horwitz
212 629 0500 x215
September 15, 2008

Fourth Annual "Slingshot" Guidebook Names 50 Most Innovative
Jewish Nonprofits in America

(NY, NY) - September 15, 2008 -The Foundation for Jewish Culture has been named one of the nation's 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in Slingshot 08/09, a resource guide to Jewish innovation. Compiled and published by 21/64, theannual guidebook features programs, organizations, and leaders that take innovative approaches to addressing age-old concerns of identity and community in Jewish life today. The first time being named in Slingshot, The Foundation for Jewish Culture made the cut this year after an extensive evaluation process overseen by 25 foundation professionals.
Each year, the organizations listed in Slingshot offer a glimpse into the trends shaping North America's Jewish nonprofit sector and the Jewish community at large. Those selected in Slingshot 08/09 are reinvigorating Jewish expression and practice in the areas of ritual, history, language, liturgy, culture, and tikkun olam, healing the planet.
This is a pivotal and transformational moment in Jewish history - particularly in terms of culture. The Foundation for Jewish Culture is proud to be leading the way as a funder, convener and advocate. We are perpetuating the great legacy of Judaism by supporting the artists and scholars of today who are producing the Jewish culture of tomorrow. With our signature programs such as Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships in Jewish Studies, New Jewish Theatre Projects and the Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish Documentary Film and our new initiatives including The Jewish Studies Expansion Project, a landmark program aimed at enhancing Jewish studies at underserved college and universities around the country and as a partner in The Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists we are supporting the visionary, creative, imaginative, passionate people who make our communities vital; who help us express our joy and our sorrow, who help us make sense of the world around us, who give us countless ways to experience what it is to be Jewish.
As Rabbi Steve Greenberg has said, "Communal innovation and inspiration came first from the prophets, then from the Rabbis, most recently lay leaders, and now is coming from artists."
"We are delighted to be included in Slingshot," says the Foundation's President and CEO Elise Bernhardt. "This is a strong validation of the work the Foundation for Jewish Culture is doing. It exposes us to a vibrant funding community and is a valuable vehicle as we grow our capacity and take our programming to the next level. Being selected for Slingshot is an honor that will support us as we strengthen our existing programs and develop new and innovative ways to engage the next generation of Jews through culture."
The Foundation for Jewish Culture was selected by a group of 25 foundation professionals from hundreds of nominees. All nominees were evaluated based on programmatic innovation, community impact, leadership and organizational efficiency.
"Slingshot 08/09 shows us once again that both fledgling programs and established organizations across the U.S. are teeming with Jewish innovation, said Roger Bennett, co-founder of 21/64. "For years, I've heard skeptics say that Jewish innovation is a clever way of describing hip programs that are culturally-driven, but lacking in Jewish substance. Not true. The organizations in Slingshot 08/09 show us clearly that Jewish innovation consists of a profound mix of ritual, history, language and culture."
Slingshot 08/09 will be unveiled at a launch event in Manhattan on September 18. A subset of the organizations featured in Slingshot will receive funding grants from The Slingshot Fund. Founded by Jews in their 20s and 30s, the Fund aims to provide a new model for raising and distributing grants by engaging young people in Jewish philanthropy who would otherwise not be involved.
"Reinvention and adaptation are the hallmarks of Judaism, and the Slingshot organizations are leading the charge in North America," said Sharna Goldseker, co-founder and Director of 21/64. "By challenging convention and exploring new ways to bridge the past with the next generation, these nonprofits tell us that our tradition, history, and culture are still central to how we identify ourselves."
About Slingshot
Slingshot was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios with the most innovative and effective organizations and programs in North America. This guide contains information about each organization's origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character.  Now in its fourth edition, Slingshot has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America's Jewish community. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at  or at
About 21/64
21/64 is a non-profit consulting division of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. Based in New York, it offers services to individuals, families, businesses, foundations and federations in times of generational transition - including consultation, resource materials, networks and communication vehicles. 21/64 specializes in a multigenerational approach to philanthropy. In this era, when there are four generations above the age of 21 around corporate and philanthropic tables, multiple generations must learn to understand each others' "generational personalities," motivational values, and visions. 21/64 facilitates the process of values clarification, strategic visioning and communicating to help multigenerational families define and achieve their individual and collective goals.
The Foundation for Jewish Culture invests in creative individuals in order to nurture a vibrant and enduring Jewish identity, culture and community.
The Foundation was established in 1960 by the Council of Jewish Federations (now UJC) to reestablish the institutions and scholarship lost during the Holocaust. In the 1970's the Foundation expanded its original mission by championing the role of the arts in Jewish continuity.
The Foundation continues to identify and support remarkable artists and scholars whose work explores the complex fabric of Jewish life. Our grantees ensure that Jewish culture continues to be contemporary and profound.
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