21 October 2014
NORTH BETHESDA, MD – The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s NEXT DC program, Reverse Mifgash, has been named one of 18 leading Jewish organizations in the Greater Washington, DC area in the first ever DC Edition to the Slingshot: A Resource Guide for Jewish Innovation. The DC Edition was released today, alongside the tenth annual Slingshot Guide, Slingshot 2014-15, a Midwest Edition and a supplement that highlights Jewish organizations impacting the lives of women and girls. The Slingshot DC Edition will help further expand the ability of the selected organizations to carry out their missions, as well as expand the resources available to volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects that, through their innovative nature, will ensure the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving.
Selected from among hundreds of finalists reviewed by 112 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life, the Guide called Reverse Mifgash, “a model program for communities seeking to engage Birthright Israel alumni in a meaningful way.” Organizations included in this year’s Washington, DC supplement were evaluated on their innovative approach, the impact they have in their work, the leadership they have in their sector and their effectiveness at achieving results.
“The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is proud to be among the 18 organizations included in the new Slingshot DC edition,” said Steven A. Rakitt, The Jewish Federation’s Chief Executive Officer. “The Reverse Mifgash program has positively impacted Greater Washington by offering community members first-hand opportunities to interact with Israelis. These interactions create meaningful bonds that allow for greater understanding and closeness between our communities.” This year’s Reverse Mifgash Co- Chair Rachel Spellman shared “During my participation on a DC Birthright Trip I witnessed the close connections created between my American peers and our Israeli counterparts. To get to bring many of those individuals to DC in order to share with them DC’s rich Jewish history, culture and people is quite exciting.”
The supplement was supported through a generous partnership with the Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies. Simone Friedman Rones, Executive Director of the Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies, said, “One of our goals was to highlight the exciting Jewish projects happening here in the Washington, DC region. Without a doubt, DC is one of the centers of gravity for Jewish innovation. The Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies is providing a grant for every program in the guide this year, and our hope is that our friends in the community will join us in supporting those programs that speak to them.”
To increase the impact of the Guide, the Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies is sponsoring several launch events in Washington, DC. These events, happening October 19th to October 22nd, engage DC area teens, Jewish professionals, college students and young adults in workshops about innovation and philanthropy, where they will award grants of approximately $500-$1000 to organizations featured in the Washington, DC edition of Slingshot.
Added Julie Finkelstein, Associate Director of Slingshot, which publishes the Guide each year, “While innovative organizations based in DC have been listed in the national Slingshot guide before, we are excited to publish a resource that better demonstrates the depth and breadth of DC’s Jewish innovation. Our upcoming events are a way to engage the many stakeholders in DC Jewish life that that may not yet know about the amazing things happening in the community.”
Being listed in the Guide is often a critical step for selected organizations to attain much needed additional funding and to expand the reach of their work. Selected organizations are eligible for grants from various DC-based peer-giving networks of young donors with an eye for identifying, highlighting and advancing causes that resonate the most with the next generation of philanthropists. The Guide is a frequently used resource for donors seeking to support organizations transforming the world in novel and interesting ways.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington: The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (www.shalomdc.org) is a community building organization that cares for those in need, deepens engagement in Jewish life, and connects Jews to each other locally, in Israel and around the world.
The Slingshot Guide: The Slingshot Guide, now in its tenth year, was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios to include the most innovative and effective organizations, programs and projects in North America. The Guide contains information about each organization’s origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character. The Slingshot Guide has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America’s Jewish community – and how nonprofits are meeting new needs and reaching new audiences. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at www.slingshotfund.org.