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November 29, 2013

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 29, 2013 By Julie Wiener NEW YORK (JTA)--The biblical David used a slingshot to kill Goliath, thus earning the attention of King Saul. Today, Jewish organi- zations are trying to use Slingshot, an annual guide of the 50 "most innovative organizations and projects," to capture the attention of do- nors. The ninth installment of the guide was released Thursday. Launched in 2005 by a group of donors in their 20s and 30s, the guide evaluates North American Jewish orga- nizations based on "their in- novative approach, the impact they have in their work, the leadership they have in their sector, and their effectiveness at achieving results." Inclusion in Slingshot offers "a stamp of recogni- tion," said Vivian Stadlin, co- director of Eden Village Camp, a 4-year-old overnight camp focused on environmental sustainability that has ap- peared in Slingshot for several consecutive years. "Even if a prospective parent doesn't know about Slingshot, to be able to say we appear in the Slingshot list of 50 most innovative Jewish groups puts people at ease," she added. "It gives the sense that they're climbing aboard a winning ship." Ed Case, CEO of Interfaith- Family, a website offering re- sources for interfaith families and one of the standard bear- ers, said making the Slingshot list offers a "heksher," or seal of approval, "especially for new organizations getting started." Whether Slingshot inclu- sion has a financial benefit is an open question. Guide inclusion does not come with any monetary reward, although those that make the list are eligible to receive grants through the Slingshot Fund. Case said his group has received grants from small foundations that discovered it through Slingshot. ! \Ve are your source for: Invitalic~s, Brochures Letterheads Envelope6 Business Cards Programs Fquers Post Cards Forms Digital Photography Labels Direct Mail 407.767.7110 www. e legantprinfing, net ~ ~ 205 North Street Longwood, FL 32750 Julie Finkelstein, Sling- shot's program director, said many organizations "leverage it to receive funding from other sources." Sarah Lefton, executive director and producer of G- dcast, a new media production company that has been in Slingshot for several consecu- tive years, praised the guide, particularly the openness of its organizers to feedback. However, several profes- sionals say the application process is burdensome, the selection process overly sub- jective and the payoff not always clear. A professional with an or- ganization featured multiple times in Slingshotwho did not want to be seen publicly criti- cizing the group said she has heard "a lot of grousing about it from Jewish organizations." "It's a really involved appli- cation both to be in the guide and to get money [through the Slingshot Fund], and there's not a clear return," she said. Another Jewish profession- al echoed this concern, saying, "People like the recognition, but I'm not sure how many organizations have seen real gains or been able to leverage it into grants." The Slingshot Day, which brings together groups and donors, also gets mixed re- views. Case said it's "great to have the once-a-year op- portunity to meet with coun- terparts-that is rare to non- existent otherwise, especially EWISH NEWS SPECIAL CELEBRATION ISSUE 31,2014 Hundreds of different parties will be held in the Jewish community throughout the coming year. HERITAGE readers will be in need of a variety of products and services, including hotels, hair salons, clothing stores, jewelers, printers, florists, restaurants and many others. You can reach this exclusive buying market by placing your advertising message in the HERITAGE Special Celebration Issue Don't let those weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other simchas pass you by. Make sure your business is included on our readers' shopping lists. For More Information, Call: 407-834-8787 Campers at Eden Village guide to Jewish innovation. for organizations not based in New York." But another professional said there's a "mismatch" between the expectations of funders and organizations at the annual conference. "The organizations are coming to meet funders, but the funders are not coming to be met," the professional said. For the first time this year, Slingshot published two supplements to the list--on "Disabilities & Inclusion," in partnership with the Ru- derman Foundation, and on "Women & Girls," in partner- ship with the Jewish Women's Foundation of New York---as a means to broaden its com- munity and attract public interest and donor support in these areas. The guide also features 17 "standard bearers"--groups that are included yearly as "models of innovation." They include organizations such as Moishe House, a social and educational group for WASHINGTON, D.C.-- American Jews and American Muslims called on Congress in a joint statement to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a meaningful path to citizenship. In join- ing together as unlikely al- lies, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) renewed their united push to refocus Congress' attention on the na- tion's most pressing domestic policy crisis. The following is a joint state- ment from Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and Haris Tarin, director of the Washington, D.C., office of the Muslim PublicAffairs Council: "In combining our voices, we hope Congress hears that immigration reform is a pri- ority issue across America's many diverse communi- ties, bringing together even those that many believe have little in common. In fact, America's Jewish and Muslim Camp, one of 50 Jewish groups named in Slingshot's 2013 20-something Jews, and Mechon Hadar, a liberal yeshiva. Newcomers to the list this year include City Harvest's Kosher Initiative, a hunger- relief project in New York; NewGround: A Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change, of Los Angeles; Ramah Tikvah Network, a training program for professionals serving special-needs populations; and The Kitchen, an alter- native congregation in San Francisco. "Slingshot is a resource highlighting the breadth and depth of the Jewish com- munity at this moment, and it is relied upon by doers and donors alike," said Will Sch- neider, Slingshot's executive director. Meredith Lewis, director of operations atMyJewishLearn- ing, which has made the top 50 for several consecutive years, said Slingshot--and particu- larly an annual conference it holds for organizations and donors--helped her group forge partnerships with oth- ers, such as the Institute for Southern Jewish Life and Keshet, an LGBT advocacy group. "When we're thinking about new partners to bring on, that's the first place we look," she said. Of the 50 Slingshot groups, the average founding year is 2005 and the average annual budget is $717,320. Women lead 52 percent of them. While commonly viewed as emphasizing programs serving young Jews, several Slingshot organizations in the guide focus on baby boomers andthe elderly, includingWise Aging, which provides ,'spiri- tual learning, intellectual engagement, and community gathering" for Jews 65 and over, and Kavod v'Nichum, a group that teaches about traditional Jewish burial rituals and provides training and resources to Jewish burial societies. ims call on communities share the col- lective experience of facing xenophobia and prejudice for their culture and faith, and being treated as outsiders in our home country. Comprehensive immigra- tion reform has long been a priority issue for both our communities, as many of our families share stories of immi- grating to the U.S. Both of our communities have deep roots here. But both of our commu- nities also know firsthand the struggle to find acceptance in our adopted homeland. Eleven million people in this country contribute to our economy and strengthen the fabric of our communities, but are living without the basic civil rights and protections that the rest of us enjoy. This fundamental injustice cuts against the core values as a nation, as people of faith, and is especially compelling to the Muslim and Jewish communi- ties who value America's en- during history as a welcoming and compassionate nation. Our coming together today to call on Congress to pass comprehensive immi- gration reform is, in itself, a testament to the great potential of an America with a just and inclusive immigra- tion system. In other parts of the world, sadly, such a collaboration would be all but impossible America's strength is derived from its ability to draw the best and the brightest from all walks of life, including all and excluding none. We urge you to come to- gether, as we have, to pass comprehensive immigra- tion reform with a path to citizenship, and keepAmerica strong." Both Bend the Arc and the Muslim PublicAffairs Council have been active in advocating for comprehensive immigra- tion reform with a path to citizenship, citing shared values of treating others with dignity and respect, and the importance of keeping fami- lies together.