We are thrilled that Hillel’s Ask Big Questions and J’Burgh, an initiative of The Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh, have been named two of the nation’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in Slingshot ’13-‘14, a resource guide for Jewish innovation.
Ask Big Questions brings diverse college students together for conversations that help people understand themselves and others. They were selected for the ways in which they transform the depth of conversation and relationships that college students have with one another. J’Burgh serves more than 2,500 graduate students and young professionals in their twenties living in Pittsburgh, to provide a gateway for them to explore and develop their personal Jewish identity within the city. They were chosen for sending a clear message to young adults: “your participation in Jewish communal living is valuable.”
Slingshot organizations are selected from among hundreds of nominees based on their strength in four areas: innovation, impact, leadership, and organizational efficiency. Ask Big Questions and J’Burgh were chosen for the second year in a row by an independent panel of 83 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life.
Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International noted, “Slingshot’s recognition validates the creative and innovative work Hillel continues to do on 550 campuses and in 5 continents around the world - to engage students of all backgrounds in Jewish life, learning, and Israel.”
Will Schneider, Executive Director of Slingshot, added, “The groundbreaking organizations that we highlight in the Slingshot Guide are game-changers in the realms of community engagement, social justice impact, and religious and spiritual life. The Slingshot Guide is the framework for a community that through the collaboration that results from inclusion in the Guide, becomes something significantly more effective than what each of the individual organizations can achieve on their own.”
Slingshot previously included Hillel’s Senior Jewish Educator/Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative (SJE/CEI). Ask Big Questions grew out of a CEI interns’ project at Northwestern University and builds on SJE/CEI’s approach—to infuse meaningful content into student networks in a way that is both universally human and based on Jewish values. Ask Big Questions is an inclusive initiative that builds understanding on campus between both Jews and non-Jews. Slingshot produces an annual resource guide for Jewish innovation, and this marks the fourth consecutive year that Hillel engagement initiatives have been recognized for innovation that ensures the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving.
About the Slingshot Guide
The Slingshot Guide, now in its ninth 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.