JTA – One involves Jewish teenagers and b’nai mitzvah students in community service work in the city of Detroit. Another is working to improve online Jewish education options. And another is developing a unique program based on the women of the Bible.
All are women.
Joshua Venture Group (JVG), a non-profit organization that has been investing in Jewish entrepreneurs since 2000, recently announced its selection of six fellows for its 2014-16 Double Investing program. This is the program’s first all-female cohort – something that didn’t happen on purpose, but was a âpleasant surprise,â as Lisa Lepson, the group’s executive director, put it.
âAn investment like this in Jewish female leadership is refreshing to see in our community, and we look forward to seeing these women together build a strong support network alongside their impactful ventures,â Lepson said in a press release. .
The two-year program, which begins this month, aims to develop visionary leaders and ideas that will strengthen the Jewish community through educational, social, spiritual, cultural and service programs.
Each scholarship recipient will receive more than $ 100,000 in funding and support to develop their businesses.
Joshua Venture alumni include Idit Klein of LGBT Jewish group Keshet; Amichai Lau-Lavie of the Storahtelling Theater Group; and Sarah Lefton of G-dcast, a producer of Jewish animation videos and apps.
Here are the six new fellows:
Nora Feldhusen – PeerCorps, Detroit, Michigan.
PeerCorps is a mentoring program for Jewish teens and b’nai mitzvah students to forge relationships with each other and with community work in Detroit. PeerCorps partners with a wide range of local initiatives within the city, addressing issues such as food security, housing for political asylum seekers and education.
Chana German – Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy, Ramat Gan, Israel
The Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy (LVJA) is an online program that aims to provide quality Jewish education to Jewish day school students as well as select motivated Jewish learners across North America. It enables schools to complement and differentiate their education from Grades 8 to 12 with affordable and innovative lessons, and connects students to a global network of Jewish learners.
Dana Keil – House on the Bench, Brooklyn, NY
Room on the Bench is a program dedicated to the full inclusion of students with disabilities in Jewish school communities. Teachers, external service providers, parents and the wider school community are involved in the integration of students with disabilities and send the message that they belong to the classroom and the community.
Rebecca Minkus-Lieberman – Orot: The Center for a New Jewish Learning, Skokie, Ill.
Orot: The Center for New Jewish Learning is a multidisciplinary institution aimed at providing the Chicago area with a pluralistic model for Jewish study and practice. The installation seeks to bring together people from a wide range of affiliations (including non-affiliates) to explore Judaism through meditation, music, creative writing, visual arts, and movement.
Alicia Jo Rabins – The Complicated Lives of Biblical Women, Portland, Ore.
The Complicated Lives of Biblical Women is an educational program based on the Complex Women’s Stories of the Torah. The program combines text study with art, music, and participant-generated commentary to deepen awareness of often under-studied stories.
Tikvah Wiener – IDEA Schools Network, Brooklyn, NY
The IDEA School Network aims to transform Jewish day schools through project-based learning, a method that enables students to approach and solve real-world problems; produce multimedia creations that have real-world value and relevance; and develop their creativity, digital literacy, collaborative skills and other tools.