Do these stats about 21st-century Jewish orgs sound right to you? – eJewish Philanthropy

Posted By on September 8, 2022

No? Thats because they arent right. And theyre wrong because this information is more than a decade old. Without current data we are all flying blind into the future. That must change now.

Starting this week, leaders of contemporary Jewish organizations have an opportunity to bring that data up to date, to have their voices heard, and to document the ongoing revolution that is redefining Jewish life in the 21st century. The 2022 Survey of Contemporary Jewish Initiatives (SCJI) comes at a critical inflection point for our community and the world.

In the decade that has passed since the last comprehensive scan of Jewish startups, much has changed, and much remains unexamined. As documented in The Innovation Ecosystem: Emergence of a New Jewish Landscape (2009) and The Jewish Innovation Economy: An Emerging Market for Knowledge and Social Capital (2010), hundreds of organizations are powering an innovation boom pioneering solutions that the Jewish world desperately needs. And very little data has been collected about how that landscape has evolved over the past 10 years.

Previous research showed that while 20th-century organizations prioritized Jewish literacy and education, identity, peoplehood, Israel-as-homeland and Judaism-as-religion, newer organizations have different priorities. The growth of the Jewish environmental, outdoor, food, farming and related sustainability movements; the renewed interest in social justice and world repair (often in partnership with organizations and coalitions that are not explicitly Jewish); the creativity in Jewish arts & culture (especially in pop culture); the deployment of technology to advance Jewish values and priorities and the recognition of the racial and ethnic diversity among the Jewish people all support a landscape that blurs secular and sacred, links particular and universal and prizes relevance and meaning over rote adherence to tradition.

Jewish consumers are seeking experiences that make sense of their modern lives, help them make their way in the world, navigate careers, be better parents and apply wisdom and traditions to both global and local concerns. The changing desires and DIY impulses of participants in Jewish life have had profound implications for Jewish programming and philanthropy.

The Jewish community needs up-to-date information to make sense of it all. The experience and perspectives of leaders of new Jewish initiatives, whether standalone or hosted within larger established organizations, are vital to plan for the future. The shifting sands of identity and history force us to a new understanding of what Jewish life is, how it is accessed and how being Jewish integrates with all the complexities of our other identities and interests. The 2022 Survey of Contemporary Jewish Initiatives will allow leaders of these dynamic new organizations and communities to share what they are doing, and what they have learned to help each of us and all of us chart a course to the many Jewish futures.

Learn more: | Register your org or nominate one to take the survey:

Joshua Avedon is CEO and co-founder of Jumpstart Labs, Inc.

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Do these stats about 21st-century Jewish orgs sound right to you? - eJewish Philanthropy

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