By Rabbi Philip Warmflash, Executive Directorselected-national guide slingshot-14-15

Jewish Learning Venture was included for a second year in the Slingshot Guide as one of the most innovative Jewish organizations in North America. When I tell people, many say “Mazal Tov, that’s great,” and then ask, “How much money does that come with?” Well, being selected by Slingshot does not mean an automatic financial prize. As one Slingshot organization said in their press, think of being in the Slingshot Guide like receiving an Academy Award. But it’s more than the Sally Fields comment upon receiving her repeat Oscar: “You like me. You really like me!” It is a way to understand why it’s important to Jewish Learning Venture and to our Jewish community that we have been selected.

So what makes it so important? First, like any award, it acknowledges the outstanding and innovative work of Jewish Learning Venture that makes us stand out from other Jewish organizations – particularly since 99% of the other organizations in Slingshot are start ups and JLV has a long, rich history. Second, and even more significant, when you win an Academy Award your stock goes up on your future work and worth. The award, inclusion in Slingshot, should be a clear indication to funders and potential funders that Jewish Learning Venture is a solid organization in which to invest.

I encourage you all to take some time to look at the Award Winners in Slingshot ’14-’15, and to pay particular attention to, and consider investing in, the work that Jewish Learning Venture is doing to “drive the future of Jewish life and engagement.”