Center Honored for Groundbreaking Work
The Center for Small Town Jewish Life has been named to the Slingshot fund’s inaugural “10 to Watch” list. An organization that engages young Jewish philanthropists to make lasting impact, Slingshot made its announcement on Jan. 29, 2020, honoring the Center and nine other young organizations in North America that are responding to current needs in the Jewish community and beyond. The Center for Small Town Jewish Life is proud to be included in this list of outstanding initiatives.
“I am incredibly grateful to Slingshot for recognizing the unique and powerful work of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life at Colby College,” said Rabbi Rachel Isaacs, executive director of the Center. “It is a privilege and delight to see the remarkable work we are doing in Maine highlighted nationally, bringing small town Jewish life into the greater Jewish consciousness, and challenging traditional notions of where Jewish life can thrive and inspire future generations of leadership.”
“10 to Watch” builds on Slingshot’s history of showcasing innovative ideas and investing in positive change. Unlike The Slingshot Guide—a former signature project—the criteria for “10 to Watch” applicants is more narrowly defined. Applicants must represent an organization or a project of an organization that 1) serves a North American audience; 2) has been actively in the field for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years; and 3) offers a new, fresh idea for addressing a unique and relevant problem.
Slingshot received nearly 50 “10 to Watch” applications, which were reviewed by a committee comprised of young Jewish philanthropists and foundation professionals with a diversity of backgrounds, life experiences, and expertise. The Center for Small Town Jewish Life was selected for its work in bringing quality Jewish programming to the culturally and geographically diverse Jewish communities of Maine, and for taking great steps to bridge cultural, generational, and class divides through its programming.
“We’re thrilled that this list features young initiatives that are worthy of meaningful investments,” said Stefanie Rhodes, CEO of Slingshot. “These initiatives are engaging a diverse array of people and communities—including interfaith families, LGBTQ people, Jews of color, and Jews who live in rural areas—that have been historically underserved in Jewish life. We hope ‘10 to Watch’ will inspire the philanthropic community to invest in these new projects by offering them greater capacity to grow and thrive.”
Over the next several months, Slingshot will feature content on its website on the “10 to Watch” organizations to offer a deeper look into their work. Additionally, Slingshot will facilitate educational opportunities for young philanthropists to learn about how to fund these initiatives.
“At a time in which people of all ages are grappling with the dynamics of power, privilege, and money, I believe that building the Jewish future requires investing in initiatives that can open up new possibilities for Jews to live meaningful lives,” said Coby Lerner, chair of Slingshot’s Board of Directors. “I’m thrilled that Slingshot’s inaugural ‘10 to Watch’ list is providing a new pathway for how philanthropists can nurture growth and innovation in the Jewish community and beyond.”
Learn about the Center for Small Town Jewish Life and the other featured organizations and projects featured in the 2020 “10 to Watch” list here.