Orot Completes the UpStart Accelerator


Jewish life is evolving.

As the world rapidly changes, so do the diverse needs, interests, and values of modern Jews. Consequently, groundbreaking social entrepreneurs have taken on the mantle of widening the tent of Jewish life, offering new and unique approaches to meeting the spiritual and social needs of today’s community. They draw on our tradition’s intrinsic ability to shape contemporary expressions of Judaism’s enduring values.

In this new paradigm, LGBTQ Jews find belonging, Spanish-speaking Central and South Americans can engage in programming tailored for them, and the intellectually curious can steep themselves in Jewish text and tradition that nurtures their modern worldviews.

To make their greatest impact, these organizations partner with UpStart, a lab, launchpad, and support system for our community’s bravest leaders and boldest ideas. UpStart’s Accelerator program fuels promising entrepreneurial organizations with the tools, wisdom, and support they need to thrive and endure. As the latest cohort of graduates completes the Accelerator this June, we celebrate their work and impact in Jewish communities all around the world.


Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning empowers Jews of all backgrounds to discover new entry points into the richness of Jewish wisdom. Working in the local community of Chicago, Orot partners with individuals and institutions to design customized Jewish learning experiences that help people connect Jewish wisdom with their own lives, questions, and challenges in impactful and transformative ways.

The local community is their immersive lab where they create bold programs that interweave the ancient and the modern, the expected with the unexpected.

Orot will launch an initiative to build micro-communities of diverse individuals, where they explore the ways that Jewish wisdom, shared conversation, and reflective living can enrich our lives. This summer, they are at work on the curricula for two such programs, one for parents, and one for female leaders and leaders-to-be, which will be offered in the 2018-2019 year.

Want to support their work? Join Orot in Chicago for one of their innovative learning experiences, sign up to receive weekly online kavannot, follow their teachings and events on social media, or enroll in one of their online classes.

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