Answering the Call to Fuel Jewish Innovation

This Spring, Linda Gerard joined the UpStart team as Chief Program and Innovation Officer with the purpose of fueling Jewish innovation across the country.  Linda shares her personal journey to UpStart and her enthusiasm for deepening her engagement with our community. My Jewish identity was shaped by my mother’s escape from the Holocaust, having fled […]

Engaging with Empathy

June 19, 2016 | Peoplehood Papers 17: Engaging Millennials with Jewish Peoplehood By Aaron Katler and Taylor Epstein Robert Hunter, lyricist for the Grateful Dead, wrote in the 1970’s, “The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down, You can’t let go and you can’t hold on, You can’t go back and you can’t stand […]

Edah Brings More Innovation to the World of Jewish Education

Imagine you’re a new college graduate and you’re playing around with the idea of becoming a Jewish Educator. You have already taken advantage of some isolated part-time opportunities to teach Hebrew school and had some enriching summer leadership experiences. But, the chance to work full-time in a full-year teaching capacity straight out of college is a […]

Hogwarts and How Might We’s: Designing our First Family Seder

By Aaron Katler This past week my inbox was filled with wishes for a healthy, joyous, and Kosher Passover with hopes for “redemption,” “appreciation,” “empathy” and “liberation.” So when my wife and I sat down to plan our first family seder in our own home, we found ourselves trying to fill a tall order. We […]

Lessons from Purim – A Model for Creating Impactful Teams

March 21, 2016 | eJewish Philanthropy By Maya Bernstein A recent article in The New York Times Magazine entitled “Group Study” reveals, based on research at Google, that human connections, empathy, and sensitivity are invaluable in professional environments. The article notes that in today’s work world, as “commerce becomes increasingly global and complex, the bulk of […]

There’s Never Been a Better Time to be a Jewish Innovator

eJewish Philanthropy | March 14, 2016 By Aaron Katler Last week, UpStart closed applications for our 2016 Accelerator program, which supports innovative, early-stage organizations in becoming successful and scalable social ventures. In reviewing the submissions, we gleaned rich insight into today’s changing realm of Jewish innovation. Several distinct themes emerged from our analysis. Increased demand […]

Improv Tools for Organizational Impact

Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog | Mar. 11, 2016 By Maya Bernstein, UpStart Associate The structures and philosophy of the art of improv can help nonprofits stay grounded in what they are, while simultaneously allowing them to creatively respond to the ever-evolving needs of the people they strive to serve. Working to create greater social good […]

Happy Birthday, Chicago!

Dear UpStart Community Member, Happy birthday to…YOU! Just one year ago, we launched UpStart Chicago with high hopes. We dreamt of building a community of innovators, one that would drive creativity, big-picture thinking, and ambitious pioneering of Jewish ideas in Chicago and beyond. At our one-year anniversary, we’re excited to say that we’re building just that community, and we’re so glad that you’re a part […]

Leading Change Through Adaptive Design

Stanford Social Innovation Review | Winter 2016 Maya Bernstein & Marty Linsky Original Article Tim Morehouse, a silver medalist in team fencing at the 2009 Summer Olympics in Beijing, didn’t always feel a drive to excel. As a kid, he lacked focus and ambition. But fencing, he now says, gave him the resources and the […]