Chicago Hub


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Founded in 2014, UpStart Chicago is home to many of Chicago’s boldest Jewish innovators – people taking big risks to redesign the experience and expression of our city’s Jewish life. Whether you’re starting afresh or want to bring new ideas to your organization, UpStart Chicago is the place to learn, experiment, network, and get the Jewish entrepreneurial tools you need to succeed.


UpStart’s Innovator’s Toolkit Workshops are no-cost, experiential learning opportunities for anyone looking to expand their capacity for “out-of-the-box” strategic thinking. Innovator’s Toolkit workshops bring together a community of Jewish professionals and volunteer leaders for a hands-on, collaborative learning experience focused on integrating the best of the business, entrepreneurship, and Jewish non-profit worlds.


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Creating Win-Win Organizational Parternships
Facilitators: Lisette Zaid, Upstart Design Strategist, and Aleeza Lubin, UpStart Innovation Lead

When organizations work together they can leverage their joint strengths to create bigger and better offerings for their communities. Whether you’re a newbie to collaborating across organizations or have decades of experience and want to hone your practice, this workshop will help you identify and manage successful win-win organizational partnerships.

Participants will:

  • Learn to assess and communicate the win-win potential of a partnership
  • Analyze their own approach to partnering within the context of best practices
  • Walk away with ideas and approaches they can apply in their work and life
  • Feel inspired & connected to a larger community facing similar challenges and opportunities
Novemer 15, 2017 9am-12pm (RSVP Required)
MATTER, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, #1230, Chicago, IL 60654

Learn more about UpStart’s community innovation workshops.    Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 4.15.58 PM

Past Workshops:

  • Leading Effective Change
  • Designing Your Participants’ Journey
  • Designing Programs that People Want



UPSTART_Fellowship_Images_8.1.17-07The Innovation Fellowship is a new program to support intrapreneurs in the Chicago area looking to bring innovation and design thinking tools to their organizations. Through group labs and coaching sessions focused on addressing real world opportunities and challenges, Fellows will learn to apply innovation skillsets. At the culmination of the fellowship, participants will build a prototype of a new program or project, applying their knowledge learned throughout the program. Fellows will showcase their new idea at an event with local lay leaders, professionals, and stakeholders. Find out more here.


IMG_6734CHIdush is a collaboration between the Jewish United Fund’s Community Foundation for Jewish Education and UpStart, made possible through the generous support of the Crown Family, The Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund, and an anonymous donor. Nine synagogue schools are participating in a series of workshops and retreats, individualized coaching, networking and a customized mini-grant program. Leadership teams at each synagogue are working to develop new mindsets and skills that will empower them to create compelling educational experiences. Find out more here.

ACCELERATOR for Entrepreneurs

ListeningFBBig Jewish ideas. Entrepreneurial tools to help them succeed. The Chicago Accelerator partners with innovative organizations to help transform vision and passion into successful, scalable Jewish social ventures.
Learn more about the program. Meet the Innovators.



DESIGN SERVICES for Established Organizations


Long-standing institutions like to play, too. UpStart works with organizational teams to develop the tools and mindsets needed to generate and test big ideas, build a collaborative culture, and navigate the human dynamics of facilitating change – all guided by the wisdom of our tradition. Current Chicago partners: Chicago’s JCC Network, Jewish United Fund Chicago. Interested in partnering? Write us.


Have a topic you’d like to explore or teach? Let us know.


222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, #1212 | Chicago, IL 60654
T: 312.957.5566

Aleeza Lubin

Aleeza Lubin, Innovation Lead, Chicago

Lisette Zaid, Design Strategist, Chicago