UpStart’s Change Accelerator equips the Jewish community’s boldest leaders with the tools and skills they need to meet the challenge of the current moment – and beyond.

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Below, find everything you need to know about the Change Accelerator Application, including:

About The Change Accelerator
Application Timeline
Program Dates
Criteria for Selection

UpStart’s Change Accelerator equips intrapreneurs – the bold leaders making meaningful change within our community’s Jewish institutions – with a set of lifelong skills, tools, and mindsets to adapt to any challenge. This 6-month program will draw on the frameworks of design thinking and adaptive leadership as participants learn to think like an entrepreneur, gaining a new understanding of how to think strategically, change course quickly, and create bold solutions to any challenge they face.

The 6 month Change Accelerator includes:

  • Training: Learning that will draw on the framework of Adaptive Design to help participants address identified challenges
  • Cohort Learning: Facilitated connections to a supportive cohort who will process, brainstorm, and navigate challenges together
  • Funding: Opportunity to apply for R&D grants for experimentation



Today, the world is changing rapidly–the current health and financial crises, as well as the social movements borne from ongoing racial violence, have illuminated new priorities and created unprecedented challenges for institutions. We have updated the curriculum to speak to the unique needs of this moment. This year, the Change Accelerator will also gather select cohorts of professionals from across the country to learn how to create lasting change within their team, organization, and the entire Jewish ecosystem.

Accepted participants will learn with and from a supportive cohort who will process, brainstorm, and navigate challenges together, while inspiring a culture of adaptability in their organization. They will also gain access to join the UpStart network, a unique cross-section of leaders who are seeding game-changing ideas and collaborations.

All sessions will take place virtually. There is no cost to apply or participate.



Applications are open. Please reach out to if you have any questions about the application content or the selection process.






Participants in the Change Accelerator will be from all time zones. All synchronous programming will take place during the weeks listed below in the window of 12 pm – 5 pm ET and will always be on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. In attempt to accommodate as many schedules as possible, specific cohort gathering times will be determined based on the needs of the individual groups.

Learning time: Approximately 30 total hours of learning time (2/3 synchronous, 1/3 asynchronous)






Who is this program for?
UpStart strives to model our vision of a just, vibrant, and inclusive future. We strongly encourage applications and participation from individuals with varied identities and backgrounds, including people of all faiths, BIPOC, Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, Jews of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, LGBTQIA people, and people who come from low income or working class backgrounds. We are committed to ensuring our programming is representative of the full diversity of our community and that our content is accessible and inclusive for all. If you have any accessibility questions or concerns during any point of the application process or beyond, please reach out to for more information and support.

The Change Accelerator is a program for intrapraneurs – individuals working within an established organization. We highly recommend that applicants match all three items on the following eligibility list when applying to the program:

  • Currently employed at a Jewish organization with at least 5 employees
  • Has been at their organization for at least 6 months at the time of application
  • Is able to commit the expected time to this program

Do I need to be at my organization for the duration of the program?
The work that you will be doing in the Change Accelerator will be directly applicable to your job. We also recognize that we are living in unpredictable times and your continued participation in the program will not be impacted by an involuntary change in employment status.

Is there a fee to participate?
Thanks to generous partnership and support from institutional funders we are able to offer this opportunity at no cost to participants.

What is the time commitment for this program?
The program is a 6-month commitment. There will be both synchronous time (learning together) and asynchronous time (work outside full cohort gatherings).

What happens if I am unable to attend one of the gatherings?
We believe that coming together as a cohort to learn is one of the most valuable components of the program and we encourage you to participate in all synchronous gatherings. We also get that life happens! Our policy is that participants may miss up to one synchronous learning moment and will be asked to connect with their facilitator to catch up.

Do I need to be in one of UpStart’s hub cities?
This year, we are excited to offer the Change Accelerator nationally. All programming will be conducted virtually so you can be located anywhere.

What are the expectations around organizational size?
Much of the work you will be doing in the Change Accelerator involves other people. Participants need to be working within a team, which may include full or part-time staff members, board members etc. The minimum suggested size is 5 staff members. There is no maximum organization size.

Do I need a computer, WiFi, video camera, or other technology to be able to participate?
A computer with a camera and reliable internet connection are critical tools to be able to fully participate in the program. However, these should not be a barrier to your application and we are committed to meeting your needs. Please be in touch with if there are specific accommodations we can support you with.

I have a disability, what accommodations will there be for me?
UpStart strives to model our vision of a just, vibrant, and inclusive future. We strongly encourage applications and participation from individuals with varied identities and backgrounds. If accepted into the program, you will have the opportunity to request any accommodations you need, and our team will work with you to ensure an optimal learning experience for your specific needs.

Can more than one person from an organization be in the program?
We encourage anyone who is eligible and interested to apply. This year, we will be conducting several cohorts concurrently. Participants from the same organization may or may not be in the same cohort if all are accepted.