NEW YORK, New York – The Orthodox Union (OU), the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, has launched the application process for the second cohort of its Impact Accelerator program, designed to invest in ventures addressing current and future Jewish communal interests.
The program runs over 12 months and is built on mentorship-based growth and early-stage funding for Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs. Chosen ventures will be awarded up to $25,000 each.
Candidates for the program are Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs who live in and cater to the North American Jewish community. Ideally, applicants will have been operating their ventures for one to four years, and service critical needs of America’s Orthodox community through innovative solutions.
The application process includes completing an online form, an interview with the OU Impact Accelerator selection committee and a pitch to the program’s board. Applications open on July 15 and are due by September 5, 2019. For more information, or to apply, please visit: https://www.ou.org/accelerator/.
The Impact Accelerator will pair members of the selected cohort with mentors who are experienced professionals and supply them with OU resources, network and knowledge base. Winning entrepreneurs will take part in a customized curriculum of business skills, coaching, funding and implementation strategies, during on-site seminars at OU headquarters in New York.
Examples of initiative developed by first cohort participants include:
NechamaComfort, which supports families who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.
GrowTorah, which develops educational Torah garden programs for Jewish schools and communal organizations, incubating Emunah, environmental stewardship, compassion for creatures and Tzedakah.
Work at It, which helps at-risk youth to find their places within society through meaningful employment.
Imadi, which empowers individuals and families facing mental health difficulties by providing support, guidance and education.
TorahAnytime, which enables Jews around the world to access Torah lectures from a wide array of speakers via the internet.
“The mission of our program is to transform the landscape of the Jewish future by building on our history of innovation and leveraging the entrepreneurial nature of this generation,” said OU Impact Accelerator Founding Director Jenna Beltser. “By working with the Orthodox Union, these ventures will have the ability to tap into the OU’s professionals, its network and organizational expertise in program development; nonprofit management; marketing; and more.”