GlobAl summer Institute in jerusalem 2012 MEET THE FELLOWS >>
Dear Community Members,In this Launchbook, you will see each Fellow’s creativity, hard work, and perseverance. You will read aboutthese leaders from very different places, with very different backgrounds. You will be inspired by themand maybe even contribute to their projects. But what this Launchbook won’t directly tell you is evenmore important. As CEO of PresenTense Israel, I was lucky enough to witness a profound transformation:with the tools that PresenTense provided, our Fellows were able to turn seeds of ideas into working andgrowing ventures.PresenTense offers a unique fellowship experience of professional seminars, networking opportunities,and intimate conversations with influential, experienced entrepreneurs. We believe that social innovationis the key solution to social problems, and our mission is to help Jewish social entrepreneurs launch theirventures by equipping them with practical tools. We welcome entrepreneurs from all over the world:PresenTense runs fellowships in 12 cities and has graduated nearly 300 Fellows over the past six years.This year’s Global Institute Fellows form a microcosm of the diverse PresenTense world: the 12 Fellowscome from the United States, Argentina, Canada, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Israel, and Russia.PresenTense also firmly believes in partnering with like-minded organizations to make an even biggersocial impact on our society. We are excited to collaborate with the WCJCC and its fellowship program tobring to you all a Launch Night like none other. Together, we will change our community for the better.Sincerely Yours,Nurit TsurCEO, PresenTense Israel
How do you get the world to changequickly? You can’t, unless you blowthrough a crevice in the world. – Michael Eisenberg, Round table speaker PARTNER AT BENCHMARK CAPITAL Global Fellow Cynthia Ferman answering questions during her pitching session.
Adi Arbel Giv’at-Shmuel, Israel Adi was born in Holon 33 years ago and has lived in Jerusalem for the past three years. After serving in the IDF for six years as a programmer, officer and team leader, Adi completed his BA in psychology, economics and geography and studied for an MA in conflict resolution at Bar Ilan University. After three years working at Elbit Systems as a software program- mer, Adi decided to quit the hi-tech industry for a new career as a project manager at the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS). Adi is also co-founder of a learning institution called the Zionist Beit Midrash. For the past three years, Adi has been writing a weekly column for Makor Rishon and has published Op-Eds in Haaretz and other news outlets. The Jerusalem Post selected Adi as one of the “Top Ten Jewish Future Leaders” in 2011.“I want to instill in VENTURE: AIM Teamsimmigrants the belief www.izs.org.ilthat they can have a Our mission is to take advantage of the worldly knowledge ofsignificant impact on Olim and the local experience of Israeli professionals, in order topublic policy in Israel.” make Israel a better place to live in. We believe that some Olim have the perspective and experience that enables them to iden- tify existing problems in the Israeli system. Together with Israeli professionals who are familiar with Israeli culture and society, they can develop adjusted solutions in order to solve those prob- lems, and implement them via the Israeli political system. We are here to help them make Israel better.
Tamás Büchler Budapest, Hungary Tamas is completing his MA in Law this semester at the ELTE University of Budapest. He grew up in Budapest and has spent time in Israel. He is a graduate of the Peace and Con- flict Studies program at the University of Haifa. His work in the Jewish community includes youth work for various organizations, such as the Israeli Cultural Institute, The Jewish Agency for Israel, the Haver Foundation and the Limmud Conference. He has coordinated educational projects in the field of young Jewish leadership (Minyanim project) and social justice (Tikkun Olam project) for students and young adults. Tamas has also coordinated international projects for the Kidma Jewish Youth Movement and has worked with the lo- cal Roma community in various frameworks.“PresenTense helped VENTURE: Minyanimme to think strategi- www.minyanim.weebly.comcally and to keep my Minyanim is a regional network of young Jewish leaders, community professionals andeyes on the long- activists from Central-Eastern Europe (mosly from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hun- gary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia). We have three major goals: to connect ourterm outcome, and communities and youth groups with each other, to stop the as-not to get lost in the similation of the younger generations and to develop projectslabyrinth of the first together with a regional impact. Minyanim will reach its goalshardships.” by local and regional gatherings, by providing grants, and with an online platform for exchanging resources. Our vision is that the Minyanim Network will help our communities to open their doors to unaffiliated and/or assimilated young Jews, helping them to live a meaningful Jewish life based on a positive Jewish MINYANIM identity.
The 2012 Global Fellowship with David Sokolic at Battery Ventures in Herzilya.
Emily Engelson Birmingham, MI, USA Emily is a dreamer who stays grounded by doing. Self-motivated and highly persistent, she believes in exploring as much as the world has to offer. She spends her days in search of people to collaborate with and opportunities for new creative endeavors. She looks for inspiration and possibility wherever her travels take her. VENTURE: OurCraft www.ourcraftfellowship.com The OurCraft Fellowship aims to connect young artists from North America to Judaism and creatives like themselves in order to foster a new community of progressive and“A year from now I worldly artists. This will be accomplished through a unique trip to Israel, visiting varioushope to be in the mid- artist communities, followed by a trip to a developing nation where participants will workdle of the first OurCraft on art projects with each other and the local population. The shared experience and trialstrip, leading a talented of traveling to an exotic place outside most people’s comfort zones is not only meant togroup of artists on an connect the participants, but to inspire them.inspiring journey.”
Cynthia Ferman Boca Raton, FL, USA Cynthia has ventured across five continents and lived in five different countries learning about cultures and global perspectives. Her academic background focuses on culture stud- ies and international relations. She completed her MA from Georgetown University in 2010. Before moving to Israel, Cynthia spent three years working in public diplomacy for the U.S. State Department. Cynthia considers herself a glass half-full realist: she enjoys analyzing how difficulties can turn into opportunities and then trying to make them happen. VENTURE: Less Talk, More Peace www.lesstalkmorepeace.org “Make sure that you Less Talk, More Peace is a platform that will enable any individual from across the world to come share his or her business knowledge with multicultural Israeli classrooms. Cynthia hopeslove your idea and her venture will help create a more socially and economically cohesive Israeli society throughthat you are commit- teaching practical business skills together in a pluralistic environment. What is unique aboutted to working hard LTMP is that it’s crowdsourced and crowdfunded. The idea is that any person can make a dif-for it. You’ll come out a ference by sharing what they know. Potential teaching fellowsdifferent person than will upload YouTube videos describing their transferable skills and dedication in coming to teach. Candidates who meet thewhen you began, but criteria will be listed on the LTMP website to solicit online dona-it will be completely tions. Those who garner enough funding will travel to Israel andworth it.” partner with existing organizations to teach their skill. Through business and mutual interests, we can help bridge cultural dif- ferences and turn them into opportunities.
Fellows brainstorming together during cluster facilitation.
Tobias Finkelstein East Hills, NY, USA Tobias hails from Long Island, New York, and credits his personality to that background. He loves the outdoors, music, and the performing arts. He has partnered with Barr Solnik, his comrade in arms in the IDF, to pursue this venture. VENTURE: Car and Lady Productions Together with a team of post-army IDF soldiers, Car and Lady is a production com- pany that serves as a media group focusing on meaningful Jewish narratives. The target audience is primarily moviegoers and consumers of online media. The Car and“It has been intellectu- Lady Production Company looks forward to producing significant Jewish narrativesally stimulating to coop- in all different spheres.erate with other Jewishentrepreneurs trying tocontribute to the spiritof our community.”
Melisa Goldfinger Buenos Aires, Argentina Melisa was born in Argentina and moved to Israel four months ago. She is a lawyer and believes that education is the key to making important changes. When she was twelve, she and her friend created a new school support system for kids in a soup kitchen that they volunteered in. Since then, Melisa has also worked as Madricha, Rosh Chinuch in different organizations such as Birthright. Melisa has participated in seminars for informal educators as well as taken courses in different teaching methodologies for the mentally disabled. At the moment, she is the executive coordinator of eleven Heme Aquí branches in South America. She hopes to open a branch in Israel. “I feel very privileged VENTURE: Heme Aquí (Here I Am) www.hemeaqui.orgto have participatedin this program with Heme Aquí (Here I Am) is an organization that helps people with special needs through asuch a great group unique method: golf therapy. Through this sport, Heme Aquí teaches the mentally disabled to develop their self-esteem, concentration, and coordination. Most importantly, Hemeof fellows. I am very Aquí promotes the integration of the disabled into mainstream society by hosting golfconfident that I’ll be tournaments that include both the organization’s studentsable to achieve my and other golf players in the area. Heme Aquí works with itsgoals, and I owe a students’ parents and siblings because it firmly believes that true inclusion starts with an accepting and encouraging fam-big part of that con- ily. Heme Aquí wants to show society that people with specialfidence to Presen- needs can learn things as complex as golf; they too can con-Tense” tribute to and be a meaningful part of society.
Daniel Jacobs Pepper Pike, OH, USA Daniel comes from Cleveland, Ohio. He has a master’s from Stanford in Electrical Engineer- ing. He is an experienced game designer and programmer and has worked on several highly successful Facebook and mobile games, including Happy Island, which had 3 mil- lion daily users, and Mini Quest. His passion is making games that are fun, challenging and have some real world impact. VENTURE: Shakshuka Games www.shakshukagames.com“I have spent a lot of Shakshuka Games is a game studio devoted to making games that matter. We focus ontime playing video educational gaming with games related to science and to financial literacy. We are datagames (sorry mom!). The driven. Our games are designed to be fun and to have measurable social impact. We workones that really stuck with the best professionals, both those with careers in gaming and those coming fromwith me over the years elsewhere. We work with artists, programmers and sound designers to make sure that the games are fun, and we also work with statisticians, educators,are those that taught me economists and other professionals to make sure we aren’tsomething about the just building toys. We are building games that matter.world. I want to be a partof that movement andto try things that no onehas tried yet.”
Evan Malach Concord, ONT, Canada Entrepreneurship is in Evan’s blood. He is a fiercely independent self-starter with a love for travel. Along with working in the family business, he was employed by the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, managing their workforce in event services. He has worked as a tour guide in multiple countries and for the Ontario Arts Council in the Canadian provincial government. His first start-up produces recorded music, live music concerts and theater shows and still runs on a project-by-project basis. Now his passion and mission is Second Chance Travel. VENTURE: Second Chance Travel www.secondchancetravel.org“It has been great Second Chance Travel offers the adventure of a lifetime to individuals whose lives were nearly lost. We facilitate personal growth and opportunities to thrive through travel. Welearning about all the are a niche tourism service for specific groups of survivors, offering distinct programs suchresources and tools as “re: Mission” for people who have been through cancer treatment and “Be Intense” forthat are out there for people who have endured a near death experience. Also in development is a programyoung bootstrapping called ProjectOR which brings descendants of Holo- caust survivors to Israel. Each participant uses his orentrepreneurs. D.I.Y her own networks to raise money for his or her jour-is the new M.O. in ney and meet the costs of the trip through crowd-this generation of the sourcing campaigns. Corporate sponsors see value inwww.” affiliating themselves with such a positive message, matching dollar for dollar.
Jessie Mallor Los Angeles, CA, USA Jessie is a full-time high school teacher in the Jewish Studies department of Milken Com- munity High School and has over 10 years of experience in formal and informal Jewish edu- cation. She is a graduate of Brandeis University, Indiana University and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. A passionate Limmud vol- unteer, the owner of the greatest mutt ever, and a loyal college basketball fan, she believes deeply in the power of laughter and begins every Monday morning class with a laughing baby video. Teaching is both her greatest love and deepest source and vehicle for creative expression, and she is proud to understand that her students are her greatest teachers. “I knew that if we could VENTURE: OpenDoor Learningcreate powerful learning www.opendoorlearning.wordpress.comexperiences, experienc- OpenDoor Learning is an open-ended experiential revolution in adult Jewish education.es which were different Rooted in the belief that creative and passionate learning leads directly to a sense of mas-from the frontal lectures tery and involvement, OpenDoor Learning will increase the identity, investment and in-that so often form the volvement of individuals and families with the Jewish people and the Jewish conversation through creative workshops in non-traditional locations around Los Angeles. Throughbackbone of adult learn- these workshops, and the informal learninging, we might be able to communities they will build, we facilitate conver-reinspire Jewish adults.” sations and experiences in which they can better discover, uncover and recover a more meaningful Jewish identity.
Be a little bold around something youreally believe in. – BECKY CASPI, Round Table Speaker Executive Director, Israel Office of the Jewish Federations of North America Fellows working together in a cluster group facilitation.
Yana Rebrova St. Petersburg, Russia Yana is an applied mathematician with ideas, initiatives and innovations to make the world better in daily life, and a business consultant who identifies problems and gaps, finds unique solutions, and searches for the optimal strategy. She is passionate about support- ing the people that surround her and making a contribution to society. VENTURE: IdeaFactory www.2ideafactory.com IdeaFactory is an international crowd-sourcing platform that leverages new and existing“People with an idea resources to provide a framework for individuals and organizations to turn ideas into reali-cannot complete it ties. People around the world will form teams, use a set of effective approaches and tools, and receive support from experts, facilitators, and mentors to launch new ventures. Wealone. The solution help to consolidate collaboration between non-profit and for profit organizations to solveis: alone we are one, the needs and problems of the Jewish community. We remove barriers that might other-but together we are wise prevent projects from making the world a better place.1,000,000.”
Justin Sakofs Greensboro, NC, USA Justin is a proud father and husband, currently living and working as a Jewish Studies Faculty member at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, NC. At the Academy, Justin lives on campus and serves as a Rosh Beit Midrash, where he gives students the skills to access traditional Jewish texts and find their own voice within tradition. Originally from New Jersey, Justin comes from a family involved in the diversity of synagogue life. Justin is passionate in using traditional sources to increase the diversity of practice and observance of Judaism. Justin enjoys above all, spending time with Rachel and Amit as they continue the adventures of life.“During the Fellow- VENTURE: MagneticShul www.magneticshul.comship, I’m skydivingand I need to build MagneticShul is a toy designed for 3-7 year olds to further engage them in synagogue ritual life. Children can play and explore through imaginative play during t’filot by usingthe parachute while scenes from Beit Kenesset and magnets of people and articles found in the synagogue en-I’m landing. I need to vironment. MagneticShul allows for the pluralism and plurality of Jewish synagogueland successfully no worship by having children direct the environment themselves. MagneticShul is designedmatter what speed to engage children with their parents in positive Jewish experiences.I’m falling at.”
David Yehuda Stern London, England David Yehuds is a social media innovator, writer and podcaster from London. An alumnus of numerous Jewish education institutions across the globe he has worked and collabo- rated with a wide spectrum of the Jewish community to promote social action and com- munity collaboration and growth. He founded Cartoon Kippah in January 2011. He is cur- rently the Social Action and Sustainability Coordinator at the Jewish Community Centre for London where he spearheads its campaign to raise awareness of our responsibility to the world around us on a local, national, and global scale. VENTURE: Cartoon Kippah“PT has shown me the www.cartoonkippah.comimportance of turning Cartoon Kippah is an independent, online magazine bursting with smart, illuminating andcompetitors into col- inspirational commentary. We are British-centric and deeply interested in all things Jewish.laborators. This shift in Here we love diversity, and the British Jewish community, if anything, is certainly diverse. Our voices come from all corners of the country, from within thousands of organizations,paradigm has made me synagogues and homes and on many different websites, blogs and social networks. Peo-view my environment ple have other important priorities and cannot spend hours trawling the internet for thiswith fresh eyes and content. Furthermore, it isn’t always clear which websites andopened my venture up blogs are even worth a visit. Cartoon Kippah allows you to eas- ily explore a rich world of Jewish thought, taking all this (andto a host of new much more) and putting them in one place. Cartoon Kippahpossibilities.” will provoke, inspire and re-energize your understanding of British Jewry!
The PresenTense Group seeks out innovative, young Jewish minds, and invests in their ideas to revitalize the Jewish Community.Since 2007, PresenTense has launched 83 ventures through the Global Institute, a six-week summer accelerator program, whichbrings international social innovators to Jerusalem to develop their ideas to change the Jewish world. The Global Institute is guidedby a team of experienced mentors, coaches, and teachers that help these ventures grow into transformational businesses, non-profit organizations, and platforms. In addition, the Global Fellows collaborate and exchange ideas to develop their visions fortheir projects. By the end of the intensive program, the Global Fellows are equipped with practical skills to help them address localproblems with community-backed solutions. With these new business tools and determination towards innovation, the GlobalFellows join 284 other PT Fellow alumni in launching their ventures to benefit their Jewish communities around the world!
Thank you to our sponsors and donors for supporting the 2012 PresenTense Global Institute The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation The Covenant Foundation The Gorlin Family Foundation The Gottesman Fund iCenter The Pearlstone Family Fund The PresenTense Fellows Alumni Chair The Russell Berrie FoundationLe a r n m o re at w w w . p r e s e n t e n s e . o r g / i n s t i t u t e