UpStart partners with the Jewish community’s boldest leaders to expand the picture of how Jews find meaning and how we come together. Our Culture Deck delves into the behaviors, systems, and practices that make us who we are...and determine where we're going. // https://upstartlab.org/
We’re not talking about a whole
megillah (scroll) — just a few words that
describe how we work together to bring
bold Jewish ideas to light.
Who we are, who we
strive to be, and what
we value as a team
• Dream with purpose
• Build the ‘what might be’
• Grow the good
ACT WITH INTENTION AND IMAGINATION.
Dream with purpose
MOVE BOLDLY FROM VISION TO REALITY.
Build the ‘what might be’
NURTURE POTENTIAL AND MAKE IT THRIVE.
Grow the good
How we activate our values
AT UPSTART, WE:
1. Believe in the power of Jewish
traditions and communities
2. Strive to model our vision of a just,
vibrant, and inclusive future
3. Hold ourselves accountable to high
standards, even when failure is possible
and iteration is essential
4. Value and respect one another’s time
5. Lead with both playfulness and
6. Stay at the cutting edge by perpetually
investing in our own learning
7. Remain agile and entrepreneurial,
supporting each other and our network
as we take bold steps toward the future
we want to see
We create space to connect our work to Judaism’s diverse
textual, ritual, philosophical, and communal traditions.
We believe in the power of Jewish
traditions and communities.
Our ofﬁces close on
Jewish holidays, but
we make sure to
celebrate some of
them at work —
We engage in deep and honest self-reﬂection and fuel our
own evolution towards our highest aspirations for Jewish life.
We strive to model our vision of a just,
vibrant, and inclusive future.
The UpStart Venture
represents some of our
Honest moment of self-reﬂection: We
are exploring how to best reﬂect that
We push ourselves to step outside our comfort zone,
celebrate our successes, and act on our missed
We hold ourselves accountable to high
standards, even when we know failure is
possible and iteration is essential.
team members to
goals that are
We develop work and communication systems that
prioritize autonomy, efﬁciency, and respect for each
other’s personal and professional needs.
That’s why we tried to make this deck ½ the size of many
of its counterparts!
We value and respect one another’s time.
We don’t count hours
— your performance
is judged by the
quality of your work,
your productivity, and
And did we
mention we have
an open vacation
We infuse our work with humor, levity, and imagination. And
we respect professional boundaries of communication.
We lead with both playfulness
Team email threads
often include dog
photos, gifs, and
There’s even a #PupStart Slack
channel for dog lovers.
We put the time and dollars towards our growth
as entrepreneurial leaders.
We stay at the cutting edge by perpetually
investing in our own learning.
Here are just a few
• PD funds
• Book club
• Tiny teaches
• Customer discovery
• Staff retreat
• In-house trainings
We dare to blaze new trails and to evolve with the needs
of those we serve.
And, we support each other when it gets hard.
We remain agile and entrepreneurial,
supporting each other and our network as
we take bold steps towards the future we
want to see.
A STORY OF EVOLUTION AND RISK
• Starting a new organization focused on
fueling Jewish entrepreneurship.
• Broadening our focus from ventures to
include institutions and the larger ﬁeld.
• UpStart, Bikkurim, Joshua Venture
Group, and PresenTense U.S. merged
into a single organization (UpStart) so
we could serve the ﬁeld better.
• Embarking on a 3-year strategic plan
with a bold expansion, program, and
And every day, we’re
taking small but equally
bold steps to create and
adapt - and yes, even
scrap - our approaches
to the work.
We’re building our story of
evolution every day.
1. PEOPLE PROJECT
Make meaningful milestones across the
happiness spectrum, Jewish holidays, and
other celebratory and relationship-
Related Codes: #1, #4 and #5
2. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION
Explore standards and accountability
around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Related Codes: #1 and #2
3. STAFF LEARNING
Provide learning opportunities on relevant
topics (i.e: nonproﬁt management,
entrepreneurship, Jewish wisdom) to
support achievement of organizational
Related Codes: #1, #3, #6 and #7
Culture is owned by everyone, everywhere,
all the time, so — let’s bring bold Jewish
ideas to light!