MA Milestones Newsmakers

Yiddish Book Center Named one of Most 50 Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits

AMHERST – The Yiddish Book Center has been named a Standard Bearer by Slingshot ‘12-’13, a resource guide for Jewish innovation. The Guide features the 50 most innovative Jewish projects in North America.
After eight editions, 14 additional organizations have risen to the top again and again as leaders within the community and mentors to other organizations. These projects, the Standard Bearers, have been previously listed in at least five editions of Slingshot and continue to exemplify Slingshot’s core criteria of innovation, impact, leadership and organizational efficacy.
Slingshot organizations grapple with concerns in Jewish life such as identity, community, social justice and tradition, each with different missions, perspectives and strategies. Slingshot identifies the most inspiring and trail-blazing organizations, projects and programs in the North American Jewish community today. Since its inception, Slingshot has highlighted 173 innovative Jewish organizations in North America.
“As we enter our fourth decade, the Yiddish Book Center is not only rescuing lost treasures of the Jewish past, we’re laying the foundation for an informed and hopeful future. We’re using new technology to digitize Yiddish books and make them available to all, we’re translating them into English, and we continue to offer innovative educational programs for high school students, college students, 20-somethings and adults,” said Aaron Lansky, founder and president of the Yiddish Book Center.
According to Julie Finkelstein, Program Director of Slingshot, “Slingshot is a celebration of those Jewish organizations and projects successfully breathing new energy into Jewish life. The guide highlights both newly formed organizations and innovative projects happening at established Jewish institutions, all making an impact by meeting the changing needs of today’s Jewish community. The Standard Bearers also consistently raise the high standards that emerging organizations and projects in Jewish life aspire to match.”
Inspired six years ago by Slingshot, a group of next-generation philanthropists launched the Slingshot Fund, a collective giving mechanism to support innovative Jewish life. In just six cycles, 58 members of the Slingshot Fund have contributed more than $2.1 million to innovative Jewish organizations.

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