The Jewish grantmaker Slingshot released its ninth annual guide to the 50 North American Jewish organizations it considers the most innovative on Thursday, adding two supplemental guides in order to encourage under-represented categories to apply.
There are 18 new organizations in the main guide, among them JOIN for Justice, a community organizing group, and the guide’s first day school, The Isaac Luria Academy. (The author sends her children to the Luria Academy.)
The supplements, Disabilities & Inclusion and Women & Girls, also each include 18 organizations that support those populations, such as the Sunflower Bakery, a kosher bakery in Maryland that employs people with disabilities, Ramah’s Tikvah Network of camps serving and employing people with disabilities and, in the Women & Girls category, the Jewish Women’s Archive and Advancing Women Professionals.
“The supplements are meant to go narrow and deep,” Will Schneider, Slingshot’s director, told the Jewish Week.
A panel of 83 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish life determines the contents of the guide using creativity, impact, leadership and effectiveness as criteria. Philanthropists, especially those who are interested in the Jewish “start-up sector” of new organizations, use the guides to make funding decisions.
In addition to the 50 groups in the main section, the guide also includes 17 “standard bearers” – more established organizations that tend to be included year after year, like Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. and Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.
Slingshot saw an increase of about 8 percent in applications, to “somewhere in the 200 and teens,” Schenider said. The organization will not release the exact number of applicants.
“There is a lot of turnover among the organizations,” Schneider said. “The profile of Moishe House is not going to change dramatically year over year, but there’s a lot of new things to say about other organizations.”