Page 1

PresenTense NYC Fellowship

2014 Launch Book

PresenTense welcome

Dear friends,

Thank you for joining us on this incredible night. Every spring across the globe we open our doors to engage the wider community around the energy, passion and creativity exhibited by our fellows and volunteers. Launch Night is an interactive community expo where PresenTense Fellows share their ventures and visions for a more vibrant Jewish future. Under the skillful stewardship of PresenTense NYC, eleven Jewish social innovators have developed and tested their vision, leveraged local resources and connected with relevant institutions to drive change. It takes a village to support a social innovator, and we are endlessly grateful to the wonderful coaches, mentors, trainers, experts and partners who have lent their support. PresenTense NYC is part of PresenTense’s signature Community Entrepreneurship Partnership platform. Since 2007, PresenTense has collaborated with organizations in 16 cities worldwide to develop this intensive accelerator, training 630 innovators in business skills and equipping them with entrepreneurial tools and frameworks to carry out their visions for social change. Together with the volunteers supporting the fellows, PresenTense has directly engaged over 1,500 change-makers in Jewish social

entrepreneurship, creating an ecosystem of inspired leaders and innovative organizations working to build a reinvigorated Jewish community. Our change-makers, in turn, have touched their networks with their ventures, creating exponential engagement. This year our PresenTense network charted new territory, more deeply engaging intrapreneurs – professionals within our institutions, broadening our reach to the greater social entrepreneurship market, reverse-engineering applications to address communal needs, and adding open community roundtables, Shark Tanks, and master classes. Thank you for taking part in the inspiring work PresenTense NYC is pursuing to create vibrant Jewish life. We are thrilled that you have come to show support to our fellows and to experience their incredible ventures firsthand. We look forward to together transforming the New York Jewish community, Jewish communities worldwide, and society at large. Naomi Korb Weiss CEO, PresenTense Group

Introduction As PresenTense Co-Founder Aharon Horwitz once explained about social entrepreneurship, “Everybody needs a place to plant their feet firmly in order to jump… if you’re standing in water it’s very hard to jump... the water is not stable; it’s not strong. If you’re standing on land you can jump.” As one of PresenTense’s 18 PresenTense Community Entrepreneur Partnership (CEP) programs across the globe, PresenTense NYC strives to be that firm ground from which aspiring social innovators can jump. Over the course of the year, each fellow has engaged in a focused curriculum, received ongoing coaching and mentorship, participated in roundtable sessions with a range of prominent social entrepreneurs, and connected with the broader PresenTense community.

Our Fellows represent an amazing cross-section of NY’s Jewish community and are passionate about enhancing our community in truly diverse ways. Their ventures range from enhancing dialogue between recently observant Jews and their non-observant families, to providing a forum for expression among outdoor enthusiasts in NYC, from creating biblical comedy, to supporting those with eating disorders. Launch Night represents the culmination of our collective efforts and for the Fellows, the completion of our “boot camp.” It is not however, the end. Rather, we see it as only the beginning. This is where you come in-- you are the “Community” in our Community Entrepreneur Partnership. Your support is what provides the firm ground from which our Fellows jump. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have your continued support. Whether that is providing encouragement or guidance, making a helpful connection, or supporting the Fellowship more broadly, rest assured you are a critical enabler of their success. We know that you are looking forward to watching our Fellows soar as much as we are! 2014 PresenTense NYC Steering Committee

meet the fellows

2014 PresenTense NYC staff and fellows

Alyssa Berkowitz Real in Return | @AMB_ontherun | FB: realinreturn Coach: Julie Sugar; Mentor: Richard Skeen Alyssa Berkowitz is a social change maker from birth and an anthropologist by training, currently working as a professional in a Jewish non-profit, looking to improve the world through dialogue and understanding. In her free time, Alyssa can be found cooking vegetarian food and running Manhattan’s streets. Real in Return creates dialogue among Jewish individuals who have become observant (baalei teshuvah) and their family members of varying observance. Through resources, support groups, and storytelling, Real in Return offers hope for families facing challenges communicating about shifting religious practice. Real in Return believes that by providing opportunities for genuine conversation, it will create real relationships in return. Market Opportunity: Individuals who are observant (baal teshuvah) and their family members of varying observance

“If we continue to mindlessly oppose those with other viewpoints, there will be no progress and there will be Idea no understanding.�

Venture Achievements: Blog, Shabbat meals, at least 10 stories shared Upcoming Milestones: In the homes of people who need it most, in observant and non-observant communities

Dalia Davis UPROOTED: A Jewish Response to Infertility | FB: WeAreUprooted Coach: Rabbi Sara Luria; Mentor: Sarah Robinson Dalia Davis is a Jewish educator, artist, and choreographer. She is the founder of Beit Midrash in Motion, an approach to Jewish text study that incorporates movement and meditation for a full bodied learning experience. As Artistic Director of La’ad Dance Company, she creates dances that are visual commentaries on Jewish text. UPROOTED is a mixed media performance piece that confronts the experience of infertility in both Biblical and contemporary narratives. The performance is complemented by a resource guide with narratives, commentaries and reflections. UPROOTED seeks to educate and sensitize the Jewish community to the pain of infertility and to foster a society that can offer solace and rootedness. Market Opportunity: JCCs, synagogues, federations, rabbinical schools, institutions seeking inclusion for all families Venture Achievements: Website, collection of personal stories, early compilation of resource guide Upcoming Milestones: Completed collecting personal stories, published the resource guide, created and rehearsed the dance

“There has always been infertility in the Jewish community, but until now we have not found a common language of sensitivity to discuss it. If we can relate to one another — past and present—in our moments of pain, we can transform our community into safe havens rooted in consciousness Idea and compassion.”

Erin Davis Shabbatness Coach: Victoria Fener; Mentor: Ori Neidich Erin Davis was born in Johns Creek, Georgia, to the daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors and the only child of deaf-mute parents. Her unique background has truly formed her persona today. With a degree from Georgetown University, Erin now works as an assistant to a philanthropist and is actively involved in the Jewish community as an AJC ACCESS Board Member and Global Steering Committee Member and a recipient of numerous international fellowships. Shabbatness is a private matchmaking service catering to busy single Jewish professionals in their 20s-40s looking to develop deeper connections through dinners and volunteer services on Shabbat. By partnering with JCCs, synagogues, and non-profits, Shabbatness serves as “matchmaker” implementing a special formula to connect small groups throughout the city. Market Opportunity: Busy, high-quality, single Jewish professionals in their 20s-40s


“My venture was inspired by my nana Roza Goldberg, a 90 year-old Holocaust survivor and lifetime yenta.“

Venture Achievements: The Shabbatness listserv grows daily, and numerous relationships have been established in the past six months, including an engagement! Upcoming Milestones: Expansion to multiple locations on the same Shabbat with a steady revenue stream

Carla Friend Tkiya: The Jewish Community Music School | FB: tkiyamusicschool Coach: Eric Steiner; Mentor: Bob Goldfarb Carla Friend holds a BM in Music Education from Ithaca College, and a MA in Music Education with a Community Music focus from NYU, with experience on both the teaching and administrative ends of the field. In addition to playing and teaching many instruments, Carla is an accomplished singer and dancer, having performed locally Off-Broadway and abroad in various countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Tkiya is New York’s only Jewish Community Music School, providing quality music education for students of ages 0-150 while celebrating Jewish culture and community. Classes include group and private lessons, chorus and instrumental ensembles, music therapy, and more, with the unique addition of intergenerational Jewish community music and dance workshops. Market Opportunity: Young Jewish, or interfaith, parents and their extended families Venture Achievements: Prototype classes at the Sid Jacobson JCC on Long Island with full enrollment for 4 years Upcoming Milestones: Establishing a Brooklyn location for fall, 2014 while continuing to develop Long Island class offerings

“I discovered my Jewish identity through music and am making it my mission to help others do the same! “


David Glazer Shira l’Tefillah | FB: shiraltefillah | @shiraltefillah Coach: Lee Yanco; Mentor: Sarah Robinson Originally from Fort Worth Texas, David Glazer teaches Music at SAR Academy in the Bronx. David is currently developing and implementing a musical tefillah curriculum, Shira l’Tefillah, to grades 1-3. Shira l’Tefillah stemmed from David’s experiences with his own children as well as his students in school. Shira lTefillah is an application and tefillah program that enables children to pray at home with their parents using common melodies and tunes in an exciting and interactive way. It accompanies a tefillah curriculum designed for Jewish schools, camps, and synagogues that will educate children about the beauty and power of our tefillot (prayers) through music. Market Opportunity: Young children and parents who take tefillah seriously

“This idea was inspired by my children. Since they were small, we have enjoyed tefillah together using music as the vehicle for creating excitement and Early meaning in their tefillah.“

Venture Achievements: Early stages of website, a few recordings and finalizing the first graphic Upcoming Milestones: Have an operational website along with a framework for the app

Sarah L. Knapp OutdoorFest | FB: outdrfst | @outdoorfestnyc Coach: Zack Rosenberg; Mentor: Max Winer Sarah L. Knapp is a Brooklyn-based entrepreneur whose love for the great outdoors and New York City living combined to inspire the 2013 formation of OutdoorFest. When she’s not running a company or at a PresenTense workshop she can be found drinking coffee or skiing. OutdoorFest is a ten day outdoor adventure festival running from May 30th to June 8th 2014. The goal of OutdoorFest is to connect New Yorkers to local outdoor resources to encourage healthier, active, and more adventurous lifestyles. Market Opportunity: Active professionals in all five boroughs who are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s Venture Achievements: Securing five corporate sponsors, 981 event registrations in the first 24 hours Upcoming Milestones: Connecting urban dwellers in NYC to the outdoors

“I’m inspired by the diversity of people and opportunity in NYC. You can do almost anything (including being an outdoor enthusiast!) which allows people to live incredibly dynamic and multidimensional lives. Plus, I love how much passion, energy, and Yiddish Early exists.”

Rinat Levy-Cohen Ivrit with Ivry & Shiri YouTube: Coach: David Nevas; Mentor: Rabbi Ed Harwitz Rinat Levy Cohen specializes in language instruction and has been teaching English and Hebrew as a second language for the past six years. Her love of Judaism, Hebrew, and education, make her passionate about improving teaching methods for Hebrew learners. ‘Ivrit with Ivry & Shiri’ is a website in development through which children will acquire Hebrew as a second language in an authentic and innovative manner. Users will learn to listen, read, write and speak Hebrew, and will learn Judaic studies. Using research findings on second language acquisition and technology, the website will employ animated videos, digital audiobooks, games, and more to inculcate the principles of Hebrew in a fun and accessible format. In Ivrit with Ivry & Shiri, Hebrew meets the digital age, ensuring Jewish values stand firm in our increasingly changing world.

“By creating an online Hebrew curriculum, we will be able to reach children and families wherever they learn. Ultimately, I hope to turn the tide and stop the decline of the Hebrew language in North America, Early and spur its revival.”

Market Opportunity: MNYC Families, teachers, and young learners of Hebrew as a second/heritage language Venture Achievements: Initial website wire frame, curriculum philosophy, animated video and digital book along with activities Upcoming Milestones: Creation of the venture’s character, finalization of the web curriculum, pilot website

Mordechai Lightstone #openShabbat | FB: openshabbat | @mottel Coach: Katie Frankel; Mentor: Dan Hazony Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone is a rabbi by training, journalist by profession, and blogger by choice. #openShabbat is an unplugged meal and networking event for Jewish guests of SXSW Interactive, the digital communications festival in Austin, Texas. #openShabbat offers guests an island of serenity in the midst of a hyper-digital conference. With a focus on a sit-down meal, unplugged networking, and face-to-face conversations, guests can meet one another in a democratized setting that encourages long-form conversation and offers a literal seat at the table for everyone. Market Opportunity: Jews with an interest in the world of technology and media Venture Achievements: Five successful #openShabbat events at SXSW with most recent attendance over 150 people Upcoming Milestones: We’re looking to expand our presence to other festivals as well as create smaller, NYC-based meetups

“If I can empower one Jew to connect with his or her Jewish identity and thus change the trajectory of that person’s life, then I’ve made a world of difference for the Growth Jewish future.”

Liz Traison From Where I Stand Coach: Meredith Druss; Mentor: Diana Ayton-Shenker Liz Traison is a holistic health counsellor and Thought Leadership & Capacity Building Program Associate at Hazon. She works specifically on food and family educations programs at the largest Jewish environmental organization in America. When she’s not cooking or working, she’s dreaming up ways to help improve her community, locally and broadly. If you’d like to join her, please say hi! From Where I stand is an online platform that captures the narratives of women working in the Jewish world with the hopes of findings common threads, celebrating opportunities, dialoging challenges, and finding solutions to problems. Women in the Jewish world are invited to share what drives them and what drives them crazy! Market Opportunity: Women Jewish communal professionals Venture Achievements: Getting energized, spreading the word, and sharing stories


“I wonder, would my great grandmothers be proud of or saddened by the world we live in today?”

Upcoming Milestones: Creating a better and stronger Jewish professional world that can serve as an example to the larger community!

David Tuchman OMGWTFBIBLE | @omgwtfbible | FB: omgbible Coach: Hallie Cohn; Mentor: Saul Orbach David Tuchman is a writer living in New York City. He has trouble taking anything seriously, especially the Bible. OMGWTFBIBLE is a completely new, very funny translation of the entire Hebrew Bible. The combination of scholarship and comedy, the live show is an interactive conversation featuring Torah reading, jokes, and whatever else comes up. New episodes of OMGWTFBIBLE are released online each month to an ever-growing audience. Market Opportunity: 20s and 30s Jews seeking a new, dynamic way of engaging with the Bible Venture Achievements: 121 episodes recorded, 14,000+ downloads, mentioned in Jewniverse and Tablet, partnered with Upcoming Milestones: Double the audience, launch a second show, showcase an even more diverse range of voices

“PresenTense has inspired me to think bigger by formalizing what OMGWTFBIBLE is doing now and by taking steps to reach the places I see it going years down the Early line.�

Temimah Zucker Tikvah V’Chizuk | @Tikvah_VChizuk | FB: Tikvah V’Chizuk Coach: Marisa Lenger Temimah Zucker is a graduate student at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University who is currently extremely involved in the eating disorder field. After overcoming her battle with Anorexia, she began to give back and currently works as a speaker, writer, mentor, milieu counselor, and student liaison with an added concentration in the Jewish community. Tikvah V’Chizuk provides support to the Jewish community with regard to eating disorders. The website, in development, will provide culturally specific resources, information, articles, forums, personal submissions, and more in addition to support groups.

“The biggest challenges facing our community today are both the lack of connectedness and over-connectedness. We live in a community where everyone knows one another’s business. And yet we don’t truly have a grasp on Early one another’s struggles.”

Target Audience: Individuals with eating disorders, their loved ones, clinicians, or those who want to learn more Venture Achievements: The venture has generated a lot of support and interest! Upcoming Milestones: I hope that TVC will be a true asset and resource to the Jewish community

STEERING COMMITTEE The Steering Committee is the “voice” of the fellowship, working closely with the Coordinator to set the vision and direction of the program on behalf of the community. Steering Committee members recruit and admit fellows, and match the fellows with volunteer coaches and mentors. Moreover, Steering Committee members are the Fellows’ advocates and connectors in the larger community. The Steering Committee is vital to the success of the fellowship and integral to PresenTense’s model of community-based entrepreneurship.

2014 Steering Committe: Miranda Bogen, Naomi Dovdavany, Labe Eden, Aaron Feinberg, Billie Hirsch, Alex Kadis, Samantha Kanofsky, Rachel Smith, Tami Reiss, Jonathan Stone, Sarit Wishnevski

Serving on the PresenTense Steering Committee has afforded me the opportunity to work with young Jewish entrepreneurs to spur their world-changing ideas into action. – Jonathan Stone

MENTORS Mentors provide high-level support and advice to fellows. Fellows meet monthly with mentors to discuss big-picture challenges, professional aspirations and their ultimate vision for the community. As seasoned professionals from a variety of fields, and stakeholders in the Jewish community, mentors provide deep and valuable insight to fellows as they develop their ventures and themselves.

2014 Mentors: Diana Ayton-Shenker, Bob Goldfarb, Rabbi Edward Harwitz, Dan Hazony, Ori Neidich, Saul Orbach, Sarah Robinson, Richard Skeen, Max Winer 2014 Subject Matter Experts: Jennifer Bergenfeld, Gali Cooks, Elyse Levine, David Nevas, Josh Schneider, Ronn Torossian Roundtable Speakers: Ami Dar, Founder and Director,; Jennifer Bergenfeld, Senior Legal Counsel/Vice President, Global Bank; Eli Malinsky, Executive Director, Centre for Social Innovation NYC; Richard Marker, Co-Principal/Founder, WISE PHILANTHROPY; Zack Rosenberg, co-Founder and CEO, DoGoodBuyUs; Slava Rubin, co-Founder and CEO,

I keep coming back as a PresenTense mentor because I meet such amazing people in the Fellowship. The most gratifying experience, of course, is watching the transformation of an inspiring idea into a viable project, and feeling that I’ve played a small part in helping it happen!” – Bob Goldfarb

COACHES Coaches provide hands-on, tactical support to fellows to help develop their ventures. Fellows meet regularly with their coaches to workshop their Venture Milestone assignments and discuss vision and strategy. As young professionals from a variety of sectors, coaches lend their expertise and skills to fellows and the program at large, creating a learning community that leverages diverse talent and knowledge in service of social innovation.

2014 Coaches: Hallie Cohn, Meredith Druss, Victoria Fener, Katie Frankel, Marisa Lenger, Rabbi Sara Luria, David Nevas, Zack Rosenberg, Shay Rubin, Eric Steiner, Julie Sugar, Lee Yanco

Starting a new business is daunting. You never really know where you’re going to end up when you’re just getting started. PresenTense gives you a compass—the resources and guidance to make sure you’re headed in the right direction before you set sail. – Victoria Fener

The PresenTense NYC Fellowship is currently one of 18 PresenTense Fellowships in 16 cities around the world in 2014.

This network spans across three continents. 6 COUNTRIES







16 Communities

Boston Chicago Los angeles New york city Philadelphia Washington DC

Jerusalem Raanana Nazareth Haifa Tel Aviv

Moscow St. Petersburg




PresenTense NYC Environment 6% Fellows are part of an international network Tech 9% of 176 Fellows working on 155 ventures in the following areas this Arts 11% year:

The first PresenTense Fellowship was launched in 2007. Since then:

Women 2% Community Building 24%

630 Fellows

Venture Topic Areas

3,000+ volunteers 500,000+ people impacted globally

Other 12% Social Action 13%

579 ventures

Education 17%

PresenTense strengthens communities through social entrepreneurship and innovation. Through our CEP Fellowships, PTSchool Seminars, and local innovation Hubs, PresenTense fosters local involvement, empowers confident leaders, and positions communities as relevant places for social change. Naomi Korb Weiss, CEO Sara Weinreb, Director of Programs and Business Development Ora Niknamfard, Program Coordinator Emily Winograd, Director of Programs and Training @presentense | |

For more info, contact Sara Weinreb: | 212.877.1584 Thank you to our generous supporters: The Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, Virginia Bayer Hirt and Rabbi Robert Hirt.

PresenTense NYC 115 West 23rd Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10010 @PresenTenseNYC | |

Profile for PresenTense

NYC Launch Book 2014  

NYC Launch Book 2014