Pioneering university group banking on novel ties to state.
At 1:45 a.m. on a recent weeknight, a group of 27 Jewish students gathered in the main auditorium at University of Michigan’s Hillel. Instead of breaking out the beer, they video-conferenced with Nir Elperin, vice president of Arba Finance, a venture capital firm in Tel Aviv.
A split-screen projected on the wall featured a PowerPoint presentation on one side and Elperin on the other, talking in real time about the venture capital and high-tech industry in Israel, as well as various ways in which startups secure funding.
Searching for a new, post-recession career? Consider becoming a certified residential real estate agent. That’s the pitch offered by Touro College’s Graduate School of Business. In September, Touro will launch a five-course certificate in residential real estate entrepreneurship — the first of its kind (nearby universities like NYU and Columbia only offer commercial real estate programs).
Some philanthropists focus on Jewish continuity. Others devote themselves to promoting Jewish educational opportunities. Mandell (Bill) Berman, a Jewish philanthropist based in suburban Detroit, gives generously to both of the aforementioned causes. But what makes him unique among Jewish philanthropists is his love of data, particularly Jewish data.
This has been a good year for Jewish Farm School, an environmental education organization that aims to reconnect Jews with the joys of working the land and growing their own food.
Last summer, JFS was one of two start-ups selected to join Bikkurim, the New York-based incubator that provides its resident groups with office space and computers in downtown Manhattan, as well as a stipends and organizational consulting.
When planning her wedding, the Jewish commitment to the concept of ba’al tashchit, of not wasting unnecessarily, was paramount to Miriam Brosseau. Brosseau is a songwriter for Stereo Sinai, a socially responsible and environmentally conscious band whose "Biblegum Pop" fuses traditional gospel music with Hebrew verses from the book of Judges.
She and fellow band member Alan Sufrin were married on Tu b’Shvat, the New Year for the trees. "We liked the idea of getting married on a day associated with growth and renewal," she says.
by Tamar Snyder
It wasn’t just about the money. That’s what Idit Klein says about the initial $1,000 grant she received from the Bronfman Youth Fellowships’ Alumni Venture Fund in 2004. Klein, the executive director of Keshet, a nonprofit that champions the inclusion of LGBTs within the Jewish community, used the small seed grant to mount an educational campaign centered on marriage equality.