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Young Jewish Entrepreneurs Earn Grants for Social Initiatives

December 5, 2013 By:
JTA
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The next generation of Jewish community leaders and innovators. Photo courtesy of NEXT Birthright.

NEW YORK – Four young Jewish entrepreneurs received grants to encourage social entrepreneurship among young Jews.

The grants handed out this week from Natan/NEXT, a joint project of the Natan Fund and NEXT, a division of the Birthright Israel Foundation, total $25,000.

The recipients are Jesse Friedman, a New York City-based theater artist, for his Jewish Plays Project, which aims to put on theatrical productions of Jewish interest; Naomi Leight, assistant director for research and publications at the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, for her work in Jewcer.com, which helps Jewish organizations use crowdfunding to further their goals; Stephen Philp, of Chicago, for his Mishkan Chicago project, an alternative spiritual community that incorporates music and dance; and David Singer, of Dallas, for Makom, a spiritual community in his hometown that emphasizes youth engagement, social justice and environmental responsibility.

“These entrepreneurial young adults are driven by a passion to inspire their peers,” said Morlie Levin, CEO of NEXT. “Their unique projects are indicative of the kind of authentic experiences the Birthright Israel Generation creates for their friends — ones which we must support in order for them to find themselves in our Jewish community.”

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