Hebrew SeniorLife’s (HSL) Chaplaincy Institute has been named one of the nation’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in Slingshot ’10-‘11, a resource guide for Jewish innovation. Since 2005, Slingshot has become the definitive guide to identifying path-finding and trailblazing organizations grappling with concerns in Jewish life such as identity, community, and tradition.   Hebrew SeniorLife’s Chaplaincy Institute was chosen by a panel of 36 foundation professionals from across North America for the innovative work the Institute is doing to educate chaplaincy students on Jewish geriatric pastoral care. This was HSL’s first time being featured in Slingshot.


In order to be listed in Slingshot, organizations are selected from among hundreds of nominees across North America. Finalists are chosen based on their strength in four areas: innovation, impact, leadership, and organizational efficiency.


Founded in 1903, Hebrew SeniorLife, the third largest non-profit organization in Massachusetts, is the leading provider of senior housing, health care, research and teaching in New England and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.  HSL’s Chaplaincy Institute addresses the local and national shortage of skilled chaplains trained to meet the spiritual needs of the country’s rapidly growing Jewish senior population by educating 16 students annually in Jewish geriatric pastoral care. HSL’s Chaplaincy program is one of only two Jewish clinical pastoral education programs in the country accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, and is the only Jewish geriatric program in a long-term care setting. The hands-on training and the Jewish curriculum students experience while serving HSL’s own patient population of chronically ill Jewish seniors, their families, and care giving staff sets a national standard for Jewish chaplaincy training.


“The inclusion of HSL’s Chaplaincy Institute in Slingshot ’10-‘11 is a strong validation of the work the Institute is doing and our commitment to combating the dire shortage of certified chaplains who provide Jewish geriatric pastoral care,” said Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow, Director of Religious Services for HSL.  “Slingshot exposes the Chaplaincy Institute to a vibrant funding community and is a valuable vehicle as we work to take our programming to the next level.”


According to Will Schneider, the Director of Slingshot, “2010 was the most competitive year that Slingshot has experienced. Not only are there a greater number of applicants each year, but the extent and complexity of each applicant’s impact has increased. The feedback from the evaluators told us that the guide could easily have been filled with twice as many inspirational projects, so these 50 had to really shine to rise to the top.”


Inspired four 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 four cycles, the Slingshot Fund has contributed nearly $1.5 million to innovative Jewish not-for-profits.


Slingshot ’10/’11 was unveiled on October 18 at the annual Slingshot Day launch, a sold out event in Manhattan. Over 250 not-for-profit leaders, foundation professionals, and funders of all ages spent the day engaged in candid conversations about philanthropy and innovation.


About Slingshot

Slingshot was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios with the most innovative and effective organizations and programs in North America. This guide contains information about each organization’s origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character.  Now in its sixth edition, Slingshot has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America’s Jewish community. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at www.slingshotfund.org.


About Hebrew SeniorLife

Founded in 1903, Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization devoted to innovative research, health care, education and housing that improves the lives of seniors. For more information, visit www.hebrewseniorlife.org.