created at: 2010-02-17


Selected to Receive Slingshot Fund Innovation Grant for Second Year Running

Gateways: Access to Jewish Education has been singled out as one of the nation’s Top 10 most innovative Jewish nonprofits by the Slingshot Fund. Its just-released resource guide for Jewish innovation identifies 50 trailblazing organizations tackling the key challenges of Jewish life in the 21st century.

In addition, Gateways is, for the second year running, ranked in the Top 10 organizations to receive a $37,000 capacity-building grant from the Slingshot Fund. The Fund is the creation of a group of next-generation Jewish philanthropists who launched it four years ago as a collective-giving mechanism to support innovations in Jewish life. To date, the Slingshot Fund has contributed nearly $1.5 million to the most forward-thinking Jewish nonprofits on the scene today.


Gateways, the central address for Jewish education for children with special needs in the Boston area, provides a broad menu of programs and services that create educational opportunities that meet each child’s unique abilities and needs.


“All of us here at Gateways: Access to Jewish Education, our staff, therapists, teachers, parents, trustees and supporters, are deeply gratified to be recognized by a grant from the Slingshot Fund,” says Gateways Executive Director Arlene Remz, who accepted the award yesterday at a ceremony in New York City. “It’s especially rewarding, given Slingshot’s focus on identifying and

nurturing innovation and vision throughout the Jewish community, that they saw fit to award us a grant for the second year in a row.” 


According to Remz, the grant will allow Gateways to “further develop and document our ground-breaking program models so they can be shared with other communities to help children with special needs enjoy the Jewish education that is their birthright, and expand our professional development programs. And now we’ll be able to work with even more educators in Jewish congregational schools, day schools and preschools so they can better meet the needs of every child — and family — who comes through their doors.”  


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. In order to receive a grant from the Slingshot Fund, not only did these ten organizations have to pass the rigorous evaluation process to get into Slingshot ‘09/’10, but were then vetted, interviewed, and analyzed by 30 next generation members of the Slingshot Fund.”


The Slingshot guidebook commends Gateways as having “built a remarkable bridge across denominations to knock down the barriers that stand between Jewish children with special needs and a Jewish education. At Gateways, children with special needs are able to attend Hebrew school, become a bar or bat mitzvah, and experience Jewish life in ways they have never before been able to access.”


Adds Slingshot member Ariella Lis: “Our Board sees Gateways as paving the way for Jewish education, Jewish culture and a multi-sensory approach to Hebrew, the whole package. Without Gateways, there would be no Jewish education for so many children.”


To learn more about Gateways, call 617.630.9010, e-mail, or visit

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