Allow us to set the stage. It is May 27, 2010. In our minds, however, this was “Launch Night”. On this day, nearly two hundred Boston community members packed into City Year’s first floor event space, eager to be the first to discover eleven new social ventures and meet the men and women behind them. This night was monumental.
In an atmosphere that has been aptly described as trade conference meets science fair, Launch Night 2010 was the culmination of CJP’s PresenTense Boston Fellowship pilot year, a new program that provides young Jewish social entrepreneurs with the tools and connections to transform big ideas into ventures that will engage, inspire, and support Boston’s Jewish community.
On Launch Night, the big ideas, turned ventures, were as diverse as the fellows who dreamt them up. From Entrepreneurship 101, a program to help incarcerated and court involved youth fight recidivism and increase employment, to Hebrew Play, an organization that inspires young children and their families to use Hebrew when they play together, the 2010 Fellows have created new avenues for Jewish engagement, learning, and social action. These were only two of the eleven ventures launched last year.
And, Boston is just the beginning. In search of (slightly) warmer temperatures and new distinctive accents, PresenTense has launched three new North American Fellowships in New York, Philadelphia and Cleveland, in addition to two more in Israel, using the model developed right here in Boston.
With a successful year under our belt and feedback from around the globe, we are ready to recruit the next cohort of Boston Fellows. We’ve been hard at work over the summer – revamping curriculum, creating a new Steering Committee structure, and letting our minds wander with thoughts of what new conversations this year’s Fellows will start… We realize that no idea is too mundane or undeveloped for consideration. We love talking with everyone about the program. We know we sit at the crosshairs of ideation and opportunity and, simply, that motivates us! So now, we wonder, what does the 2011 PresenTense Boston cohort have in store?
We need your help to cast our net and spread the word. If you know a young entrepreneur or intrapreneur who fits the bill, we would love for you to introduce them to this exciting opportunity. And, if you’re like us, and just relish keeping your finger on the Jewish-Social-Entrepreneurship pulse, follow our progress at www.bostonfellowship.com.
Want to meet the faces behind this post? Join us on Wednesday, November 3 at the PresenTense Boston Open House. This event is a great opportunity for potential Fellows to learn more about the nuts and bolts of the program and get helpful feedback from the admissions team. The deadline for applications falls just two short weeks later on November 15, 2010.
Eva Heinstein and Eric Ritvo
Steering Committee Co-Chairs, CJP’s PresenTense Boston Fellowship