By Josh Ben Moshe
It looks like social entrepreneurship is the future. Amazing ideas benefiting both the Jewish community and the world at large are popping up everywhere and doing amazing things. The human power of creativity has never been clearer; if you see something you want to change, you can change it. For a little inspiration, here’s a short list of the five coolest Jewish initiatives operating today!
That’s right, it’s the Jewish Tinder! As ridiculous as it may sound, JSwipe is an active response to the soaring rates of assimilation. Each small swipe right is a big step towards staying kosher. The app also keeps your grandparents happy, which is a massive bonus. Plus, who doesn’t love a curly haired David or Rebecca? Having recently announced the first JSwipe wedding, it’s clear the app is working. Mazel Tov!
Jewish education is an essential part of Judaism, yet it is becoming harder to maintain in an appealing way. Matt Bar saw the deteriorating state of Jewish education amongst youth and decided to combat it with a fun initiative: Bible Raps. Bible Raps teaches Torah studies through rap songs, and has reached tens of thousands of young Jews with performances in schools, yeshivas, conferences and camps, around America and abroad. Even teachers are now being trained to become certified Bible Rap educators!
Anti-Israel attitudes are often founded upon misconceptions. In an attempt to combat this, Israel Uncovered, a subset of the Israel advocacy initiative The David Project, sponsors Jewish and non-Jewish American college students to visit Israel for free. On the most recent Israel Uncovered trip in January 2015, 108 students from The David Project’s core schools participated, consisting of 32 Jewish and 76 non-Jewish students. Kol HaKavod!
The Jewish Plays Project
The Jewish Plays Project is an American concept that provides aspiring Jewish playwrights a platform for their art to be recognized. It accepts all plays that involve a Jewish theme, before selecting a winning script to be performed by professional actors at a theater near the writer. In the four years since the project's launch, entries have amounted to 512 scripts from 450 writers in 26 states and 8 countries.
The Shabbat Project
In 2013, the Chief Rabbi of South Africa came up with an idea. From sunset on October 24th to the rise of the stars the next night, South African Jews would collectively observe Shabbat. That year, close to 70% of South Africa's Jewish population kept Shabbat. In 2014, 340 cities in 35 countries around the world joined the movement. The Shabbat Project is an unbelievable initiative that unites world Jewry in a cultural, religious, and spiritual way.
So from these it’s clear to see what a difference to the Jewish community anybody can make. And there’s still so much to be done!
If you have an idea that relates to Judaism or Zionism, please don’t hesitate to contact Project Go. We will provide you with the networks, marketing and money necessary to ensure your idea becomes a successful reality. All you need to do is submit an application on www.projectgo.zfa.com.au/apply.
Looking forward to hearing all of your great initiatives!