JOIN for Justice is listed as one of the 50 most innovative American Jewish organizations in the new 2013-2014 Slingshot Guide, a Zagat-style guidebook first created in 2005 to help next generation funders and volunteers find organizations in the alphabet soup of the Jewish community that resonate with their lives. Now in its ninth year, Slingshot highlights the 50 most innovative nonprofits in North American Jewish life each year. JOIN is thrilled to be in the guide alongside organizations led by JOIN alumni, including Keshet led by Idit Klein (’99) and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice led by Marjorie Dove Kent (’04). This is what Slingshot has to say about JOIN for Justice:
“A combined project of fellow Slingshot organization Bend the Arc, the Jewish Organizing Initiative, and Just Congregations, JOIN for Justice recognizes that quality leaders in the Jewish community must master community organizing skills in order to maximize constituent participation, build relationships, and best achieve the missions of their organizations. Until now, the Jewish community has lacked a central resource for training community organizers. JOIN for Justice has quickly become the go-to place for Jewish community organizing training with a focus on training, supporting, connecting, and mobilizing Jewish organizers and the communities they work with.
JOIN’s work happens within multiple contexts in order to affect as many individuals as possible. The Jewish Organizing Fellowship places young Jewish adults in community organizing jobs through its year-long program, where fellows build Jewish community and explore Jewish identity together. The Seminary Leadership Project brings together cantors, rabbis, and educators for opportunities to develop skills around organizing that they can then take back to their communities and congregations. JOIN’s 2012 National Summit has brought together 300 organizers for training and networking with the goal of changing the Jewish social justice landscape. JOIN also consults with other Jewish institutions, including the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, which has hired JOIN to create a series of trainings to help organizational staff and members engage communities around issues such as voter ID laws and same sex marriage. In addition, JOIN offers online organizing courses through Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Slingshot evaluators are impressed by JOIN’s success in building meaningful partnerships that result in generating change throughout the Jewish community. One evaluator comments on JOIN’s ability to address “multiple needs – partnering with clergy, fostering young leaders, consulting with Jewish organizations, all for social change.” Another praises JOIN’s community organizing training focus: “JOIN is able to foster real systems of change in the Jewish community.”