Wonder what socially-conscious Jewish entrepreneurship can look like? Take a look at some of the 80 graduates from the Tribe 12 Fellowship, a weekly leadership program that just kicked off its eighth class. One former fellow created an app called Milkcrate, which connects people with environmentally friendly businesses. Another started Students Care, an organization which pairs student volunteers with hospitals in need of visitors for its patients. Yet another former fellow dreamed of a bagel truck that would donate proceeds to charity; Shmear It now has three retail locations in the city. And still another fellow went on to appear on the show Shark Tank to pitch her all-natural deodorant Piper Wai — and now has done more than $4 million in sales.
A project of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia-sponsored young professional group Tribe 12, the four-month Fellowship provides a lot more than start-up support. “Our curriculum is built on developing the four qualities of a strong Jewish leader,” says Fellowship Coordinator Adam Wodka, “and that’s self-discovery, philanthropy, emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship.”
Each Fellow is paired with a mentor and a former fellow; has experts at their disposal; is guided through the program by a coordinator and, over the course of the curriculum, creates a capstone project of their own design. They also participate in a giving circle in which they donate half of their $250 program fee to a former Fellow’s nonprofit, an exercise in group philanthropy through Jewish sensibilities. “We’re looking to build leaders — ethical, empathetic, philanthropic leaders, who understand what it is to be part of a community,” says founder Ross Berkowitz.
The new class of 13 Fellows is now off and running, with four months to finish their projects. Their program will culminate on May 8th with Launch Night, an event open to the public in which each participant will make minute-long presentations on their ventures. Come out and see what the future of Jewish entrepreneurship looks like!
For more about the Tribe 12 Fellowship, click here.