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Introducing a New Class of Social Entrepreneurs

December 21, 2011 By:
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Tribe 12 has selected 11 young professionals for its second class of "social entrepreneurs" who will begin learning how to turn their ideas into viable businesses in the new year.

The training is run in conjunction with PresenTense, which has expanded its original summer institute in Jerusalem to several U.S. cities. Grant funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia covers the cost of of curriculum and instructors; fellows also team up with volunteer mentors.

The fellows will formally present their projects to the community, business leaders and even potential investors at a "launch night" event in the spring. Until then, here are brief descriptions:

Addie Lewis Klein -- For singles fed up with looking for love online or at social events, Klein proposes a matchmaking service that would marry new technology with the personal touch of a traditional Jewish matchmaker.

Amit Bob -- Frustrated by perceptions of Israel as a source of contention, Bob seeks to develop a curriculum that reflects the country's rich cultural offerings. The materials would draw from a range of media such as film, poetry and music.

Chana Rothman -- Using her career as a prototype, Rothman aims to create a sustainable business model to help Jewish musicians thrive through collaboration and community connections.

Elisa Heisman -- Drawing on her professional experience as program director of Congregation Beth Or, Heisman would serve as a consultant for congregational leaders seeking to get members more interested in temple life as well as engage families who feel that synagogues don't meet their needs.

Erica Fajge -- An active member of the Center City social scene, Fajge hopes to produce and host a talk show focusing on issues relevant to the young Jewish community. Along with the show, which could appear on YouTube or cable, Fajge would develop a corresponding online magazine with additional content.

Michael Alan Sara -- Currently in the midst of the lengthy process of becoming a yoga teacher, Sara plans to develop his own form of mind-body meditation designed to strengthen spirituality through physical expression. His yoga classes would be tailored to suit any age group and include lessons from Kabbalah, Torah and Jewish ethics.

Naomi Bright -- Bright misses Israel the moment she leaves, so she proposes an "Israel hub" that would not only connect the Philadelphia community to Israel but also American Jews to the Israelis who live here. The hub would include a website and weekly newsletter highlighting local activities related to Israel and perhaps even original programming.

Scott Swichar -- Swichar's mentorship venture would pair established professionals with younger counterparts in the same field to help them build skills, network and set long-term and short-term career goals. Through group activities and one-on-one meetings, the mentors would also promote Jewish values in the workplace.

Stephanie Singer and Einav Keet -- Bound by the post-Holocaust friendship of their grandparents, this duo plans to celebrate the "lineage of survival" through food. Together, they'll work to bring together Jewish and Israeli chefs from around the world to contribute to "The Bubbi Project" cookbook.

Talisa Pace -- Having experienced the needs of the homeless both personally and as an overnight shelter supervisor for Bethesda Project, Pace aims to develop a one-year program to help this population develop self-sufficiency. She would call upon the local Jewish community to provide staff and volunteer social workers, psychologists, addiction therapists, education specialists, career counselors and day care providers.

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