Change can be scary, but when it strengthens an organization, it can only be a good thing, right?
For Tribe 12, that change will help it further its mission.
“Tribe 12 was founded in 2010,” noted CEO Ross Berkowitz, “and we decided to really look at our organization, look at where we came from and to look at our future, so we really embarked on a complete strategic plan.”
That plan included a new brand, look and website — but its mission stays the same.
“Our mission is to engage people in their 20s and 30s today so that they will choose to stay engaged Jewishly long term,” Berkowitz said. “We really understand that for [those in their] 20s and 30s, there are a lot of components to their identity and they’re going to be making a lot of choices … and we wanted to make sure that in whatever those choices are that the person is going to make, that Judaism is also an important part of that choice.
“That flows through all the programming that we do,” he added, “but a lot of people didn’t see how the different pieces of our organization came together under that single mission and banner.”
The organization, which has become known for fellowships that have bolstered aspiring entrepreneurs, is also recognized for its social programming for young professionals.
If you thought of the Collaborative for that, however, you’re not wrong. Now, the programs that were geared toward different parts of the community — such as the Collaborative or the LGBTQ coalition Spectrum Philly — are all under one roof and under the Tribe 12 name.
“Each started differently, started with different motivations, even though the mission was the same,” Berkowitz said, “and we really kind of learned from our strategic process that we want to make sure that everybody understands Tribe 12 as one single, strong organization and that helped lead into a rebranding.”
There were different logos and other materials for each project, but they are now unified under a new Tribe 12 emblem and all housed on one website.
Among other changes are the website gobejewish.com — which is linked on Tribe 12’s website — a community-wide calendar showing all events for Jewish 20- and 30-somethings.
It’s like a “Jewish 20s and 30s Uwishunu,” Berkowitz said.
In the strategic process, which Tribe 12 worked on with Social Impact Studios, a core set of values emerged to illustrate the organization’s ongoing mission.
Some values that stand out to Berkowitz — all 12 are displayed on the website deliberately resembling a priestly breastplate of biblical times of the real 12 tribes of Israel — include “everyone can level up,” “there is a Jewish community for everyone,” and simply “be the most fun.”
“We want to make sure we’re still doing unique programming, having a unique method of how we’re doing it, connecting with people that wouldn’t connect other places,” he said. “The second thing that was important is that people that were our constituents and our stakeholders, people connected to Tribe 12, would still feel that special connection.”
The organization will celebrate its new self with a party on Sept. 7 called Beachadelphia, with carnival- and boardwalk-themed games and prizes.
The only catch? The location won’t be revealed until a day before. But it will be somewhere in West Philly and will be a lot of fun, promised Assistant Director Danielle Selber.
“It’s sort of a celebration about how far we’ve come with completing this strategic plan and our rebranding and it’s also a reaffirmation of our mission,” she said. “We want to make sure that people who don’t necessarily know about Tribe 12 will know about it and understand what it is. … We want to make sure they understand that we’re still the same organization we’re just under a different name.”
For Selber, the process also helped the organization reaffirm part of its mission to help the Jewish community find a place that’s right for them — even if it’s not Tribe 12.
“We’re about helping people to find their place in the Jewish community, whether that’s inside our doors or not,” she said.
Rachel Waxman, public relations and communications manager, helped build the new website and get input from the community and stakeholders as they went through the process.
“I wanted Tribe 12 to feel really relevant for today’s modern 20-something and 30-something living in Philadelphia,” she said. “I wanted Tribe 12 to be able to represent Judaism in a way that these people — me and my peers — would actually be able to use it.”
That included colorful images and vibrancy that reflected its community. She worked with Social Impact Studios to build surveys about the logo and messaging.
“I’m excited to see where we go with the next step,” she said. “We’ve already accomplished so much, even back when we didn’t have all the right tools, so I’m excited to see what we can do next now that we have all of the tools that we really needed this whole time.”
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