Summer Design Sprint

In May 2020 we were joined by 39 individuals from 35 organizations to work together to turn their ideas into programs. To facilitate their thinking, we leaned in to a Design Sprint — a design thinking method used to solve complex problems throughout co-creation. In this case, each organization worked to develop their own unique idea while giving the others support and feedback along the way. As a group, though, they had an ambitious, high-level overall metric: to engage 500,000 people in a meaningful Jewish experience this summer. To learn more about how, you can read the story here.

Below is a list of their ideas.

The Great Scavenger Hunt (14th Street Y/ Educational Alliance) Funded: $5,000
Hybrid-experience of online, home-facilitated and family camp style, in-person experiences at Jewish summer camps (or public outdoor spaces, if necessary) around the country; template for JCCs, synagogues, and Jewish summer camps to utilize collaboratively to create cohorts to experience the scavenger hunt together over a few weeks this summer.

My Life is Worth Living (Teen Suicide Prevention) (Rohr Jewish Learning Institute - JLI) Funded: $5,000
In a six session curriculum drawing from psychology and Jewish wisdom, youth leaders, educators, and camp counselors will learn to assess suicide risk and interventions related to helping teens develop self-esteem, coping mechanisms, and how to lead more purposeful and connected lives.

GSA Leadership Project for LGBTQ Jewish Youth (Keshet) Funded: $5,000
Leadership development series that will equip current youth serving organization leaders (teen leaders) with the skills and resources to create organization-specific virtual spaces for LGBTQ youth to gather and be in community. Focused on peer-peer mental health support, facilitation skills, and community-building strategies, and rooted in celebrating queer Jewish identity.

Teva Tips for Jewish Nature Connection for All Ages (Teva/Hazon) Funded: $5,000
Video trainings and supporting curriculum for caregivers, family, teachers, counselors including fun and meaningful things to do with kids outdoors. Help for caregivers to move from "I'm out of ideas for my bored kids" to "I just learned how soil is made, let’s go check it out!"

Virtual Global Seminar (JDC Entwine)
In 10 hours a week, college students and recent graduates will engage in global service (such as teaching English to young Jews in the Former Soviet Union), engage in deep Jewish learning about the values that have motivated the historical work of the JDC, and learn professional skills (marketing, fundraising, etc through close access to JDC professionals).

The Kadima Fellowship (Congregation Or Ami, Calabasas, CA)
Career-directed fellowships for college and high school students in which individual mentoring relationships will be forged with professionals-as-mentors in fellows’ chosen career paths or areas of interest.

Camp Shabbat in the City (Union Temple of Brooklyn)
URJ Camp-affiliated families in Brownstone Brooklyn will be matched with 1-2 other nearby families to form a summer pod; pods will gather 2-3 times during the summer following safe social-distancing practices on identified dates. Each family will receive materials (think: “Shabbat in a Box”) that they can use to make a “Camp Shabbat” experience together.

In the Same Breath (Institute for Jewish Spirituality)
Introductory Jewish meditation videos targeted to teens to help with mindfulness and fighting anxiety, to distribute on TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat; empowered staff of networked organizations to lead reflection and processing for their teens.

How Can You Celebrate a B’Mitzvah During a Pandemic? (Moving Traditions)
Families engaging in B’Mitzvah during this pandemic will have access to an online resource, curricular resources about why B’Mitzvah matters, and group sessions to explore how to create their events now.

Shabbat Around the World (jHUB)
Summer Shabbatot with weekly mailings of educational materials focused on a country’s customs, history, traditions, and recipes, linked to partner restaurants and their menu recommendations, with discussion questions for the Shabbat table that intentionally connect folks to the content. Spotify playlist, challah pick-up, and Zoom blessings together. Correlated Saturday night Zoom Havdallah and discussion.

Supporting Special Needs Kids This Summer (Foundation for Jewish Camp)
Engage 500 teens/young adults and children with special needs in virtual and physically distanced buddy relationships in order to create meaningful connections and help with isolation over the summer.

Legacy of Life (Raleigh-Cary JCC)
Intergenerational initiative helping senior adults identify a legacy—a recipe, family tradition, story of faith, community memory, or family photograph—that they want to share with others. JCC staff will develop programming to share the legacy (a digital scrapbook with stories, a cooking class).

Giving Panorama (Amplifier)
Engagement of participants in Amplifier’s giving platform, helping participants talk with friends and family about why and how we give from a place of Jewish values and learn values-aligned philanthropy.

Moon Mamas – Rosh Chodesh Ladies Night In (Peninsula JCC)
Small groups (8-10) of women will gather twice a month virtually in a Rosh Chodesh style community to create community, engage in some Jewish learning or creative process/project, and in particular, provide support, reassurance and camaraderie for navigating the challenges of managing work and family demands while schools and childcare remain limited at best, and likely changed forever.

Summer Boost (Jewish Interactive)
Six sessions of curated educational games available on kids (ages 4-7) timeline.