Photo: Participants had fun during Passover at The Well’s Escape From Egypt room.

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The Well named among top 50 innovative Jewish organizations.

The Well was named one of North America’s top 50 innovative Jewish organizations in the 13th annual Slingshot Guide for the second year in a row. It’s the only Michigan-based organization included.

Being listed in the Guide is often an important step for selected organizations to attain much-needed additional funding and to expand the reach of their work. The Guide is a go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects that, through their innovative nature, will ensure the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving.

Participants had fun during Passover at The Well’s Escape From Egypt room.
Participants had fun during Passover at The Well’s Escape From Egypt room.

The Guide called The Well “the hipster cousin of the Jewish Community Center in your town.”

The Well was founded three years ago with pilot funding for four years from Lori Talsky.

In its three years of existence, The Well has created a community-wide Tashlich celebration and created the CSI Jewish learning model — short for Coffee. Study. Interpret. — which is currently being adapted and piloted by organizations in three other cities around the country courtesy of a grant from the Covenant Foundation.

The Well was also selected to be one of the four members of the inaugural cohort of The Open Dor Project — a national accelerator for emergent Jewish communities. It created the #Reflect4Rosh social media campaign of introspection and gratitude leading up to Rosh Hashanah that has engaged more than 100,000 people around the world and created 36 Under 36 for the community in partnership with the JN. The Well has partnered with more than 35 local organizations since its inception.

In the last year, The Well has convened more than 20 shared interest groups, comprised of 6-12 young adults each meeting monthly; held a Jewish summer camp for young adults; took 29 young adults to Germany in partnership with the German government; held community programs that ranged from discussing Jewish and black community relations to Jewish genetic diseases; and held many events, including a pub trivia night, a night of Jewish comedy, and special holiday programming for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Pesach.

Rabbi Dan Horwitz of The Well
Rabbi Dan Horwitz

Also this year, The Well had its first fundraising campaign and raised more than $33,000 from 400 donors (the majority from young adult participants).

Stefanie Rhodes, executive director of Slingshot, which publishes the Guide each year, said, “Slingshot’s work is to help Jews find, fund and connect to meaningful, exciting experiences in Jewish life. We are proud to highlight organizations doing exceptional work, serving as the trailblazers for what is possible, meeting the community’s evolving needs and inspiring all of us.”

Rabbi Dan Horwitz, The Well’s founding director, said, “The Well is proud to be selected in this year’s guide and thrilled to be part of the amazing community of the hundreds of innovative Jewish organizations included in the Guide over the past 11 years that continue to create positive change in the Jewish community.”

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