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Next Big Jewish Idea

Next Big Jewish Idea

What are your ideas to help develop the Jewish community?


The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles is "looking for the next big leap forward for the Jewish community." They have developed a contest called "Next Big Jewish Idea" that will award $100,000 in funding and in-kind services to the best idea. We'd like to hear your ideas using the comment section below, and welcome readers to submit their proposals to

To help grease your wheels here's the idea reader Gil Melin, a neuro-radiologist for Renaissance Imaging Medical Associates who received his training at Yale University, submitted. It's called YES (Yelid Education Savings).

The Big Idea: The cost of Jewish Day School education has become prohibitive for many Jewish families. Traditional philanthropy has helped to establish and subsidize Jewish education. However, this is on a large scale. The individual Jewish family lacks the ability to connect with these industrial contributors. Currently most people have few alternative sources of revenue. The result is their child does not attend a Jewish Day School or even worse they attend a Private or Parochial school. Long-term studies by PEJE have shown that these children have the highest assimilation rates.

The advent of social networking has opened up an entirely new avenue for community support and charity. We are just beginning to see the dawn of a new era where there are many new and exciting methods of procuring funds. YES: Yelid Education Savings wants to take full advantage of the power of networked social groups.

YES will utilize various novel techniques in order to maximize benefits. These include: microfinance to establish peer-to-peer low (or zero) interest loans, crowd-funding to direct pooled funds for specific causes, barter programs allowing parents to exchange skills for credits, "adoption" programs directed to individuals that want to take pleasure in the nachas of a specific child's educational achievements and to fulfill tithing responsibilities.

In effect, an incredibly cohesive community will be established. If done properly, the network will actually spur its own development. The members will become the contributors of both content and funding. The goal is to become self-sustaining and ensure continuous growth and future viability. This approach also allows for incredible administrative cost-savings helping to direct more of the funds to the individual. There is no middleman with direct funding resulting in minimal dilution of funds. There is complete transparency of where their funds are going. Utilizing existing social networks can create an alternative method for Jewish Day School funding.

Click here to vote for Gil's idea. And share your ideas in the comment section below.

March 12, 2011

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 9

(7) Anonymous, June 3, 2014 1:58 PM

from within the education system

there are those who were turned off within the Jewish educational system and go intermarry etc.

There are many factors to that. The idea is to have someone who expertly can anlyse the dynamics of the dysfunction that allows for certain kids to fall through the cracks...(bullying, family problems,...). There has always been a need for picking up those who fall ...

(6) Batsheva, March 20, 2011 4:07 PM

Another great idea to vote for!

I'd like to tell you about another great idea in the contest - JEWWW in a Box- an out-of-the-box approach to Jewish Education! Combining exciting, tangible Jewish experiences at home using our monthly JBoxes with on-line multi-media interactions through JEWWW (Jewish Education on the World Wide Web), this fresh approach to Jewish education will help to revitalize and sustain the Jewish community in Los Angeles. Three major pillars of Jewish continuity are positive educational experiences, family involvement and sense of connection spiritual, communal and ancestral. JEWWW in a Box will address all three pillars with a fun, innovative program that combines experiential learning for children, teens and adults with 21st century technology. So what is JEWWW in a Box? Jewish Education on the World Wide Web (JEWWW), a site that Yossie and Batsheva Frankel began in 2006 with the goal of making quality Jewish education accessible to everyone, will provide Jews from all backgrounds with the tools they need not only to be Jewish, but to do Jewish, - not just the what's of Judaism, but more importantly, the how's and why's of Judaism. To learn more about it and to vote:

(5) jgarbuz, March 15, 2011 11:51 PM

Teach Jewish children to love and marry each other and have

Jewish children. No matter what some people may say or believe, intermarriage will destroy our identity over time. Jews should marry other Jews, return to the Homeland and strengthen it. Otherwise, we will be "wiped from the pages of history" as Ahmadinejad has predicted.

Anonymous, March 24, 2011 8:47 PM


Hashem promised that we will never be wiped off the map. So no matter what, we never will be!!!

(4) Anonymous, March 14, 2011 10:45 PM

Internet to teach

With todays technology there are so many possibilities how to learn. I think one of those could be the Internet. If teachers would start broadcasting or podcasts of their classroom teachings then more people that cannot afford to send their children to Jewish Day School then they could learn from home over the Internet. I believe this would cut down the facilities needed to teach people and also would make it more available to more people. With the money saved from the facilities more after school activities could be arranged and the interaction of students and their teachers still would be very high.

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