The Front Porch

The Front Porch: Unlocking the (Incredible) Potential of Jewish Atlanta is a bold next step for Federation to explore in the most foundational way — and potentially reimagine — how it interacts with and supports Atlanta’s Jewish community. Beginning in August, and continuing through the spring of 2018, we will bring all corners of the Jewish community onto the Front Porch to help map our future. Our meetings will be organized into several platform teams. The teams will include historic community partners, Jewish thought leaders, donors, board members, and other professionals, but we are also inviting people who might think of themselves on the fringes of the Jewish world — people of all ages, demographics and political points of view. We will engage in deep dialogue, immersions in places that inspire and provoke (the edges of Jewish Atlanta and other organizations that provide insight to our most challenging questions), and reflection time, concluding with a series of prototypes—experiments that move us swiftly to action.

There are so many conversations taking place on The Front Porch. Scroll down to get a glimpse into some of the latest happenings.

The Front Porch visits Israel! Watch what we learned and how we continue to grow.

June 2018

June 22, 2018

Meet the Mentors
It’s an act of creativity and bravery to launch a prototype. Good ideas need shaping, cheerleading and technical assistance, which is why our Front Porch prototype teams are getting help from an incredible group of local coaches and mentors. Here are some members of this tremendous talent pool:
Rabbi Ruth Abusch Magder is interested in diversity, inclusion, social media and creativity. She is coaching Synagogues Without Borders, Jewish Atlanta Concierge and Unlock Shabbat.
Richard Berman offers insights into strategic positioning, startup facilitation, and leadership development. He is working with Pushke 2.0, NPJew, Mergers & Acquisitions for Nonprofits, and the Atlanta Board Chair Network.
Lisa Galanti, a marketing professional, and self-described “connector, puzzle solver. She is coaching Office Feng Shui, Jewish Mental Health Toolkit, Daily Jewish Word of the Day, and Van-Go
Michael Kogon is a marketing powerhouse and problem solver. He is coaching the Small Community Designated Campaign, Hebrew High School, ORT/ATL STEM Initiative, and Creating Endowed Positions for Jewish Professionals.
Jori Mendel is Federation’s new V.P for Innovation with an extensive background in corporate startups and marketing. She is supporting Israel Baby Grant, One Happy Preschooler, Jewish Path to Recovery (mobile app), and Collaboration Kitchen.
Samara Minkin works in the Atlanta Mayor’s office on public art initiatives and advises private clients in acquisitions and collections management. She is coaching Federation’s Green Team, Fellowship for Young Professionals, Tikkun ATL and ATL Jews for Justice, 

April 2018

Monday, April 23

Last Friday’s Prototype Boot Camp was a day that just might go down in Atlanta Jewish history. As the next stage of the Front Porch initiative, more than 100 passionate people, each with ideas for community innovation and change, came together to learn how to turn rough ideas into actual small-scale prototypes. The energy was palpable. In the morning session, twenty-two different teams collaborated and tinkered to rough out and refine their visions. By lunchtime, they were ready to pitch their prototype to the entire group and decide how to move ahead. The breadth of the prototypes were, well, stunning! From a new model for synagogue membership, to a Jewish mental health and substance abuse outreach program; from an app to teach kids about philanthropy, to a concept for Jewish NPU’s (neighborhood planning units) called NPJew, the creativity was off the charts. Read on and learn about how our homegrown prototypes might transform Jewish life in Atlanta.

The prototype phase of The Front Porch is a leap of faith. It requires us to move quickly from words to action, crafting mini-versions of something even bigger and bolder, all in step with the Front Porch Common Agenda. Some will move forward. Some will not. Here are some snapshots from the over 126 people who collaborated:

  • Atlanta Jews for Justice
    Intent: to organize the Jewish community around campaigns of justice, remove the silos of denominations/institutions and make change to make ATL more just!
  • AgeWell Navigator
    Intent: to enable older adults and their families in our community to age well by focusing on independence, quality of life (physical and mental) and social connection through a coordinated, accessible, and sustainable continuum of supports provided by a collaboration between JHLC, JF&CS, MJCCA, and Federation.
  • Baby-Moon Israel
    Intent:  to provide life-long connections to Israel that address infertility and create new family building opportunities.
  • Collaboration Kitchen
    Intent: To create a mentor/advisor network that will help people to give back and be part of directing innovation in the community.
  • Creating Endowed Professional Positions
    Intent: to enable and empowering Jewish professional staff by investing in them, fundraising to “endow” their positions, building their capacity, attracting and retaining the best talent.
  • Hebrew HS for the Next Generation
    Intent: to facilitate a flexible, accessible approach to reaching High School students and amplify their Jewish identity.
  • JHelp
    Intent:  to help people find and connect to Jewish resources — “Try before you buy,” based on a successful Detroit community model.
  • Jewish Word/Idea of the Day
    Intent: to educate and inspire through Jewish Wisdom on the model of Milim Yomi: The Daily Word.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions in the Innovation Pipeline
    Intent: to ensure the long-term sustainability and succession planning for newer organizations or initiatives. This could include potential mergers with or spin offs from existing organizations.
  • NPJew
    Intent:  to connect people locally and to advance Jewish interests. A Jewish take on Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) system to create neighborhood councils with local expertise on the needs of our community.
  • One Happy Preschooler
    Starting children at a young age on their Jewish education journey secures a Jewish future for them for years to come. We want to help make this a reality. Your first-time Jewish preschooler may be eligible for a One Happy Preschooler grant of up to $1,000 for Fall 2018
  • Pushke 2.0
    Intent: to empower kids to make lifelong philanthropic practices and give families tools to donate in an instant.
  • Shabbatlanta & Civic Dinners
    Intent: to unlock Shabbat by providing accessible Shabbat resources. To create platforms for small, low-barrier intergenerational Shabbat dinners on a neighborhood basis.

April 2018

Monday, April 9

Calling all innovators, dreamers and social entrepreneurs: The Front Porch is hosting Prototype Boot Camp (April 20, 8:00 am-12:00 pm; 1 pm-5 pm) two intensive half-day workshops to activate and accelerate new ideas for Jewish Atlanta. Prototyping explores our community’s future by testing ideas that align with our biggest goals, then puts them into action on a small scale. Think of it as a “landing strip” for an idea. At Boot Camp, we’ll help groups move their ideas forward, and plan their launch and roll out. If you have a great prototype idea, get a team together and bring it to Boot Camp! Nearly 40 teams have registered.

At Boot Camp we’ll design and test game-changing ideas that align with The Front Porch’s biggest goals. Then we’ll help teams launch them quickly, on a small scale. For example:

  • We’re looking to create new kinds of Jewish Places and innovate to bring resources and services where people live and work– online networks, neighborhood hubs, pop-up programming, micro-communities and more.
  • We’re interested in inspiring transformative Jewish Journeys for everyone, no matter where they are. Got a creative way to bring Jewish wisdom to new couples? Parents experiencing their first temper tantrum? Someone newly divorced? A teen under peer pressure?
  • We want to create Radically Welcoming Jewish Spaces where no one feels like an outsider.
  • Bring us ideas moving towards a Global Jewish Peoplehood. Make Atlanta a place for open and respectful dialogue about Israel and prototypes for expanded learning or partnerships between Atlanta and Jews around the world.
  • Rise Up to Strengthen Ourselves and Our World! How can we create oases of wellness for ourselves in Jewish Atlanta? How can we join forces to heal the heartaches of Atlanta and the world as Jews committed to tikkun olam?

March 2018

Monday, March 12

Twenty+ Exciting Prototypes Emerge from Innovation Platform
We had a terrific two days with the Innovation Platform last week, resulting in over 20 exciting prototypes and great insight about leverage points for innovation. This followed the very important work of the Jewish Atlanta Ecosystem platform the week before laying out a vision, framework for action and key elements of strategy for Jewish Atlanta going forward. The group zeroed in on what the Jewish community needs most, and determined how innovation can deliver meaningful change. Specifically, they asked, how can we stimulate authentic collaborations that will benefit the entire community; how can we distribute resources more broadly across the community?

A prototype is a tangible expression of an idea. The purpose of prototyping is to allow the Front Porch to explore our future by testing ideas that align with our biggest community goals, then putting them into action on a small scale. Another way to think about it is that a prototype is like a “landing strip” for an idea. Some prototypes will take off, others will fizzle, but our goal is to learn by experimenting. The Front Porch Prototype Boot Camp, a session in which teams will work together to map out potential ideas, and plan their launch and roll out, will take place on April 20th, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Federation. If you have a great prototype idea, bring it to Bootcamp!  Other questions about the prototype process? Contact Ligi George.

 

March 2018

Monday, March 5

The Front Porch Learning Journey in Israel, or #TFPinIsrael, was a groundbreaking experience that deeply affected the lives of 70 Atlanta community leaders. Federation CEO, Eric Robbins’ reflections on the Israel trip were published in national media. Read what the trip’s insights can mean for Jewish Atlanta in eJewish Philanthropy.

February 2018

Thursday, February 22

Important Milestones Reached on The Front Porch
The Front Porch continues to move boldly forward, and the last two weeks have taken us to an exciting new phase. We still have a few more Learning Journeys scheduled outside the Jewish community, and Immersions inside the Jewish community, through the month of February. But most significantly, a first draft of A Common Agenda for The Front Porch, a multi-layered blueprint for community change, has now been reviewed by many Front Porch participants. In the coming weeks, all platforms will take a deep dive into the document and strengthen it with specific recommendations. Prototype Bootcamp is coming on April 20 — this will be a dynamic day-long workshop that will take some of our best ideas forward to action and implementation. Watch Fed5 for more details.

  • The Israel Community Learning Journey has returned from its remarkable working trip (see their trip highlights here). With a goal to deepen relationships and prioritize the needs of the entire community, they’ve written a Partnership B’rit (covenant) that expresses a passionate commitment to work collaboratively, to assume the very best of each other, and to model respectful dialogue when issues divide us. They’re also crafting a bold statement about Israel that articulates a modern, dynamic and reciprocal relationship.
  • The Jewish Ecosystem group has wrapped up two consecutive days of meetings and concluded its work. They’ve rewritten their vision statement and zeroed-in on possible tactics for change.  They’ve also made strong recommendations to the other groups, expressing their priorities.

February 2018

Monday, February 12

The Front Porch, our community wide process to mobilize Jewish Atlanta around a common agenda and collaborative ecosystem, has arrived at a pivotal moment. We’re getting ready to move from observation and reflection to action, and it’s an exciting place to be. Nearly 70 community leaders have just returned from a spectacular week-long working trip to Israel (more on this in a special edition of FederationFive later this week) They’re bursting with inspiration and insights on how we can forge a more mature new relationship with the modern state. The next few weeks are packed with important meetings that will support change across our community.

Through the end of February, we’re still engaged in Learning Journeys and Immersions, but we’re also beginning to put the puzzle pieces together. This week, the Jewish Ecosystem platform team is convening for two days to concretize and prioritize their recommendations. The Jewish Innovation platform has a similar two-day retreat in early March. The Regenerating Federation platform team has begun laying the groundwork to position Federation to support the Jewish Atlanta ecosystem we all want and need. Change is coming in the form of bold prototypes that will impact the entire community. See our posts from Israel.

January 2018

D’Var Torah, Yitro
Monday, January 29

The story of Yitro, Jethro, is a story of expansion and inclusion.  In particular, several themes are expressed in this parashah.  Two are of particular relevance as the Atlanta Jewish community seeks what paradigm shifts will be beneficial to the community.

In order of their appearance in this Torah portion, we look at the impact of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, and at the gathering of the people at Sinai.

Regarding Jethro, he takes a long look at how Moses interacts with the Hebrew people.  It is similar to the process that the Federation is taking with its Front Porch initiative.  Jethro sees how Moses is providing advice and judicial decision-making on behalf of all of the people.  But Jethro realizes that Moses is wearing himself out trying to do all of the judicial decision-making himself.  Moses has no help in this effort.  Jethro tells Moses that he, Moses, cannot continue to do this job all by himself – he will wear himself out and not be able to provide everything that the people need.

A paradigm shift is about to occur in the way that disputes will be handled.  Jethro suggests an innovation of selecting able people to be judges – placing judges over groups of ten, fifty, a hundred, and a thousand.  The great matters would still be brought to Moses, but the smaller matters, which always are greater in number and frequency, would be handled by the judges. Then Moses would be able to endure and not wear himself out.

If you look closely at just the selection of judges in this parshah, what you see is a pathway for collaboration.  No one person can do everything.  It does take a village to properly and effectively govern a people – or a nation or group of nations.  Collaboration is the way in which our community can find answers, solve problems, and address issues.  The Front Porch initiative is looking for collaboration throughout the community.

The Yitro parashah later includes the story of the approach of the people to Mt. Sinai.  Here the whole people is included in the beginning of the Revelation.  It is what some commentators have called “radical inclusion.”  One of the exceptional aspects of the Revelation at Sinai is that it is a communal event.

Prior to this point, any encounter with God has been with one or two people.  Think of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses.  In addition, private revelation is the most common revelation in other religions and, up until the point of approaching Sinai, in the life of humankind.  The inclusion of a whole people in the context of revelation is a radical idea.

Whatever the condition of members of the whole people – young/old, male or female, able or disabled, born to the people or converted – everyone is included.  God wants to create a covenant with the whole people.

Again, this is a lesson in collaboration.  The whole people is approached to create a covenant – God proposes that the people shall be a holy nation.  The people in turn say, “All that the Lord has spoken, we will do.”

The Front Porch endeavor seeks the collaboration of the entire community.  The Federation and its partners and collaborators are seeking how to make a better, more inclusive, more cohesive community.  May we be successful in our efforts to create a better community for all of Atlanta’s Jews, and in turn all of Atlanta’s residents.

January 2018

The Front Porch continues to explore organizational disruption and innovation with a fresh crop of Learning Journeys and Jewish organizational immersions. We’re having lively discussions online about everything from what we can learn from the wild success of the Instant Pot, to the impact new expressions of Jewish spirituality are having on the broader community. Read about our immersions explorations on The Front Porch landing page, and see some of the upcoming places where we’ll be looking for inspiration and clues about change in January and February: 

Learning Journeys: 

  • Atlanta Hawks – Explore organizational transformation and the Hawks extreme customer focus. 
  • Jim Joseph Foundation – How a major funder of Jewish education of youth, teens and young adults looks at sustainable innovation. 
  • National Christian Foundation – Learn how Alpharetta-based NCF mobilizes resources. 
  • UJA Federation of New York – Zoom call to talk about the allocations process. 
  • Be’chol Lashon – Zoom call with an organization that celebrates Jewish racial and ethnic diversity, worldwide. 
  • Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit – Zoom call to learn how this federation works with the City of Detroit to fund innovation. 
  • Community Foundation for Great Atlanta – Exploring collaboration with potential partners outside the Jewish community. 
  • Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco – Zoom call to learn how they integrate their Foundation and their annual campaign. 
  • Boston CJP (Federation) – Zoom call to learn how another large urban federation talks about their allocations process. 
  • WABE – Learn about transformation at Atlanta’s public radio station. 
  • Atlanta History Center – AHC has expanded programming and raised significant capital. How did their strategic plan, and the acquisition of Cyclorama, play a part in transformation?  
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles – Zoom call to widen the conversation about innovation, fundraising, and outreach with our colleagues in Los Angeles. 

January 2018

Upcoming Immersions in our Jewish Ecosystem:

Jewish Family & Career Services – A behind the scenes look at program and service delivery from Atlanta’s premiere social services agency. 

  • Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta – A chance to look deeper inside the MJCCA to see what where innovation is happening. 
  • Jewish Home Life Communities – Service delivery to Atlanta’s aging populations and their families. 

Front Porch Community Listening Forums: What We Heard
We’re learning so much from you! The Front Porch convened and completed 20 “listening forums” across Atlanta to hear the voices and understand the needs of our Atlanta Jewish ecosystem. They included several neighborhood listening forums, as well as several oriented around targeted populations of Jewish Atlanta. The forums affirmed many of the results of the 2016 #IAmJewishATL Community study and have given us robust new insights. Here are some of the emergent themes, areas of potential interest, and “aha’s” gleaned from these conversations.

  1. Address Insider/Outsider Experiences Through Inclusion. One of the most recurrent themes related to being either an “outsider” or an “insider” and wanting Jewish Atlanta to feel like “home” for all. “Outsider-ness” had many dimensions in the forums. Some walls are self-imposed and some are institutional barriers.”
  2. Open the Big Tent. There’s a desire to have the mindset of a “big tent” so people of all groups and ways of identifying, expressing or living their Judaism can find a place. We are one community, let’s make room for everyone and meet people where they are. Can we make Jewish things more accessible.
  3. Collaborate, Coordinate & Innovate. Overwhelmingly, people expressed the need for organizations (existing and new) and their leaders to collaborate to leverage resources and minimize redundancy. This theme was repeated in almost every listening forum. There is also a critical need for innovation within existing organizations (intrapraneurship) and a desire for collaboration among new and legacy partners.
  4. Shift the View from Institutions to Neighborhoods. Among the engaged and potentially engaged, two of the biggest barriers are money and mobility. Mobility is a big issue because of the geography of widely dispersed neighborhoods, the variable presence of Jewish institutions within neighborhoods and transportation challenges for some populations like seniors. Can we create transportation hubs — pick up points in neighborhoods, apply “sharing economy” thinking to communal space?
  5. Align Neighborhood-Based Services with Age and Lifestage. We heard a call to view Jewish Atlanta from a population perspective, like an epidemiologist. Different ages have different needs and capacities.
  6. Money and Philanthropy. The topic of money, philanthropy and Federation’s fundraising role came up in some of the forums. Some recurring themes; Engagement must precede fundraising. Make meaning first, then money will follow. Create a case for communal giving. Jewish education is foundational and needs to be financially attainable. Scholarship funds for students in need are essential.
  7. Harness the Power of Technology and Analytics. Platforms, platforms, platforms! Technology can support people finding each other and communities that resonate with who they are and what they need. People with similar interests, backgrounds etc. who otherwise would have a difficult time finding each other can have easy access to connection.
  8. Seed New Intentional Communities. Feelings of connectedness form when people live near or among one another. Energy is building around creative uses of real estate. The message from the boomer group was: Investigate and be leaders for new models of co-housing for adults as they age. Some specific ideas to instigate intentional communities, like the “new American kibbutz,” Moishe House for Boomers,” Co-housing for mixed age populations, and more.
  9. Spread Jewish Knowledge. People express a crisis of education/knowledge about how to live as a Jew, contributing to feelings of inadequacy as a Jew. There is a call to view Judaism not only through the lens of faith, but also as it applies to everyday life, such as a Jewish concept for healthy marriage, parenting, aging, budgeting.
  10. Share Resources and Information
    People feel there are many Jewish resources across Atlanta but they are not sure how to access them or obtain information. There’s a need for better collaboration, coordination, and communication. Jewish Atlanta should be easy to navigate.

December 2017

Re-generating Federation

Here’s what’s new on The Front Porch: Platform 3, called Re-generating Federation, has convened for the first time to get briefed on early clues from The Front Porch and to understand the scope of its work. Only when we are clear on what is wanted and needed for the next chapter of Jewish Atlanta can we answer the core questions of Platform 3: What is the best use of Federation in supporting the Jewish Atlanta we want and need? What is Federation’s value proposition? How should Federation position itself in the “ecosystem?” What key shifts of mind and relationships are needed? How might Federation carry out its core functions — convening, planning, fundraising, grant making, incubating — in alignment with our community vision?

This group, which is intentionally smaller than the others, will grapple with the some of our thorniest questions. We explored many scenarios to address some of clues emerging from The Front Porch. There are many ways to be Jewish. How do we create platforms for groups to self-organize around shared interests or identity? Atlanta is a city of neighborhoods. How do we take a “real estate approach” to planning? The ways people want to give is changing. How do we tap the rise in interest in impact investing, giving circles, crowdfunding? Some of the most interesting innovations happen at the national level—Honeymoon Israel, PJ Library, One Table, Birthright, etc.? How can Atlanta position itself to be the best local partner, and get the benefit of these potentially transformative programs so our kids get the benefit of transformative experiences like camp, day school and trips to Israel AND come home to experiences that carry that positive energy forward? Keep up-to-date here in our blog, and feel free to reach out to Jodi Mansbach, Chief Impact Officer, with your questions and comments.

 

Listening Mode

The Front Porch participants spent many hours from October through early December in sensing and listening mode. Right now we’re at the halfway point of this phase. We’ve hosted 18 Listening Forums. We’ve been on six Immersions — explorations of best practices within our own Jewish ecosystem. We’ve conducted eight Learning Journeys — explorations of innovation outside the Jewish world. Last week, for two consecutive nights, Front Porchers shared their learning at Storytelling Night. They reported on what they heard people say, what they saw in the field, and how it felt to discover important truths by deep listening. It was a night of emotional testimonies. We heard stories about places where our community falls short, along with “aha” moments of emerging innovation.

Here’s where we’ve gone so far on our Jewish Immersions

Chabad Intown – gaining insight into Chabad’s outreach and resource development techniques
ConeXX – understanding how Israeli innovation is gaining traction in the Diaspora
Impact Investing – the new trend towards institutional investment opportunities that reflect Jewish values
Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles – a look inside another Federation that has sharpened its messaging, revamped its fundraising strategy and improved the bottom line
Jewish Fertility Foundation of Atlanta – insights from the first year of a new Atlanta startup
One Table Atlanta – a wildly successful new platform that enables young adults to craft their own Shabbat dinner experience
Temple Sinai Center for Learning & Engagement – decentralizing religious school, engaging parents, and making learning a lifelong endeavor

Here’s where we’ve gone so far on our Learning Journeys

Passion City Church – observing how an evangelical mega-church uses small groups, and vibrant worship to build a faithful community
Rabbi Justus Baird – an exploration of how to build trust, be brave, and conduct difficult conversations
Rubicon Global –  how the “Uber” of waste management uses customer service and economies of scale to disrupt an industry and promote sustainable solutions
Sephora – to learn about multi-channel online engagement communities
Rabbi Mike Uram – learning from his experience of creating a new, parallel outreach organization at University of Pennsylvania Hillel  that engaged hundreds of new Jewish students
Woodruff Arts Center – learning how Atlanta’s premier arts campus raises funds and sustains three diverse arts institutions –  The High Museum, The Alliance Theatre, and The Atlanta Symphony

Hear the stories from Learning Journeys and Immersions

Watch what happens when Front Porchers stand in each others footsteps

Hear what Mike Uram, with Penn Hillel, has to say to Federation

November 2017

Audacious Hospitality: Clues on Welcoming Everyone! 

Did you know that the Reform movement executive leadership includes a V.P. of Audacious Hospitality?  (Cool concept, right?) Her name is April Baskin and she’s featured in the latest episode (Episode 90) of the Judaism Unbound podcast. Download the mp3 file here and give it a listen. 

The Atlanta Jewish Community study indicates that we have work to do in this area — and what April makes clear is that it’s not enough to “welcome” newcomers with words, which perpetuates the “us/them” divide — i.e., we are welcoming you. It’s vital to create the conditions for new people to participate, and feel wanted, not merely welcomed. Institutions think they’re doing a good job when they train dedicated teams of greeters, but April explains why it’s a much deeper dive. As a Jew of color, she also challenges us to open our tent flaps wider and embrace Jews who don’t look like us, along with folks who cross our thresholds on their own or through interfaith relationships.

Resources on Audacious Hospitality here: https://urj.org/audacioushospitality 

You Too Can Host a Front Porch Conversation:

At an informal dinner conversation for The Front Porch about two weeks ago, Jodi and Liz joined used the opportunity to talk about Jewish Atlanta and The Front Porch.  One topic we talked about was the aspects of Jewish Atlanta people were most proud of.  What resonates with you? What doesn’t? What’s missing?

Here’s what this group said they’re most proud of:

  • 44 temples
  • Being leaders in the aging community
  • Stories and thought process that of Jewish founders like Irwin Zaban that created Jewish “architecture” such as JCC, synagogues, etc.
  • 1,000 Atlanta alumni attended high school in Israel
  • 2019 Maccabi Games coming to Atlanta
  • Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta
  • Jewish Atlanta is a meritocracy
  • How much of Atlanta is driven and paid for by the Jewish community
  • Community environment of the day schools
  • Outreach of BBYO
  • Entry points for Jewish Atlanta—academic, social, religious, philanthropic
  • Emerging interfaith programs and innovation like PJ Library, Honeymoon Israel and Jewish Kids Group
  • Young Jewish people want to be here and are a growing population
  • The Front Porch
  • Day schools
  • Jewish Film Festival
  • Mental health and wellness programs
  • Kids in public schools with strong Jewish identities

You too can hold a Front Porch conversation. If you need some materials or some ideas for hosting, contact Jodi, jmansbach@jewishatlanta.org or Liz, liz@insytepartners.com 

 

 

Innovation Platform Holds a Fishbowl Discussion:

Three innovators (who are also Jewish) joined members of the Innovation Platform to help us discern the conditions under which innovation thrives, and to join our conversation about Jewish innovation.

Watch the conversation here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRVk-1rlaTA

Listening Forums: What’s Coming Into Focus

The MJCCA Listening Forum October 23rd had a dynamic group of 32 people! While we had a strong Hadassah contingent present, a diversity of topics came into focus during the Open Space portion of the meeting.

One thing in particular that struck to me was that people expressed the lack of appreciation for giving their time in service — as volunteers in planning programs, participating on boards, helping out, etc.). It sounded like there was a great opportunity for organizations pay attention. While some folks have the capacity to give generously in money, others give their time, and still others give both! What mechanisms and/or small shifts can organizations can adopt to strengthen community through appreciation of others?

Everyone was thoroughly engaged in conversation, and, I believe, came away feeling like it was time well spent! I know I did!
— Uduak Bassey
Preschool/Supplementary School Directors and Youth Leaders Listening Forum:

A Listening Forum for Preschool/Supplementary School Directors and Youth Leaders was held at Temple Sinai with 26 participants. Their conversations focused on topics related to their work in preschool, supplementary school and youth groups spaces. Their key messages for Front Porch participants said that there is a need for: 

  • Communal spaces and resources that promote collaboration, support programming and encourage innovation. Currently operate in competitive silos with limited resources.
  • Centralized information regarding community resources and activities across the lifespan.
  • More education and engagement opportunities for Jewish educators.
  • Centralized information resource listing who to talk to about what across Jewish organizations with regularly updated information.
  • Meeting students where they are and find ways to integrate Judaism in a meaningful way.
  • Educational opportunities across the life cycle.
  • Reaching people who are not engaged, promoting “big tent” Judaism. Connecting all people to all events at all synagogues.
  • Thinking outside the box in terms of how activities and Jewish communications are marketed.
  • Need to rethink membership model, move away from one size fits all
  • Financial support for experimentation and innovation beyond technology

Important to know:

  • There is still a need for synagogue life.
  • There is innovation in synagogues people don’t know about. Concern synagogues are thought of as irrelevant when there is still so much going on.
  • There is a difference between being affiliated vs being connected.
  • Cost and being welcoming are important factors for engagement.
  • Grant process support innovations like JKG but not innovation in supplementary schools and synagogues. Process is not fair.

October 23, 2017

McKenzie Wren’s piece in the Atlanta Jewish Times (October 23, 2017) really captures the spirit of the work we’re doing on The Front Porch.

  • What does an Orthodox mom want and need?
  • What does a gay senior want and need?
  • What does a gender-non-conforming teenager want and need?
  • What does an interfaith family want and need?
  • What does someone with disabilities want and need?

In other words, what does a mixed multitude of people need from their Jewish institutions? Read the full article here.

Empty Nesters Listening Forum Weighs In:

A Front Porch Listening Forum with so-called “Empty Nesters” may have provided clues to some new language when talking about older adults.  “Call us Boomers+,” said one participant. “We need to distinguish ourselves as active seniors,” said another. More comments:  “There’s tremendous talent in our community of retired adults – they can teach, lead, mentor.”  “We’d love to have a curated list of Jewish and secular cultural and educational opportunities across the community.”  “Don’t ghetto-ize us – we like to do things with all age groups. Two biggest issues – a need for more centralized communication across the community, and an interest in co-housing options that allow a mix of ages to live together.

 

Talking About Transformation at Work

Federation professionals have been reading and discussing a book that’s become one of The Front Porch’s foundational texts: Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations, by Mike Uram. The book looks at how U. Penn Hillel created a parallel organization, the Jewish Renaissance Project, in addition to its already successful campus Hillel, but gave it a unique identity totally separate from mainstream Hillel. The radical strategy of simultaneously pursuing two student audiences – Empowerment Jews (the existing Hillel franchise) along with so-called Engagement Jews, those on the sidelines of Jewish life, is explored in the book. Today’s discussion focused on the traps we fall into when we measure the success of events by just counting the number of attendees. We agreed that impact is highly personal and qualitative, requiring different metrics and sustained follow up.

 Overheard on The Porch:  Robust Conversations

DOING JEWISH vs BEING JEWISH: Front Porchers have been having a lively discussion online about JCC’s as Architects of the Jewish Future ™. It’s an article that appeared in eJewish Philanthropy, about the ways the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, California has created a platform for innovation in the Jewish community, with the idea of meeting people where they are, and also expanding opportunities for “doing Jewish.” The idea is that by offering new ways to “do Jewish” we might deepen peoples’ sense of being Jewish. One person wondered if a better phrase might be “intentional” — that is being more intentional about our time, our practices, our observances.

 

The Front Porch is Headed to Israel:  Community Leadership Trip

About 65 Front Porchers and other Jewish community leaders, are traveling together to Israel in late January. They met a few weeks ago to prepare for their trip and also to “unpack” the relationship between The Front Porch and the Israel Trip.  Jodi Mansbach, who leads The Front Porch initiative, listened and participated at the meeting and saw 4 very significant connections. Here are her observations:

 

  1. It’s a Mega-Learning Journey

One of the ways The Front Porch is exploring its trickiest questions is through Learning Journeys. I’d suggest we think of our time together in Israel as a big Learning Journey. A Learning Journey allows the group to explore a critical question through visits to places very different from our current context and even outside our sector to get a fresh perspective.  Learning Journeys allow the group to:

  • Get breakthroughs or insights on core questions
  • Challenge deeply held assumptions
  • Breakthrough or out of our bubble and get inspiration from others
  • Form unlikely partnerships

Some of you are committed to the full Front Porch process which continues after our Israel trip with dedicated time to work together on a Common Agenda — three to five big ideas or shifts in thinking — Israel will provide deep insight into our common agenda, as well as the conditions to support the kind of innovation we need in Jewish Atlanta.

 

  1. It’s a Mega-Listening Forum

As you know, The Front Porch is hosting Listening Forums all over the city and among various populations to make sure we hear the voices of many Atlantans, beyond the 100-plus who are making such a big time commitment. A week together in Israel affords us that opportunity among the leaders of Jewish Atlanta in spades.

 

  1. It will Take Collective Capacity to Lead from the Future for Jewish Atlanta

This is a big one. Coming out of The Front Porch will be a shared vision, theory of change and common agenda for the next chapter of Jewish Atlanta. As community leaders who have played an integral part in shaping that future, we will be uniquely positioned to lead from it. The partnerships we talked about when we were together and that each of us craves, will form the foundation and the fabric of the next chapter of Jewish Atlanta.

 

  1. It will Help Us Launch Prototypes

The Front Porch is about action and experimentation as much as it is about exploration and vision. On April 20th, The Front Porch will host a “Prototype Boot Camp” for teams of people who want to experiment in the direction of our vision and common agenda. Anyone who wants to bring a team is welcome. Please hold the date on your calendar. You never know what lightning strike of brilliance will come to you during or after our Israel trip.

Everyone who goes to Israel should feel a part of The Front Porch though they may not be formally committed to the platforms or teams that started working together in August.

The Front Porch gives us a framework and a structure for exploring our shifts in thinking and the discipline to move from talk into action. As Israel participants, you have a very important role on The Front Porch.

 

 

October Listening Forums

At last week’s Old Fourth Ward Listening Forum, these were the topics of conversation that participants wanted to have. Each conversation happened in small groups, followed by a group wrap-up to zero in on “clues” about what the priorities for Intown Jewish life might be. This group was action-oriented: “We can’t wait for big institutions to make these things happen,” one person said. “We’re the Jews we’ve been waiting for! We need to take the lead.”

Listening Forums are also scheduled in Buckhead/Brookhaven, Toco Hills, Dunwoody/Sandy Springs, Gwinnett, and North Metro. Micro-conversations, targeting groups with special interests, included: Seniors, Interfaith Families, LGBTQ, and Empty Nesters.

 

 

The Front Porch in the Community

The Front Porch lives in Federation’s Spring Street office most of the time, but it’s portable – it traveled to NoshFest at Temple Kol Emeth over Labor Day weekend and went to The Atlanta Kosher Barbeque in October. Federation Board Chair, Joel Marks, and his wife Charlotte had fun meeting folks and telling them about the community-wide Front Porch process. Lots of folks stopped by to learn about what we’re doing and how we’re rethinking Jewish community.

We brought a Front Porch MindMap to the Kosher Barbecue too. Itai Tsur, who is on the Innovation Platform team, used the map to explain the complexities of our community, our far flung geography, and the range of issues our teams are wrestling with.

 

Making Mind Maps

The Jewish Ecosystem Platform met on September 13-14 for two day-long sessions during the “Sensing” stage of our Front Porch work. One of our group techniques is called Mind Mapping. From the large “MindMap” on the wall, created by participants, we hammered out what became the first draft of a statement of intent and purpose, and a working vision for the future: 

FIRST DRAFT: The “why” of Jewish Atlanta is to co-create a vibrant, exciting, inclusive and sustainable Jewish Atlanta ecosystem that is a vital part of worldwide Judaism—a community everyone can call home. A community that supports the wide array of Jews of Atlanta living meaningful Jewish lives, with many entry points for each person to connect in their unique way—so we might perpetuate Judaism, Jewish values and Jewish purpose.

Our vision is a community that never turns its back on those in need. A community that is welcoming no matter where you live and where you are from originally. A community that makes space for the next generation of leaders to innovate and create their own meaningful Jewish experiences. A community with clear priorities we work on together, priorities that generate excitement, expand philanthropic giving and create meaningful impact.

 

What’s a 4-D sculpture? Glad you asked!

We did some unexpectedly wacky stuff, too. Like using our whole bodies to create dynamic 4-D “sculptures” that physically expressed our feelings about the Jewish community. Here a group from the Innovation Platform created a living tableau depicting the relationship between various constituencies in our community – potential donors, Intowners, OTP-ers, etc. The tableau changed after group discussion, as people repositioned themselves to show what we could accomplish with better collaboration. 

 

 

Watch The Fishbowl

At our Launch in September, we had a Fishbowl discussion – a big circle discussion that was moderated by Liz Alperin Solms, of Insyte Partners.  In the center of the circle were three colleagues from other corners of the Jewish World who shared their wisdom and views about the Jewish future on the national/global scale. Front Porchers were invited to jumped into the circle and challenged our guests with questions about our local Jewish landscape. You can watch it here:  https://youtu.be/tKvEb9s5SF0

o   Seth Cohen, Senior Director, Schusterman Foundation (www.schusterman.org)

o   Aliza Kline, founding Executive Director, One Table (www.onetable.organd co-founder of Boston’s Mayyim Hayyim (www.mayyimhayyim.org)

o   Beth Mann, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Jewish Federations of North America (www.jewishfederations.org)

 

Sharing our Jewish Artifacts

At our launch meeting we asked participants to bring an “artifact” that defined their Jewish identity. Here are some of the tangible things Front Porchers said make them feel connected to all things Jewish.

Mark Spatt holds a copy of his grandfather’s bar mitzvah “It represents the old image of Judaism – a white man with a tallit on. The second is a poster that says ‘Jews kick ass’ and it is multicolored. It shows the changing perspective of what Judaism means to us, to Federation and how we respond to changes over time.”

Mimi Hall said her grandmother’s ring reminds her of southern Jewry and its old roots. “We want to respect what came before us, but want something we can carry into future generations.”

Debra Shaffer Seaman brought Legos. “You can’t create something great if you have only one color and one size. You need all of the different sizes and colors.”

 

 

September 13, 2017

With the launch of The Front Porch, I’m feeling optimistic and inspired for the conversations that will be had and the action plans that will be created about our Jewish Atlanta. Every person in the room, and there were over 100 of them, was engaged and contributing to the topics of discussion. It seemed that we were all buzzing with the same feelings of hope, potential, and passion for this community. Peering into the fishbowl conversation (my favorite activity of the evening) with Aliza Kline (OneTable), Seth Cohen (Schusterman Foundation), Beth Mann (Federation), and fellow Front Porchers, we discussed different models for building community, providing platforms vs. programs, and the role of major donors at our legacy organizations. Sitting with me still from that conversation is where we may be able to find the intersections between providing platforms for people to build their own communities and ensuring access to the most vulnerable and/or marginalized in our communities so that all are equally represented.

After an 8-hour launch, it was incredible to see that almost everyone was there until the end. And that was perhaps the most inspiring thing about the opening night – the feeling of being in this work together. Moving forward, I’ll be looking for the clues about how to create diverse and inclusive community that speaks to each of us spiritually and meaningfully.

– Karina (Kai) Ruiz

 

August 8, 2017

“I’m Harley Tabak, CEO of Jewish Home Life Communities, and one of the longest serving leaders of a Federation affiliate organization. I am very excited about the whole Front Porch process and the opportunity to bring many ideas and voices together. When I moved to Atlanta in 2004, meetings with colleagues occurred sporadically, so it was difficult to develop a collective and collaborative approach to common concerns and opportunities.  Things are changing now, and it’s all good!

With The Front Porch initiative, I am hopeful and enthusiastic that working together, and planning together, we’ll develop effective ways to build a stronger Jewish, and non-Jewish, community in Atlanta.”

– Harley Tabak

YOU TALK. WE LISTEN.

Let’s have a conversation about what you (your family and friends) want for Jewish Atlanta.

Building off the results of the 2016 Community Study, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is hosting a year-long exploration called The Front Porch: Unlocking the (Incredible) Potential of Jewish Atlanta to understand what it means to be a rich, vibrant and relevant Jewish community at this moment in history. This exploration is about more than Federation. It is a bold initiative that builds on our community’s strengths and honors its history.

Intent:

  • To inspire and inform Front Porch conversations.
  • To generate summer dialogue on topics that provoke, confuse or interest us.
  • To ground us all in our approach and some of the most interesting thinking about innovation in the Jewish world and more generally in these times of both tremendous disruption and great creativity.

If your time is limited, here’s our recommendation:

  1. Next Generation Judaism: How College Students & Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations by Rabbi Mike Uram (Book)
  2. “Six Key Trends Transforming Jewish Philanthropy” – Lisa Eisen (Article)
  3. Judaism Unbound Episode 36: What Jewish Looks Like Today – Benay Lappe (Podcast)
  4. “Reimagining the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta” by Seth Cohen (PDF attached)
  5. Stanford Social Innovation Review: Collective Impact – John Kania and Mark Kramer (Article)

Reading and listening to take you even further:

Insyte Partners is our guide for the Front Porch work. Insyte utilizes a framework developed by Otto Scharmer and his colleagues at MIT called Theory U or “presencing”.  Insyte is based in Philadelphia, but the firm’s principals, Liz Alperin Solms and Marie McCormick, will be directly and intimately involved in the project, along with their ace project manager Grace Shim. Eric Robbins, Federation’s CEO,  is very familiar with Insyte’s approach, having used it at Camp Twin Lakes, which he led for ten years. The process produced remarkable results there, transforming the organization dramatically while preserving and significantly strengthening its commitment to its core purpose. When Eric left to become Federation’s CEO, Camp Twin Lakes was serving more children, more deeply affecting each one, impressively broadening its base of partners, and preparing staff and volunteers to be the kinds of leaders society so needs now more than ever. In addition to working with Camp Twin Lakes, Insyte has also done groundbreaking work with The Atlanta Speech School and Sheltering Arms in Atlanta, and with clients both Jewish and non-Jewish nationwide.

1. Why is Federation putting so much time and passion into re-imagining Jewish Atlanta and Federation now?

This is a pivotal moment in time for the Atlanta Jewish community — one we must seize. Federation is committed to reinvigorating Jewish networks throughout Atlanta by fostering partnership, energizing meaningful innovation and re-shaping a relevant purpose for Federation in a time of rapid change.

This past year Federation’s professional and lay leadership has engaged in hundreds of conversations that make us optimistic about our Jewish communal future. Our optimism is fueled by the past experiences of Eric (Robbins) and Jodi (Lox Mansbach) and the enthusiastic support for The Front Porch by a large and diverse group of community organizations.

Over the past 100+ years much has changed in the world we live in and for Federation and our Jewish community to thrive for the next 100+ years it is simply not an option to continue exactly as we have and continue to meet the community’s needs. Federation’s value must become clearer, more compelling, and relevant to a new generation.  We must connect with—and tap into—the significant population of metro Atlanta Jews who remain unconnected to our mission and are unfamiliar with our programs and services. As Atlanta continues to grow, we need to be ready for the anticipated wave of new Jewish Atlantans who have grown up outside of Jewish communal structures and little idea of what we stand for. There is so much great work being done, and such an important message to convey!

We are not unique — Federations and Jewish communities around the nation are grappling with many of the very same issues of role and identity — as well as stagnating campaigns. Yet right now, eyes are on Atlanta because we, uniquely, have made a commitment to engage in this task together.

2. What will be the outcome of all this work?
The overarching purposes of this work are to:
• Articulate a common agenda, “theory of change” and strategic priorities to unify Jewish Atlanta, as well as activating the relationships and networks to pursue that agenda together.
• Establish a framework for nourishing innovation and social entrepreneurship and intrapraneurship in all our communities and geographies—through startups and existing organizations so we can creatively meet unmet needs in Jewish Atlanta.
• Choose an identity and value proposition for Federation that builds on our strengths, is relevant and meaningful for these times, and guides thoughtful re-imagining of all our work.
• Deepen collective leadership capacity to move into a future that is different from the past.
• Launch several promising prototypes—experiments in the new that move us in the directions we have chosen.

3. What is a platform and why 3 platforms?

Federation exists to meet the needs of Jewish Atlanta. So our work must begin by focusing on creating the conditions for Jewish Atlanta to be all that it can be. We want a high engagement strategy for achieving our purpose so that we tap the intelligence and energy of a broad spectrum of Atlantans. Each of our three platforms will engage a group of 20-50 people in a 9-12 month guided exploration. The first two platforms are:

• Platform 1: The Jewish Atlanta Ecosystem: Forming a Collective Impact Partnership
The “ecosystem” of Jewish Atlanta consists of many pockets of Jewish organizations, communities and people—sometimes working together and sometimes in isolation, sometimes synergistically and sometimes at odds with one another. This platform brings together a microcosm of Jewish Atlanta to see “from the whole” and strengthen the connections among us around shared purpose. This platform builds on the emerging body of knowledge around “collective impact”—the idea that society’s problems are too big for any one organization to solve them alone and require a common agenda, shared measurement strategies and a “backbone organization” to coordinate.

Platform 2: Cultivating a Jewish Renaissance through Innovation
How can we create “fertile soil” for innovation and entrepreneurial energy in Jewish Atlanta? How do we tap exciting new initiatives going on around the country and/or generate our own homegrown social experiments—through startups and supporting the creative energy in our existing institutions? How creative can we be around Jewish food and agriculture, or about bringing the community together around Shabbat dinners? What are compelling new ways to deliver social services? How can we pray together across our differences, talk about our love of Israel even when we disagree with one another? How 
can we engage Jews of color, LGBTQ Jews, Jews with disabilities, Jews who don’t feel like they know enough to engage, Jews who love non-Jews or have non-Jewish parents, or Jews who want to put their tikkun olam energy outside the Jewish world?

The research on disruptive innovation compels us to look at these two aspects of Jewish Atlanta separately. Only after we’ve deepened our insights about the future of Jewish Atlanta can we begin to answer the questions about what Federation needs to be. That will be the work of the third platform:

Platform 3: Re-Generating Federation
The work of this platform is to articulate a clear and relevant identity value proposition for Federation. As that becomes clear, our work will focus on aligning our key processes and structures—donor stewardship, fundraising, philanthropy, allocations, community convening and more—so Federation meaningfully supports the Jewish Atlanta our community wants and needs.

4. Who is involved?
The Jewish Atlanta Ecosystem platform consists of about 50 professional and lay leaders from a wide array of Jewish organizations, as well as donors, and JFGA board and staff. Eric will be the lead professional representing this platform.

The Jewish Renaissance platform includes another 50 current and potential Jewish social entrepreneurs from startups and within existing institutions, funders, innovators and JFGA board and staff members. Jodi will be the lead professional representing this platform.

The Regenerating Federation platform will consist of a cross-section of people who have participated in the first two platform, plus others.

Behind the scenes, a terrific Planning Team has been meeting every 2 weeks through Zoom with our colleagues from Insyte Partners (Liz Alperin Solms, Marie McCormick and Grace Shim—www.insytepartners.com) to guide the work. That includes:

David Abusch-Magder, Head of School, Epstein
Faye Dresner, Chief Program Officer from JF&CS
Lisa Galanti Rabinowitz, our board liaison
Ligi George, Federation Project Manager
Amy Glass, Federation’s Director of Community Planning and Impact
Renee Kutner, Federation’s VP of Marketing
Jodi Mansbach, Federation’s Chief Impact Officer and operational lead for The Front Porch
Shayna Pollack, a young emerging Jewish leader who works at Atlanta Regional Commission
Eric Robbins, Federation’s President/CEO.

5. What is the approach behind The Front Porch?
Our consultants at Insyte bring expertise in transformational change, using a framework developed by MIT economics professor Otto Scharmer called Theory U or Presencing. The key idea is that in times of disruption, where the past is no longer a predictor of the future, institutions require wide engagement and breakthrough thinking—learning from the future as opposed to just downloading old mental models of the past.

Similarly, there is a global shift from “ego-centric” economies (with heroic individual institutions) to “eco-centric” economies where the health of the whole ecosystem is valued as much as the individual organizations.

A key insight of Theory U is that the success of an intervention depends on the “interior condition” of the intervener. The quality of attention of the people within a system is a very important, though invisible, driver of successful change. This includes:

• The way leaders think—their assumptions and mental models
• The way people relate with one another, and
• Collective willingness to let go of the old so that new structures, practices and alliances can emerge.

Whereas many planning processes engage in ideas or concepts alone—the approach behind The Front Porch is one of social mobilization—engaging the people within a system to inquire deeply into their world and to act collectively around an understanding of their emergent future that they all have had a hand in uncovering.

The diagram below illustrates levels of responding to change. Most work around change stops at Level 2—redesigning policies, processes and structures. This is what is typically referred to as “re-engineering,” of which about 70-80% either fail, disappoint or break the budget. Theory U systematically gets to Level 3 and 4 change, reframing thinking and regenerating communities to act from a shared and powerful future vision—one that is attuned to the context.


In addition to describing the nature and depth of change, Theory U is useful for articulating a change process:
• On the “left of the U” (Sensing) we clarify core questions and key assumptions and immerse ourselves in environments that provide insight and inspiration. Decisions typically aren’t made here.
• At the “bottom of the U” (Presencing) we create the conversations and the quiet needed for collective inner knowing to emerge and to be crystallized into “bold” statements of shared intent.” The central questions at the bottom of the U are “Who am I? What is my work?”
• On the “right side of the U” (Realizing) we engage head, hands and heart to translate intent to action through prototypes, implementation, infrastructure and accountability systems.

6. What is the timeline for The Front Porch?
Planning for The Front Porch began in the spring of 2017 and we expect to have direction and several promising prototypes by the spring of 2018.

The timeline for each of the 3 platforms will align with the five stages of the U below, with co-initiating beginning in late August; sensing through community dialogue interviews, learning journeys, special events and listening forums in the fall and early winter; articulating our common agenda in presenting retreats in early 2018 and launching prototypes in April of 2018.


7. What is the time commitment people are making to The Front Porch?
Each was asked to commit to three to four 1-2 day meetings from August through April. In addition, each will participate in small group “Learning Journeys” according to their interest and availability in the fall and winter months. Everyone has also been invited to do some “summer reading” and dialogue interviews to understand others’ point of view and bring that insight back to The Front Porch. Our total time estimate is about 50-80 hours over the year.

Our experience is that most people find these experiences to be fun, enlightening, and some of the most authentic conversations they’ve had. Past participants who have worked with Insyte have shared with us that the process, participants and overall experience helped them see their professional work or business work in a whole new way. That’s the upside!

It’s a big commitment but that’s what’s needed to break through the challenges before us.

8. How will other people get a voice who are not on Platform Teams?
We expect about 50 people, plus or minus, to participate on each Platform Team. There will be many other forms for others to add their voices and to learn together—through community forums, participation on learning journeys and dialogue interviews. Our intent is to make a place for everyone on the Front Porch.

9. How will we shift from planning to implementation?
There are many answers to that question, but one important one is that we will encourage teams of people to launch “prototypes” of the new in the spring of 2018, and we will offer a “Prototype Boot Camp” to create a structured environment for people to design, test and iterate their prototypes.

What is a prototype? A prototype is a preliminary model that addresses the trickiest parts of our vision— the first tangible expression of an idea—testing a “minimally viable product or process” and iterating based on feedback. We use prototypes to move quickly to action and to gain understanding of how something might work, from the people we most want to impact. Prototypes allow us to redesign and refine the model based on the feedback we hear. At this point, we can’t know what prototypes will emerge from The Front Porch. That’s what we will discover together.

10. Why Insyte Partners and what is their approach?
For over 15 years, Insyte Partners has been collaborating with clients in the non-profit, for-profit and public sectors to innovate and take daring collective action. They have a proven track record for creating the conditions for thoughtful and productive conversation and bold experimentation. Their change efforts focus on the individual, the organization and the larger ecosystem. The framework that unifies their work comes from Otto Scharmer’s Theory U, which was developed at MIT after interviewing over 300 leaders of profound change in a variety of disciplines (www.presencing.com). Learn more about Insyte Partners.

11. If I have more questions whom should I contact?
David Abusch-Magder david.abusch-magder@epsteinatlanta.org
Faye Dresner fdresner@jfcsatl.org
Lisa Galanti Rabinowitz lisa.galanti18@gmail.com
Ligi George lgeorge@jewishatlanta.org
Amy Glass aglass@jewishatlanta.org
Renee Kutner rkutner@jewishatlanta.org
Jodi Mansbach jmansbach@jewishatlanta.org
Shayna Pollack shayna.pollock@gmail.com
Eric Robbins erobbins@jewishatlanta.org

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