Update on the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund

In creating the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund, we set out to find new tools and platforms that would strengthen innovation within the Jewish community and thereby enhance jewish life, learning, culture and community. Through this process we learned a great deal and invested in a handful of projects that are engaging new audiences and bringing a new and exciting energy to Jewish communities across the country.  While our Foundations remain committed to this important work,  we are not currently accepting applications for new funding for JNMIF at this time.  We will continue to support innovation at different levels through our respective organizations.  The Jewish New Media Innovation Fund is pleased to share the following resources that may be of interest to Jewish New Media innovators. Read More…

Tikva Records and the American Jet Set

[This post is part of a series updating the award recipient projects of the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund.]

Since we received the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund grant last year, we at Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation focused on a project that revisited the amazing history of Tikva Records. Tikva Records was founded in 1947 as an independent Jewish record label. For the next 30 years, it would record an eclectic range of Jewish-American songs, including klezmer pop, cantorial singing, Catskills medleys and Israeli folk tunes. Think of it as the Jewish “Motown”. The project allowed us to explore a number of ways to touch, educate and entertain people with this project. Josh Kun, one of the Idelsohn founders, spoke with NPR’s Terry Gross about the project and some of the musicians featured on Songs for the Jewish-American Jet Set, which you can listen to online.

We initially released a physical box set of music and text, which can be purchased on Amazon and, as a companion piece, we developed the first of our apps, which serves as a free companion to the project and allows people to sample the music, read the text, check out related video and see integrated social activity and personal stories. The app itself has had over 5,000 comments to date. Read More…

Grapevine: Moving from Program-Centric to Customer-Centric

A year ago, GrapeVine was a dream that some Jewish leaders saw as a panacea and others argued would never get airborne. The idea was to provide a platform enabling a fundamental shift in the Jewish community from a program-centric to a customer-centric orientation. The goal: to ensure the Jewish community retains every individual or family

Twelve months and many long nights later, our intrepid team has successfully developed and deployed GrapeVine in two pilot communities, Columbus, Ohio and Rhode Island. Our advisory committee, consisting of top foundation and organizational leaders, put forth an initial set of measures of success, including creating a profile for the vast majority of Jews in the community, communicating with customers regularly, maintaining low opt-out rates and high open rates with widespread adoption across organizations in each community. GrapeVine has exceeded them all.that ever participates in any of our institutions’ or foundations’ programs rather than lose track of 80 percent of them, who are quickly labeled as “uninvolved.” GrapeVine’s solution requires the use of data aggregation, predictive analytics, and a targeted marketing engine to rival the sophistication of Amazon or Netflix – while on a significantly smaller budget. Read More…