jBaby Chicago, an initiative of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, has been named one of North America's top 50 innovative Jewish organizations in the 12th annual Slingshot Guide -- released today.
The Guide has become 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.
According to Slingshot, jBaby Chicago was selected for this year's guide for its, "high-quality experiences and mom-ambassador-built relationships working to reweave the social fabric between new Jewish parents and create a strong community among them."
Since its launch in Spring 2014, jBaby Chicago has connected with over 1,700 new families, providing them opportunities to experience Jewish life through classes, playgroups, holiday events and one-on-one meetings with parent ambassadors. The majority of jBaby Chicago parents -- 71 percent -- say jBaby is the only Jewish organization they are participating in right now.
"We are honored to be included in the Slingshot Guide and proud that jBaby Chicago was incubated here at JUF, said Steven B. Nasatir, JUF President. "jBaby revolutionizes the way that new parents connect to Judaism and local Jewish life and has strengthened the capacity of our local partners to better meet the needs of modern Jewish families. This program represents the best of what JUF does -- it builds community in every sense."
JUF's long-standing commitment to engaging young families, combined with its openness to experimentation and innovation, was instrumental in developing this groundbreaking initiative. jBaby Chicago is part of JUF's Community Outreach and Engagement department whose programs are designed to make Jewish life in Chicago more engaging, meaningful, relevant and accessible.
"jBaby Chicago is a great example of finding an intersection between what new parents are looking for at this critical life stage and all that Judaism has to offer -- community, wisdom, values, meaning and tradition," said jBaby's founder, Debbi S. Cooper, Associate Vice President, Community Outreach & Engagement at JUF. "Nothing is more gratifying for us than to see friendships made, communities formed or parents trying a new Jewish ritual. We are grateful to our generous funders who share our passion for this work and who have supported the growth and development of jBaby Chicago."
About the Slingshot Guide
The Slingshot Guide, now in its twelfth year, was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios to include the most innovative and effective organizations, programs and projects in North America. The Guide contains information about each organization's origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character. The Slingshot Guide has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America's Jewish community -- and how nonprofits are meeting new needs and reaching new audiences. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at www.slingshotfund.org .
About jBaby Chicago
jBaby Chicago,an initiative of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. was created in 2014 to connect expectant and new parents to Jewish life in Chicago. Families can learn more about jBaby Chicago by visiting juf.org/jbabychicago.