Canfei Nesharim Named One of North America’s Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits

Fifth Annual “Slingshot” Guidebook Names 50 Most Innovative
Jewish Nonprofits in America 

Silver Spring, MD – October 13, 2009 – Canfei Nesharim has been named one of the nation’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in Slingshot ’09-’10, a resource guide for Jewish innovation. Slingshot, now in its fifth year, features organizations, leaders, and programs that have taken an innovative approach to addressing age-old concerns of identity and community in Jewish life today. The second time being named in Slingshot, Canfei Nesharim made the cut this year after an extensive evaluation process overseen by several dozen foundation professionals.
The organizations listed in Slingshot are selected from among hundreds of nominees across the country. Finalists are chosen based on their strength in four areas: innovation, impact, leadership, and organizational efficiency.
Connecting traditional Torah texts with contemporary scientific findings, Canfei Nesharim forms partnerships with Jewish organizations and individuals to empower the Jewish community to address today’s environmental challenges.  Working with synagogue leaders in Massachusettes, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and California, Canfei Nesharim is currently implementing a seven-part synagogue program series which connects environmental issues to different Jewish times of the year.
From October 15-31, Canfei Nesharim is implementing its new Parshat Noach Sustainability Project, a program to promote sustainability and climate change awareness during the time period of reading the Torah portion of Noach.  The project is timed to coincide with an International Day of Climate Action on October 24, organized by  Parshat Noach resources can be found at
Canfei Nesharim also offers:
• 54 divrei Torah on the environment, with source sheets, for each of the weekly Torah portions;
• a Compendium of Sources in Halacha and the Environment, an 80-page sourcebook on the relationship between the environment and Jewish law; and
• lesson plans and curriculum resources for Jewish day schools.
“We are thrilled to be named as one of the fifty most innovative organizations in North America this year,” said Evonne Marzouk, executive director.  “This recognition honors the efforts of our volunteers and leaders, who are deepening the Jewish community’s environmental awareness and action by bringing rich Torah learning to their synagogues and schools across North America.”
“For the fifth edition of Slingshot we received an incredible group of nominees. The evaluators had their work cut out for them,” expressed Will Schneider, the Director of Slingshot. He went on to say, “In a difficult economic cycle, we believe that many organizations cannot survive without placing an emphasis on innovation, and the 50 organizations featured in Slingshot ‘09/’10 prove that innovation can be the organizational engine for sustainability.”
Gali Cooks, Executive Director, Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation agreed, “The due diligence and thoughtfulness that goes into the Slingshot process is incredibly helpful.  If an organization is in Slingshot, we know that it has been vetted by professionals and colleagues whom we trust.  As a result, we tend to give the Slingshot organization very close consideration.”
Slingshot ’09/’10 will be unveiled on October 15 at the second annual Slingshot Day launch event in Manhattan. Inspired by the guidebook, a group of next-generation donors launched The Slingshot Fund, a collective giving mechanism to support the future of innovative Jewish life in North America. Now in its third year, Slingshot has already contributed over $1 million to innovative Jewish nonprofits.
2009 Slingshot Fund investor Dave Moss shares, “The Slingshot experience has meant a great deal to me. It has given me the opportunity to strengthen my professional skills, sharpen my philanthropic acuity and develop relationships with other young funders. All while contributing to organizations I care about at a level I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. Through Slingshot, young philanthropists are able to pool resources and knowledge and insodoing send a message to the Jewish Community about what the next generation of funders considers important.”
About Slingshot
Slingshot was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios with the most innovative and effective organizations and programs in North America. This guide contains information about each organization’s origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character.  Now in its fifth edition, Slingshot has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America’s Jewish community. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at Slingshot.
About Canfei Nesharim 
Connecting traditional Torah texts with contemporary scientific findings, Canfei Nesharim (“the wings of eagles”) educates and empowers Jewish individuals, organizations and communities to take an active role in protecting the environment, in order to build a more sustainable world.  For a full library of Torah-based environmental resources for individuals, synagogues, and schools, visit