On 5/7/2017 community members came together and went deep with a favorite idea, or offered a new one and worked in teams to refine pitches and plans. Seed funds were allocated for the projects with greatest impact.

The winning ideas selected by the judges to receive seed funding and participate in the Idea Acceleration phase were: Makom Community, an intentional Jewish community led by Danielle Rugoff, Wow in 60 engaging videos geared towards Jewish teens, spearheaded by Rabbi Daniel Bortz and Kesher Kef, an after school Jewish enrichment program directed by Orli Moses. Two additional seed grants were distributed based on a popular vote including the Butterfly Project Now, the next phase of the Butterfly project, focused on training a network of educators for Holocaust education in public schools founded by Cheryl Rattner Price and End the Fear an initiative to gather data and increase reporting around anti-semitic and BDS incidents on college campuses led by Sam Litvin.

The Hackathon was generously supported by the Covenant Foundation, Upstart and the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation. San Diego co-hosts include the Jewish Federation of San Diego County and the Leichtag Foundation

Some of the Projects Pitched in 2016-2017 Below!

FAQs from 2016-2017

What is our Hackathon?
Our Hackathon will begin with some participants pitching Jewish Community engagement program ideas. For example: “I want to do Yoga or Meditation in preparation for Jewish holidays with other Jewish community members who appreciate mindfulness”  Attendees form diverse teams around the ideas of interest to them. The teams spend the remainder of the time working towards prototypes that they present at the end of the day. The ideas themselves are crowd sourced and a panel of judges will determine the top solutions and allocate seed funds.
 Who should attend the San Diego Jewish Community Hackathon?
Any San Diego community member who is interested in helping transform Jewish San Diego with new programming that will engage our community in warm, interesting and appealing ways. 
 What kind of professionals will be in attendance?
We have recruited business professionals with marketing, business acceleration and program development to be additional resources for project teams.
 Can I bring a team from my Jewish organization?
You are more than welcome to have multiple attendees from your organization pitch ideas and also join teams, but each team may not be composed of more than two representatives from the same organization. 
Why are high school students invited?
The Hackathon is built around the principles of Design Thinking, which is “human centered innovation.” In this process, you begin by gathering information from the end user. Even if your end users are not high school students, they may still provide valuable insights from the youth perspective. In addition, we believe that co-creating Jewish engagement and education solutions will result in more creative and more appealing programs. 
 I have an idea that I would like to hack. What should I do?
When you register, indicate that you would like to pitch an idea and provide a brief description of what that idea is.
 Is there anything I can do before the event to be more prepared?

Because this event is only a single afternoon, the more you do prior to the event, the farther you may get. However, it is ok to do nothing prior to the event. For example, if you pitch an idea, you will need to spend time researching and brainstorming. This may mean that you might leave with a prototype plan, but not an actual prototype. So, you could get a head start by doing research, having a pilot event or vetting prototype or examples for an audience you are targeting to test their reactions and/or appeal. Feel free to bring your idea to the Jewish Engagement Lab to pitch it in front of other project founders for feedback. Jewish Engagement Lab workshops are ongoing  RSVP here!  Engaging in this process may cause you to realize that your idea needs a redesign or that it isn’t actually addressing the problem. You will then have time to pivot and construct a more relevant plan. Again, all of this is built into the structure of the event, too, so if you don’t get to this, don’t worry!

I don’t have an idea. Can I still attend?

Of course! Most attendees will not be pitching ideas. If you choose not to pitch, you will join a team to work on an idea that is of interest/value to you. In fact if you’re interested in getting started before the Hackathon we encourage you to contact us!
 I would like to register, but I might think of an idea later. Should I wait?
No register now as the event has limited attendance. You will always have the option of adding an idea to the pool. You can even show up on the morning of the event and pitch an idea.
 If I can pitch an idea on the morning of the event, why should I share it now?

If we know what your idea is in advance, we can make sure to recruit professionals in that area, as opposed to going with our best guess. In addition, in 2016-2017 we encouraged use of the Covenant Foundation Voices app to film a short video pitch of your project. We will likely do this again in 2018. We’ll share the video to recruit people to the Hackathon who may find your project of interest.

 Will every idea be hacked?
Not necessarily. If fewer than three people are interested in your idea, the team will not progress. Instead, the individuals will join other teams.
 have an idea, but I’m not sure if it’s a good fit. What should I do?
Be in touch! Call 858-201-6094 or email info@startup18.org for support. If you’d like to pitch it to a small group of Jewish innovators in San Diego, join a Jewish Engagement Lab workshop.  RSVP here!
 Do I need to bring my own food?
No. Lunch and snacks (certified Kosher) will be served.
Who is Sponsoring San Diego’s Jewish Community Hackathon?

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of The Covenant Foundation, Upstart and The Covenant Foundation selected three organizations to participate in the inaugural year of The Upstart Community Hackathon.  The Community Hackathon is designed to galvanize local leaders to solve a key challenge related to Jewish education and engagement by generating, prototyping and integrating new solutions into their communities. Participating host institutions will receive training, in-kind support and $15,000 in funding to execute the program and seed the new ideas that emerge.  Upstart received a strong and diverse applicant pool of 20+ forward-thinking institutions making compelling cases for the value that these innovative methodologies would bring to their work.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, and Tarbuton in San Diego were selected as the host institutions in the first year.

The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation provided $5,000 in funds through the Hackathon for Israel related programs.

Will There Be a Hackathon in 2017-2018?  How Can Donors Support This Process?
We would love to see an application process for projects on an annual basis. Individuals who want to support Jewish innovative projects are invited to join an amplifier giving circle established this year called the San Diego Jewish Community Innovation Fund.  The Tarbuton is committed to facilitating an annual Hackathon or PitchFest and encouraging the development of this giving circle as a stand alone private circle that could offer an application for a future Hackathon and/or unrelated grant application cycles for local projects.
What is the North County Hub and where is it?
North County Hub is a shared work space located at 441 Saxony Rd. Encinitas, CA 92024. We will be in Barn 2. The North County Hub is a creative and collaborative co-working space with a community of social entrepreneurs.  Hub members work together to create social, cultural and agricultural programs in North County and throughout San Diego.  Members are offered professional development opportunities to foster innovation, leadership, and encourage collaboration. Hub members “pay forward” the value of their membership by volunteering on our community educational farm, offering their skills to improve the physical Hub space, and holding “office hours” to share unique skills sets with other Hub members.



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