Monday, May 16, 2011

On the Importance of Partnerships

The Jewish communal world, which started to bring together and find synergies amongst the many Jewish non profit agencies often has a hard time collaborating with new comers. Organizations have staked out their funders, their niche, and working with others might be seen as acknowledging that they are less than perfect. Sure, we've covered this before, but it is worth repeating, particularly in regards to some new developments.

Good partnerships allow organizations to supplement their effectiveness by taking advantage of the strengths of one another.

Recently, Next Dor and the Jewish Federation of St. Louis have begun testing a partnership with Birthright Israel NEXT. Birthright NEXT has a presence in a number of major American cities, with staff and program budgets that have proved effective in reaching out to past Birthright participants and helping them engage in Jewish life and community. In cities like St. Louis, NEXT has not had the staff to support its program, and has been looking for partnerships to extend its impact.

Locally, the Jewish Federation has made young adult engagement a top priority and has put money behind it by funding a position to do Birthright follow-up. Next Dor, as a local conduit for young adults and activities is always looking to expend the number of people connected to it.

As you can see, there is a lot to work with.

One of the tangible results is this page, on Birthright NEXT's site, listing young adult focused events in St. Louis.

By focusing on what each organization brings to the table, each organization is able to be more effective with minimum additional spend.

Partnerships like this will be crucial to the next chapter in the Jewish communal world in which dollars are tighter, resources are stretched, and collaboration is essential

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