Meet The Newest Class Of Jewish Innovators 

Last year, as the pandemic upended normal life and we tried to stay connected while social distancing, five young adults in the Twin Cities Jewish community took the first step in making their big Jewish ideas a reality: they joined the fourth cohort of 248. 

248, a program of Partnership2Gether and YALA Twin Cities, is a year-long program that gives participants the space to create a Jewish initiative and connects them with other innovative Jewish young adults from North America, Europe, and Israel. The goal—besides, of course, nurturing Jewish ideas— is that through this collaboration, relationships are built and barriers are broken down between Jews in Israel and the Jewish diaspora.  

As the Twin Cities fourth 248 cohort winds down their year of intense collaboration, meet these motivated Jewish do-ers (as they’re called in the 248 world) and get a preview of the programs you could see coming soon to the Twin Cities! 

ABBY KIRSHBAUM 

Project overview: 

Providing community and self-connection through Gibor K’ari, a Mussar (study) and movement-centered retreat.*

The why: 

Though she loves participating in local Jewish events over a beer or through trivia, Abby noticed that at these programs, people tended to stick to their own circle of friends. She saw an opportunity to create deep relationships through an experiential program. 

In her words: 

“My ultimate goal will be to lead yoga or dance retreats and relate our movement to Mussar practices—and create experiences for jews that are rich and meaningful.” 

 

SARAH NATHAN 

Project overview: 

Modern Judaica arts and crafts classes 

The why: 

Sarah is an avid crafter (and former Etsy artisan.) As a creative person who still needed a day job, crafting was the perfect outlet—one she would love to help others cultivate. “Everyone has a creative spirit,” she says. 

In her words: 

“I find it really special and meaningful to make something yourself and use it during a ritual or holiday that you have a connection with.” 

 

AMALIA PROHOFSKY 

Project overview:  

Esti, a Twin Cities Jewish gift shop that functions like Etsy, where artisans can create and run their own shops.* 

The why: 

The traditional synagogue gift shop requires space, volunteers, and customers willing to drive. Amalia’s goal is to provide the community with a convenient way to support local Jewish artists.  

In her words: 

“American Judaism is at its most vibrant in the ways that our community connects with each other, and that happens most when we share in our traditions.” 

 

LAYAH SHAGALOW

Project overview: 

Nasi, a space for young adults working professionally in the Jewish community  

The why: 

When Layah decided to move back to the Twin Cities, she was working for a large Jewish nonprofit in New York. After starting her job at a much smaller Jewish nonprofit here in the Twin Cities, Layah realized she missed the camaraderie of having like-minded Jewish professional peers.  

In her words: 

“My hope is that this can be a space for any young Jewish leader to find connections and support, and  lead us to better relationships among our respective agencies if and when we assume positions of greater power.” 

 

CLARE KOPPEL 

Project overview: 

Hosting dinners around smaller lesser-known Jewish holidays, such as Tu B’Av 

The why: 

Clare was inspired by an existing program in Israel. It’s no surprise she’s interested in bringing people together to celebrate—for her, one of the most meaningful parts of being Jewish is the family dinners and celebrations.  

In her words: 

“I am a firm believer in allowing people to interpret how they participate in Judaism in their own ways. I think we have the responsibility to allow each other the space to practice the beliefs in personal ways that make them the most comfortable.” 

 

*This program is coming to life in the Twin Cities with additional help from a YALA Mini grant. YALA Twin Cities is proud to provide both the space for these ideas to grow and the financial support to make them possible.  

This article is sponsored content from YALA as part of TC Jewfolk’s Partnership program. For more information, check out our media kit.