2016 Fellows Boast Impressive Accomplishments

Over the past fifteen years, Joshua Venture Group’s Dual Investment Program has championed the groundbreaking visions of emerging Jewish leaders. Jeff Kasowitz of The Jewish Studio Project and Rabbi Benay Lappe of SVARA have joined our illustrious group of 40 of North America’s most exciting ventures working towards a more just, vibrant, and inclusive Jewish community through our #InnovationOneStop.

Here are some of our 2016 Fellows’ most notable recent accomplishments:

Rabbi Benay Lappe

  • Selected as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis by Forward in 2014, Rabbi Benay Lappe makes sure every student is actively engaged and becoming a learned, empowered and confident bearer of Jewish tradition.
  • When the master narratives that guide our lives inevitably crash, how should we respond? Rabbi Benay Lappe asserts in her ELI TALK that there are three options: cling to the story as though nothing happened, discard it altogether, or integrate the old with the new and adapt. Arguing for the unique foresight of queer and marginalized perspectives in bringing the future of Judaism into being, Rabbi Lappe demonstrates how Talmud provides a blueprint for innovation and choosing option three.
  • In 2016, Rabbi Benay Lappe was selected as a Covenant Award recipient. First established in 1991 and created to acknowledge and support great teaching, the Covenant Award is presented to three educators every year after a rigorous selection process.<

Jeff Kasowitz

  • Working with his co-founder, friend, and spouse, Jeff Kasowitz has embraced a countercultural approach with Rabbi Adina Allen. Using their complimentary set of skills, the two challenge one another to make their work better through “hevrutahpreneurship“.
  • Jeff Kasowitz recently released his new album of original Jewish music, Arba’im Shanah (40 Years) is a musical exploration into self, relationship and faith; a collection of interpretations through melody and arrangement; and a creative experiment fueled by collaborative inquiry and connection across difference.
  • The Jewish Studio Project opened its Studio earlier this year. This new space, located in West Berkeley’s creative district, offers the community an inspiring, welcoming, and vibrant space for creating, learning, and connecting.


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