$20,000 fund for young leaders

August 30, 2012 by  
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ROI Community, a global network of young Jewish innovators, and Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) has launched the “Dave Grants” at the Australian Gathering for Young Jewish Leaders, in Melbourne.

More than 50 young Jewish social entrepreneurs, thought leaders and community activists from Melbourne and Sydney gathered for a day of intense networking, to meet and begin important conversations leading to the interactive and engaging exploration of existing and potential pathways into Jewish life. From the get-go the participants radiated passion and the energy in the room was palpable over the full nine hours. Learn more about the participants: http://bit.ly/NCFmD4.

The $20,000 fund will support collaborative projects born out of connections made at the gathering that have a fresh and dynamic approach to Jewish community-building. It honors the memory of Dave Burnett, an outstanding young Australian Jewish leader and ROI Community member, who died in a tragic accident in 2008. Burnett, whose parents and sister were on hand for the announcement at the closing of the AJF and ROI Community gathering, demonstrated an enduring commitment to the Jewish community and to inspiring those around him to make a difference in the world. An alumnus of Taglit-Birthright, he led the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) and was an elected leader in student politics at Sydney University.

Planning session

“Dave personified all that a community might look for in a young leader and everything a person might look for in a friend,” said Sandy Cardin, President of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, which includes the ROI Community. “Dave’s passion for Jewish life inspired this fund, which will support collaborations between young Jewish social entrepreneurs in Australia. In order to engage more young Jews in the community, we need to embrace new and innovative approaches, and we believe that the grants will empower these young activists to create change for themselves and for the broader Jewish community.”

“We are proud to be supporting this fund in Dave’s honor. We look forward to watching the seeds, developed during the day-long gathering, grow into projects that have great impact and relevance for young Jewish Australians,” said Debbie Dadon, AJF Chair, who, with her husband, Albert, donated half of the fund.

“It was very inspiring to be in a room with other Jewish leaders and to be reminded that Australia has a lot to give to the Jewish community locally and internationally. When you ignite the passion of a young person, the opportunities to implement change are endless,” said Danielle Lauren, an ROI Community Member and Founder and Creative Director of the 11 Eleven Project.

The Australian Gathering for Young Jewish Leaders was designed to give young innovators in Melbourne and Sydney the chance to interact in person and to develop a peer network committed to strengthening the local Jewish community and the global Jewish future.

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