Making a Difference 2020: Klal Ventures: An Investment Fund Like No Other

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If you have ever had an idea that could help your community- this article is for you.

As we approach the summer months in 2020, it is probably fair to say that no one reading this could have imagined our family, community, country or world in the place that we now find it.  Life as we knew it just a few months ago is, for the foreseeable future, dramatically changed.

For some of us, COVID 19 has been an opportunity. This includes businesses that have taken advantage of new patterns of supply and demand and individuals that have found ways to reorient to a more fulfilling home life.  For many, however, COVID 19 has presented unique obstacles and insurmountable problems. This includes both personal and financial challenges.

The Orthodox Jewish community and its various institutions are now facing challenges and difficulties that will have repercussions and impact long past the demise of the current pandemic.  Challenges like financial sustainability, tuition, and others that were previously seen as long term problems requiring long term solutions, have suddenly raced to the fore and mandate immediate attention to avoid catastrophic outcomes.

The immediate effects of a sharp economic downturn on families, schools, shuls, chessed organizations, and the overall non-profit infrastructure could G-d forbid be significant and long lasting. No longer can we kick the can down the road. No longer can we hope that some individual or organization will come up with a magical solution that will resolve all our issues.  The time has come for a collective, results-focused approach that will cut out bureaucracy, streamline processes and ensure maximum speed and efficiency. The time has come to utilize best practices from the business and investment world to find solutions to problems that have been crying out for novel approaches for years. The time has come for Klal Ventures.

Klal Ventures is a fund with a mission: Provide start-up funds, expertise and resources for creative, high impact ideas that could potentially bring meaningful financial value or financial relief to the Orthodox Jewish community.

The board of Klal Ventures is made up of individuals from across the spectrum of Orthodox Judaism and the communal leadership committed to testing and rolling out concepts and ranges of the spectrum of Orthodox Jewish communities in America.

If you have an idea that can make a meaningful difference, we can help with funding, connections, marketing and roll-out. Unlike other ‘’funds’’ the goal here is not to profit, but to benefit.

Here is what your proposal should be bringing to the table in order to qualify: 

  • Proposals must solve or alleviate an existing problem
  • Proposals should provide solutions to increase income or save money for families in our community
  • Proposals should target multiple incoming benefit(s) from every dollar spent
  • Proposals must have the ability to be tested quickly and cost effectively
  • Proposal ideas must be rolled out quickly and be scalable without cumbersome infrastructure
  • Proposal ideas should have the ability to impact multiple communities

Potential examples of problems to tackle: 

  • Jobs or business assistance
  • Ideas for tuition relief
  • Using technology to further Jewish education and/or solve communal issues
  • Finding ways to make kosher food less expensive and more accessible
  • Finding ways to provide financial education to children/adults
  • Solving the life insurance issue
  • Solutions for the extremely high costs of Jewish clothing, especially around the holiday period.

What Klal Ventures can provide your project: 

  • Seed funding of up to $10,000
  • Access to quality advertising and marketing professionals at preferred rates
  • Access to attorneys for formation, structure and compliance
  • Experience and advice on managing finances and scaling responsibly
  • Network of contacts in major Orthodox communities to help scale
  • Potential for further funding if proven successful

To submit an entry for consideration, send an email to [email protected] with the following information on a single page (MS Word Doc or similar): 

  • Name & contact info
  • Brief background on you
  • A write up on your idea and why you feel it fits into the criteria outlined in this article

We will endeavor to reply to all submissions within a week of receipt, and hope to keep the public posted on a regular basis with updates. 

Board Members

Ezra Friedberg

Chayale Kaufman

Avi Lazar

Ed Stelzer

Zevy Wolman

Benzion Zlotnick