I am sitting in the Philly airport, en route to the ROI Global Summit of Young Jewish Innovators being held in Jerusalem. As referenced in a recent Social Media Press Release, the ROI Community was created in 2005 by Lynn Schusterman, an American Jewish philanthropist, in partnership with Taglit-Birthright Israel, and “is an international network of 600 social entrepreneurs and Jewish innovators in 40 countries on six continents who are creating innovative ways to connect to Jewish life.” I feel honored to be one of the 150 social entrepreneurs whom will meld minds in this four-day mindshare happening June 12-16, 2011 at the Dan Jerusalem Hotel.
Last year, about this time, I was on my Taglit-Birthright Israel trip, blogging and journaling about my experience to Israel for the first time, pre, during and post the adventure. I recant how while in Israel in 2010, I truly felt the energy of history. At such a critical turning point in my life and career, I also become grounded in my passion and my destiny to be the best Artist I could be, with a voice within media outlets to share my dialogue and comparative notes while also finding creative ways to help foster, nurture and support my peers in my residence of Los Angeles and globally. I must say that since setting clear intentions for my goals in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv while on Taglit-Birthright Israel, I have been blessed with a wave of creative milestones, one of which is the reason why I am heading to this year’s ROI Global Summit (ie. GenToGen - Podcast, Facebook, Twitter).
Though I have yet to start the first day of the summit, I am already seeing that where Taglit was the scratch of the surface, ROI will be the deepening of the itch for more Jewish innovation and engagement participation. We even have a twitter hashtag - #roicom, where participants can flood each other’s twitter feeds with the latest thought or experience about the Summit. By the same token, the ROI participants were also invited to attend the prestigious Third Annual Presidential Conference, where truly we can look toward “Facing Tomorrow”, though leaders in the future we are not because we are already leaders now.
Take a gander at these fellow ROI’ers, one of whom is halfway through the 2010-2011 Birthright Israel NEXT COmmunity Engagement Fellowship with me, Heather Wilk (twitter, @HeatherGWilk). These individuals are helping to make the world see LGBTQ individuals as people worth taking positive notice of, because we are people, just like anyone else; and I thought, “well, what better way to get more of their impact out to the masses than with a mention here at Oy Gay”?
Stay tuned for more blogs, follow me on twitter (@djnovajade) and check GenToGen often, as scheduled Podcast artist interviews are happening every two weeks. Possibly, a few impromptu interviews will occur while on my trip in Israel, June 12-24, 2011, too.
I love #roicom.
ROI’ers to Watch that are Making an Impact in the global LGBTQ Community
Brian Elliot, founder of Friendfactor. Involved and behind high profile lobbying for equal marriage legislation in NY State, and has been incredibly effective mobilizing friends - gay and straight - to overturn discriminatory laws throughout the US.
Heather Wilk. Owns cause-related marketing company, Cause Creative Marketing, which targets young adults. Her largest charity campaign is in 6,000 high schools and will raise over $500,000 for hospitals across the US. She is currently developing a 501c3 called “Straight But Not Narrow.”, a great way for teenagers to support gay friends and family. Within four days of launching they had thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook.
Ido Levit is coordinator for special projects at the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (English Version). He is also Art Director for Balabasta, the wonderful festival in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market, opening July 4, and a project of Jerusalem Season of Culture. He is active in Awakening, the young people’s movement in Jerusalem that promotes ways to retain young adults and professionals in Jerusalem. His number one project is Urban Edges, artists creating plastic arts in the streets of central Jerusalem.
Malki Rose, from Melbourne, is founding a chapter of Bat Kol in Australia, which until now was an Israeli-only organization for Orthodox lesbians. She is also starting Chafetz, for gays and lesbians in her hometown.
To learn more about ROI participants from your community, click here.
Sara Averick, Israel: 052-867-4966 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jose Rosenfeld, Israel: 052-287-7646 or email@example.com
Toby Dershowitz, USA: 202-250-6104 or firstname.lastname@example.org