Monday, December 22, 2014

About ROI Community

ROI Community is an international network of activists and change makers who are redefining Jewish engagement for a new generation of global citizens. ROI Community members channel a diversity of perspectives, skills and interests toward a shared passion for advancing ideas and partnerships that will strengthen Jewish communities and improve society. Through its capstone Summit and an innovative suite of ongoing opportunities for professional development, networking and financial support, ROI empowers its members to take an active role in shaping the Jewish future. Today, ROI members are creating new and innovative ways to engage wider audiences in Jewish life globally.
 
ROI Community is an initiative of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, a global organization that seeks to ignite the passion and unleash the power in young people to create positive change in the Jewish community and across the broader world. Schusterman pursues its mission by working collaboratively with others to support and operate high-quality education, identity development, leadership training and service programs designed to help young people cultivate their growth as individuals and as leaders. Learn more about Schusterman’s work in the Jewish Community. 
 

What began as an annual Summit has now become an active, year-round community where Jewish innovators collaborate with one another and offer each other strategic support and advice. Through Master Classes, conference delegations, local and thematic gatherings, Micro Grants, crowdfunding opportunities, social events, grassroots initiatives and more, the ROI network facilitates ongoing interactions and relationships among its members and their counterparts around the world. These connections spark the ideas that ultimately lead to initiatives that strengthen communities and improve society. 

We support and nurture the young, creative people in our Community because we believe that these innovative minds will ultimately shape the future of the Jewish world for years to come. 

History
 

  • October 2005: Born as ROI 120, ROI Community kicks off as a partnership initiative between the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and Taglit-Birthright Israel.
  • July 2006: ROI Community holds its first global Summit in Jerusalem for 120 young Jewish leaders, innovators and activists. Since then, ROI has hosted an additional seven Summits, welcoming a total of almost 1,000 people into the Community.
  • February 2007: ROI runs the first of its Regional Gatherings in Israel. Six more Regional Gatherings have since taken pace in Latin America, Europe and Australia. 
  • November 2007: ROI provides capital to further 35 social start-ups and innovative projects developed by its members. In subsequent years, ROI formally launches an Innovation and Seed Grants program, distributing a total of $500,000 to 34 projects.
  • April 2008: ROI Community is registered as an independent non-profit organization in Israel.
  • October 2010: ROI introduces a bi-monthly newsletter, stepping up communications with ROIers.
  • November 2010: ROI holds the first of four Facilitation Intensive courses.
  • March 2011: ROI initiates its revolutionary Micro Grants program offering its members small grants for personal and professional development. To date ROI has distributed over 1,500 grants. 
  • February 2012: ROI launches Connection Points, a program that promotes members as leaders as they craft their own local and thematic, peer-led gatherings worldwide, thereby increasing global networking and collaboration. After a successful first run, Connection Points are renewed in 2013-14 and 2014-15. To date, 17 gatherings have taken place on five continents.
  • March 2012: ROI organizes its first annual delegation to SXSW.
  • June 2012: ROI partners with the Natan Fund, providing ROIers with a unique pool of funding to help develop their ideas to spark Jewish engagement among young Jews; the grant pool is now an annual offering.
  • October 2012: ROI becomes the first Jewish organization to create a Partner Page on the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, offering greater exposure, discounted platform fees and matching opportunities for members’ campaigns. Over 47 successful campaigns have run, raising over $500,000.
  • November 2012: ROI launches a new partnership with Limmud International to subsidize participation of ROIers in the Limmud Conference. The collaboration later expands to include Limmud branches around the world.
  • May 2013: ROIers in nine locations worldwide hold the first Pre-Summit Meet-Ups to welcome incoming members.
  • December 2013: ROI members initiate and lead a delegation to New York City, to meet and learn from top individuals in successful tech start-ups. 
  • August 2014: #MakeItHappen: Eitanim micro grants are launched in Israel in response to challenges surrounding Operation Protective Edge. Sixty Eitanim grants are awarded for relief projects led by network members. 
  • October 2014: ROI initiates the first ROI foodie community and sends a delegation of chefs and food professionals to the bi-annual Slow Food conference in Torino, Italy.
  • December 2014: ROI introduces the Grassroots@ROI Initiatives platform, helping members spearhead their own events to engage local ROIers and the broader Jewish community.