Startup18 located in San Diego, CA, supports grassroots Jewish and Israeli initiatives that educate, build community and strengthen Jewish identity. Launch a new project, while you focus on your cause, we will support your early stage needs. We provide guidance on marketing, partners, and foundations, match you to advisors, provide a tax-exempt home for donors and grants through fiscal sponsorship and offer services through partners to ease accounting and operational burdens. Take the first step and we will help you create something positive for the community.



    Network, workshops and peer review

    A nonprofit Lab for early stage project founders with program ideas designed to engage, educate and/or connect the Jewish community. Support from pilot to launch, with opportunities to workshop with peers and be matched with advisors, and resource guidance on nonprofit partners for accounting, legal, marketing, HR, payroll & benefits. RSVP


    Have your say, contribute ideas, give feedback

    For San Diego residents who want to lend their voice to inspire new program development that is appealing for themselves and their families. Join an online round table and spend an hour helping to transform Jewish San Diego. RSVP


    Working to make community interests a reality

    Ideas generated by the community will be documented and shared with local project founders and/or local Jewish organizations.


    Providing a tax-exempt home for donors and grants

    Accept donations and apply for grants. Eliminate the additional work of a nonprofit Board, 501c3 filings and tax returns. We collect, track and acknowledge donations. Fees, Benefits & FAQ


    Programs we admire in other cities!


    Grassroots Organized Jewish Life in San Diego!


    #HackJewishwest #Jewishinnovation #jewishsandiego


    On 5/7/2017 community members came together and went deep with a favorite idea, or offered a new one and worked in teams to refine pitches and plans. Seed funds were allocated for the projects with greatest impact. The winning ideas selected by the judges to receive seed funding and participate in the Idea Acceleration phase were: Makom Community, an intentional Jewish community led by Danielle Rugoff, Wow in 60 engaging videos geared towards Jewish teens, spearheaded by Rabbi Daniel Bortz and Kesher Kef, an after school Jewish enrichment program directed by Orli Moses. Two additional seed grants were distributed based on a popular vote including the Butterfly Project Now, the next phase of the Butterfly project, focused on training a network of educators for Holocaust education in public schools founded by Cheryl Rattner Price and End the Fear an initiative to gather data and increase reporting around anti-semitic and BDS incidents on college campuses led by Sam Litvin.

    The Hackathon was generously supported by the Covenant Foundation, Upstart and the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation. San Diego co-hosts include the Jewish Federation of San Diego County and the Leichtag Foundation


    Want to pitch an idea? Advise a project? Join for the fun? Learn more here. And watch this space for information about the 2nd Annual Jewish Community Hackathon and Pitch Fest in May 2018.


    Some of the Projects "Hacked" in 2016-2017 Below!

    2017 San Diego Jewish Community Hackathon 28 second pitch clips

  • LAB

    Check out the work of local San Diegans!


    Founder Cheryl Price

    The Butterfly Project is a call to action through the arts, using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about the dangers of hatred and bigotry through the painting of ceramic butterflies, permanently displayed around the world to memorialize each of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust.
    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founders Diane BenAroya and Laurie Miller

    CHAIFIVE Projects are non-profit projects designed by L'CHAIM Magazine to benefit aspiring writers, photographers, artists and the community. OUR TRIBE publishes lifecycle events your lifecycle events in our magazine AT NO CHARGE.

    MENSCHES OF SAN DIEGO features everyday portrayals of Jewish Life in San Diego.

    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founder Sam Litvin

    END THE FEAR an initiative to gather data and increase reporting around anti-semitic and BDS incidents on college campuses.
    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founder Carina Rock

    We create a space/מקום for Jewish women of all streams and denominations to come together learn from each other and find connection through celebrating a common heritage. By utilizing discussion, art and creative non-coercive learning forums, we are creating a safe place of meeting where true connection and respect for the other will be achieved.
    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founder Gady Amour
    Tech Advisor: Roey Kruvi

    A unique use of internet radio to build community community for Jewish and Israeli in Southern California as a virtual meeting and regular social activity through Hebrew music and poetry.
    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founder Lillian Elbaz

    Advisor: Sharon Laufer

    Preschool, K-8 Jewish & Israeli dance troupe, classes, camps and Israeli children's shows
    email - web - donate


    Founder Aviva Angel

    A Jewish intentional community in San Diego. Living together, the community will be comprised of about 25 apartments, with shared common areas. The community will share dinner nightly and celebrate Jewish holidays and customs.
    email - web - facebook - donate

    WOW IN 60

    Founder Daniel Bortz

    WOW in 60's mission is Keeping Jewish teens and millennial's connected to Jewish life by offering 1 minute engaging Jewish videos by phone.

    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founder Joanna Mazurkiewicz

    YAAANA’s mission is to promote Yiddish language culture through academic and artistic events and through Yiddish food. The events are multigenerational and aimed not only at preservation but also advancement of Yiddishkeit.
    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founder Eliza Slavet

    GRAPEJUICE helps us find what we need, when and where we want it: a Shabbat dinner, a Passover seder, a Yom Kippur break-fast, and most importantly, people with whom to celebrate. GRAPEJUICE empowers us to welcome and to be welcomed wherever we are, geographically, demographically, spiritually, or Jewishly.
    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founder Cheri Weiss

    A project to provide free Jewish music and prayers for the homebound or hospital-bound seniors and others with disabilities and to Chaplains, Rabbis, Social Workers and other care providers who reach those who are homebound and in need of Jewish spirituality.
    email - web - read about - donate


    Founder Orli Moses

    Advisor: Sharon Laufer

    K-5th Jewish enrichment in Hebrew with shuttle from school, field trips and service learning
    email - register - facebook donate


    Founder Masha Evpak and Lena Kaplun

    A social justice-minded group of individuals who come together for passion projects that help our community. Current topics: destigmatization, mental health, body positivity, confidence -building, and resources for grief.
    email - web - facebook - donate


    Founder Dana Greene
    Advisors Ruth Mastron and Sam Litvin

    Local photojournalist will share the story of changes in French society resulting from increased immigration, refugees, and terrorism and the impact of multiculturalism, xenophobia, and antisemitism, revealing the commonality, harmony and coexistence between the many cultures.

    email - web - facebook - donate


    Jewish innovation,Jewish Engagement,Jewish in San Diego
    A young man in the community who has planned Jewish programs for his peers, for young adults, has high energy and is genuinely interested in Jewish life walked into our Jewish Engagement Lab this week curious about what goes on there. I love to see this kind of participation. Why? Because he didn...
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  • JOIN

    Seeking Ideas, Founders, Advisors, Funders


    The Harold Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education


    For Multi-Institutional and Independent Jewish Educators


    $1,000 AWARD for local Jewish Educator
    2017 Winner: Craig Parks

    To recognize San Diego educators who bring their specialties into the classrooms across multiple institutions and independently in various locations around San Diego county. These educators make an important difference in engaging San Diego's Jewish community where an estimated over 93% of our Jewish youth are not enrolled in our Jewish educational day school or after school or Sunday programs.

    Applications available in April 2018. Deadline to apply early May 2018.
    Decisions communicated May 7,2017


    We're here to support you!

    Jennie Starr


    Jennie practiced law and lead sales and product teams at Lexis-Nexis, Gateway, and startups MusicMatch (sold to Yahoo) and MedUnite (sold to ProxyMed) before founding Tarbuton, which supports grassroots Jewish and Israeli initiatives that educate, build community and strengthen Jewish identity. Flagship programs include Tarbuton Israeli cultural clubs and events, Startup18 Jewish Engagement Lab and an annual Hagiga Ivrit festival. Tarbuton was recognized by Slingshot as a top innovative organization in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Jennie has a BA from Northwestern University, MA from the University of Illinois, and a JD from Washington University in St. Louis.

    Joanne Fogel

    Accounting & Resource Manager

    Joanne has twenty years of experience in Human Resources and Accounting with CSC, Computer Sciences Corporation, Next Generation IT Infrastructure Services and Solutions. Joanne has worked with Tarbuton and Startup18 since 2014. She has a BA from University of California, Santa Cruz and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

    Bob Goldfarb


    Bob is the President of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity, a fiscal sponsor for dozens of nonprofit projects related to Jewish culture and Israeli arts. He has decades of nonprofit-management experience in media, music publishing and Jewish journalism. Bob held senior management positions at KUSC and the former KFAC in Los Angeles, was Director of U.S. Operations for Teldec, then a unit of Time Warner, and GM of Conifer Records USA, now under Sony/BMG. Bob is a graduate of Harvard College and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School.

    Danielle Rugoff


    Danielle is the Director of Development, Major Gifts at Hillel International. She served as statewide Director, for Senator Florence Shapiro, worked as Marketing Manager for startup Consumer Club DBA, then as the Area Director for American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Dallas, Fort Worth, North Texas, and Oklahoma. Danielle founded Makom, a dynamic young Jewish community which was recognized by Slingshot as a top innovative organization in 2014. Danielle earned a BA at University of Texas at Austin.

    Heather Wolfson


    Heather Wolfson is currently the Chief Program Officer at the Jewish Federation in San Diego. Previously, she was a nonprofit management consultant and the part-time Managing Director of the Avi Schaefer Fund. Prior, she served as the Western Regional Director for NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, worked for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation. She is a member of the ROI Community, has participated in the Emma and Jeremiah (Progressive Jewish Alliance/Bend the Arc) Fellowships and serves on local community committees. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a dual B.A. in journalism and communication and her M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University.


    Visit us @ the North County Hub and follow for updates!


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