Yachad, Directed by HUC-JIR Alumna Dana Prottas, Selected to Participate in UpStart Accelerator

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Yachad, the Jewish Educational Platform for Teens, has been selected to participate in the UpStart Accelerator program - the Jewish community’s leading engine behind the success of innovative, early-stage organizations. Dana Kanter Prottas, an alumna of the first cohort of the Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education, serves as Yachad's Executive Director. 

"The Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education gave me the foundation and skills to explore new ways to create Jewish educational opportunities for our families," stated Prottas. "The philosophy behind Yachad is the direct result of the education I received at HUC-JIR. Our courses, faculty, and colleagues provided the perfect backdrop to deeply understand the trajectory of Jewish education and created a safe place to explore new, innovative ideas and educational philosophies. I can’t thank HUC-JIR and the Jim Joseph Foundation enough for investing in the EMA program and helping to plant the seeds for the future."

Yachad represents a fundamental transformation in the way Jewish education is delivered for teens in Minneapolis, which is a direct response to a significant decline in teen engagement in Jewish educational programs and communal life. Yachad engages, inspires, and educates teens along their Jewish journeys in order to create future leaders who possess confidence, enthusiasm, and curiosity about Jewish learning and living.

“Our community is fortunate to have Dana Prottas taking Yachad to new heights both locally and nationally,” said Jed Stillman, Interim President of Yachad. “She has worked effortlessly to change the landscape of teen Jewish education in Minneapolis. Clearly, her visionary approach has translated to a broader audience through her informed and compelling work.”

Since 2006, the UpStart Accelerator has served as a launch pad for over thirty Jewish organizations, providing them with the training, network, and funding needed to transform vision and passion into gamechanging Jewish social ventures. 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu