Makom, Directed by HUC-JIR Alumnus Rabbi Jeremy Weisblatt, Selected to Participate in UpStart Accelerator

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Makom, Temple Sholom of Chicago’s 20s/30s community, has been selected to participate in the UpStart Accelerator program, the Jewish community’s leading engine behind the success of innovative, early-stage organizations.  Rabbi Jeremy Weisblatt, HUC-JIR/New York '14 and a current Pines School of Graduate Studies Doctor of Hebrew Letters student, serves as Assistant Rabbi at Temple Sholom and is the clergy liaison for Makom.

“I came to HUC-JIR with the goal of developing a foundation and skill set that would help me serve as a rabbi for the dynamic and evolving Judaism of today and tomorrow," says Rabbi Weisblatt. "To me, that meant not only having fluency with our texts and traditions, but also learning how to connect, create relationships and how to help shape communities that will have an impact on people and allow us to engage with those seeking community.  On a daily basis, I employ those teachings that the faculty, courses, and experiences from my time at HUC-JIR.  They help me as I work with the millennial generation as we aim to create sacred communities that will have a lasting and profound impact on and for the Jewish community.  We are also incredibly grateful for the support of Temple Sholom, which has helped to build the foundation for Makom."

Makom’s mission is (to be): “The place for young(ish) Jew(ish) folks who are reforming and discovering our cultural and spiritual identities as we take on the world.”  Working both inside and outside of Temple Sholom of Chicago, Makom envisions an expanded, deeply engaged community of people who are constantly developing a meaningful, personal, and profound communal relationship with Judaism. 

Rabbi Shoshanah Conover, HUC-JIR/New York '04, Associate Rabbi of Temple Sholom, states, "We, at Temple Sholom of Chicago, love Makom and the innovations and connections that Rabbi Weisblatt helps these inspiring young people make with each other, with Israel and the Divine, with Temple Sholom, and with their Jewish identities."

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 game-changing 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.