SOJOURN Named one of America's Top 50 Innovative Jewish Organizations


Eleventh Annual Slingshot Guide Highlights the Best of the Thriving Jewish Nonprofit World

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SOJOURN, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity, has been named one of North America’s top 50 innovative Jewish organizations in the eleventh annual Slingshot Guide. The Guide has become a go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects that, through their innovative nature, will ensure the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving. Slingshot 2016 was released today. 

Selected from among hundreds of finalists reviewed by 93 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life, the Guide called SOJOURN “an instrumental organization for the South” Organizations included in this year’s Guide were evaluated on their innovative approach, the impact they have in their work, the leadership they have in their sector, and their effectiveness at achieving results. SOJOURN is proud to be among the 50 organizations honored for meeting those standards, including 3 other Atlanta-based agencies, the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, Jewish Kids Groups, and JScreen.

The organizations included in the Guide are driving the future of Jewish life and engagement by motivating new audiences to participate in their work and responding to the needs of individuals and communities – both within and beyond the Jewish community – as never before. 

“SOJOURN is proud to be selected in this year’s guide, and thrilled to be part of the amazing community of the hundreds of innovative Jewish organizations included in the Guide over the past eleven years who continue to create positive change in the Jewish community,” said Leanne Rubenstein, board president. 

Added Stefanie Rhodes, Executive Director of Slingshot, which publishes the Guide each year,  “Slingshot’s work is to help Jews find, fund and connect to meaningful, exciting experiences in Jewish life. After 11 years, the book remains relevant because we it continues to highlight organizations doing exceptional work, serving as the trailblazers for what is possible and inspiring all of us. Whether we look to the guide for funding ideas, best practices or trends in Jewish life, it remains a resource for all of us, providing tremendous hope for our collective future. Returning to our original model of 50 organizations made this year more competitive than ever before, resulting in an extraordinary snapshot of the field.”

Sarah Rueven, Slingshot board chair, agreed, “ Innovation is a critical component of today’s Jewish community. Slingshot is highlighting the work of organizations that strengthen Jewish life by making it more relevant to our generation. We are inspired by projects that help people connect with the Jewish community in ways that both feel fresh and honor our traditions. The eleventh edition of Slingshot is the most compelling and diverse guide yet. Readers will learn about valuable new projects and gain insight into the emerging needs in Jewish life, as identified by our community's top leaders.” 

Being listed in the Guide is often a critical step for selected organizations to attain much needed additional funding and to expand the reach of their work. Selected organizations are eligible for grants from the Slingshot Fund, a peer-giving network of young donors with an eye for identifying, highlighting and advancing causes that resonate the most with the next generation of philanthropists. Furthermore, the Guide is a frequently used resource for donors seeking to support organizations transforming the world in novel and interesting ways.


About the Slingshot Guide

The Slingshot Guide, now in its tenth year, was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios to include the most innovative and effective organizations, programs and projects in North America. The Guide contains information about each organization’s origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character. The Slingshot Guide has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America's Jewish community – and how nonprofits are meeting new needs and reaching new audiences. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at



The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Divisity advances LGBTQ affirmation and empowerment across the South. Through workshops, training sessions, social outreach programs and advocacy work inspired by Jewish and universal ethics and ideals, SOJOURN promotes increased understanding and acceptance of individuals across the entire spectrum of gender and sexual orientation.



Robbie Medwed

Robbie Medwed began working with SOJOURN when it was known as The Rainbow Center as a volunteer in 2008. He served as chair of the TRC Advisory Board and as co-chair of Purim off Ponce (2010, 2011) before moving into his current role as Assistant Director, where he oversees SOJOURN's educational programming and outreach, including our award-winning workshops and training seminars. Robbie holds a master's degree in Jewish education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has written curricula and nationally-recognized inclusive programs for the Marcus JCC of Atlanta, BBYO, USY, Camp Ramah, the Jewish Teen Funders Network, Babaganewz, and JewishGPS. Robbie is also a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and cyclist. Robbie can be reached at