July 21 – 22, 2014
Over the past decade, Sixth & I has redefined the 21st-century synagogue space through experimental approaches to programming and engagement that serve both the Jewish and greater Washington communities. Ten years ago, the historic synagogue-turned-AME Church on the corner of 6th and I Streets was a building in need of a purpose. Its purchase was based on an intuition that there was an unmet need in the community among young professional Jews who were no longer identifying in traditional ways.
Since that time, Sixth & I has established itself as a place where contemporary Jewish experiences intersect with literature, live entertainment, and cutting-edge conversations. Throughout our start-up phase, organizational adolescence and maturation, we took risks and learned from our mistakes. We listened to our constituents and made modifications based on their feedback. And in the ongoing refinement of our efforts, an unexpected paradigm for Jewish life emerged.
With a multi-denominational and membership-free approach, Jews and their “Jewish-adjacent” friends in their twenties and thirties find meaning through impactful and thought-provoking programs spanning Jewish and cultural traditions. Each month, we welcome thousands of people into our building—whether they’re seeking ways to explore their Jewish identity on their own terms, build community, or connect with the arts.
Now, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary year, we continue to follow our instincts as we address the big questions and challenges facing so many Jewish organizations, including but certainly not limited to:
- What does “belonging” to a Jewish community mean today?
- How to build a meaningful bridge between Jewish tradition and innovation
- What are effective and relevant ways to engage millennials?
- How to create diverse, accessible, and non-judgmental outlets for spiritual and cultural exploration
- How to teach Jews and their non-Jewish partners side-by-side
- How to craft a palpable identity for an organization
- How to structure a financial model based not only on donor generosity but also on other revenue streams
- Would it be crazy to launch a kosher food truck without any experience in the food service industry? (Yes, thoroughly crazy, but one of the best decisions we ever made.)
In recent years, and increasingly over the past six months, Sixth & I has been contacted by Jewish organizations, cultural centers, communities, and even churches, both in the U.S. and abroad, with similar questions to those aforementioned and many others. These institutions are eager to learn how we do what we do and how to replicate facets of our model.
Inside Sixth & I—our response to the increasing number of requests for consulting—is a two-day conference during which Sixth & I will share best practices with select organizations seeking to learn how to adapt elements of our operational and programmatic models to the needs of their own communities. To foster an intimate and customized experience, the conference will be limited to six organizations. Participating groups can choose to pursue ongoing consultation from Sixth & I.
Guidelines for Participation
Selected organizations must have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit status; a Jewish focus; and community resources to support their goals. Our aim is to welcome participating organizations that represent geographic diversity; both domestic and international organizations are encouraged to apply.
- The Essence and Operational Model of Sixth & I
- Jewish Young Professional Engagement
- Communicating with Style: Creative Marketing and Establishing a Unique Brand
- Playing to Your Strengths and Meeting a Community Need
- Leveraging Partnerships: The Financial and Social Impact
Thursday, April 24 by 5:00 pm
Applicants Notified by:
Thursday, May 1APPLICATION