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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Jconnect Seattle

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Jconnect Seattle creates a meaningful Jewish life for 21-32 year olds through diverse communities and innovative experiences.

Community Stories

91 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

JConnect has been great - I've been to some very well-organized and fun parties that managed to also have a great cultural theme. I am also currently taking a class through the Hillel that I was alerted to through JConnect.

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

JConnect has been a great experience for me as a Jewish student in the Seattle area. Every time I go to an event I make new friends and get valuable face-time with old friends. The programming is flexible and fits my needs and interests for where I am at in my life. Events like the Tu B'av Party and GBLTQ Shabbat are very helpful for me in establishing my own network and community of friends in Seattle.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great events, involving all sorts of people who wouldn't otherwise be involved in Jewish activities. Creative and meaningful programming. Opportunites to travel to Central America with AJWS, Shabbat retreats, as well as local events. Involvement in the world at large through a deeply meaningful Jewish lens. JHarvest, new this year, has been a fantastic addition to what JConnect offers our community. I've also heard great things about the noontime study/lunches at Microsoft, the Medical School, Social Work School, etc. What a great idea!

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jconnect is one of the best programs for young professional Jews I have had the pleasure of being a part of. It is how I met the majority of my friends, and helped give me a solid foundation in a Jewish community without having to commit to joining a particular synagogue. Their programming is very well done, and their lean toward progressive, sustainable food culture is commendable.

13

Board Member

Rating: 5

A great mainstay of the young-ish Seattle Jewish scene, perfect for the many folks who move to Seattle post-college and are looking for a welcoming community.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Jconnect since it's founding. If you're a 20-something Jew in the Seattle area, Jconnect is the place you want to be.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm too old to qualify, but I've watched jconnect from its earliest days and I can say it's easily one of the most vibrant and inclusive organizations for the 20somethings. I've encouraged many young people to attend, and they all have given me great feedback.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

JConnect has been a place where I have felt fully accepted for all of my identities and encouraged to just be myself in community. From day 1, the rabbi immediately came up to introduce himself to me and made efforts to make me feel comfortable and connect me with others. I am grateful for the essential space this organization provides!

11

Board Member

Rating: 5

Does a fabulous job of building community for people who might not otherwise have it, especially those who are new to Seattle.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a Board Member of Hillel for over 35 years I can attest to the great impact JConnect has had in our community. I have seen it grow from an idea to a vibrant organization bringing young Jewish people together for many years with innovative and fun programming. may you go from strength to strength.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am on the Hillel board. For well over 20 years I have been involved in a variety of Jewish organizations attempting to reach out to younger Jews and get them involved in Jewish activities. It is very hard to do this. For me, JConnect is a terrific success. From the very beginning it has been very well organized. Its very dedicated (and overworked) staff draw in very constructive ways on the talents and resources of those involved to create many types of events responsive to the needs and desires of the group it is trying to reach. They range from the most fun (Purim parties) to the most serious (work on very meaningful social justice projects), from the small-scale to the huge. The staff does a systematic and terrific job of keeping track of participants so that it's possible to assess how well JConnect Seattle is doing on a regular basis--something that is usually not well done at all in voluntary organizations is being done very well here. The ongoing attempts to link those involved to synagogues work very well; my own synagogue hosts monthly Shabbat dinners with JConnect, and regularly attract far more people than I would havae thought possible.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I only wish that Jconnect would have been around when I was, well, younger than I am today :-) Great leadership, innovative programs, solid community!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I moved to Seattle, I was amazed at the home I found at UW Hillel and the JConnect program housed there. I had found a new home. There were interesting social, educational, and religious events most day, with an astounding variety of activities. As a participant, I felt like an owner and contributor as well to my Jewish community -- one that really fit the young adult demographic niche about as perfectly as I could have imagined.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

JConnect is an amazing program that is a shinning star in the nonprofit world. It truly connects young people to their community and to each other.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jconnect has evolved into a major part of what Hillel @ the UW is all about. Extending the continuity, expanding the community, and seeing the passion and involved of all whom are involved is fantastic. The professional staff is outstanding and they continue to deliver meaningful and fun experiences for so many young adults in the region.

6

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

So good, I work there now! I ran volunteer programs and was looking for a way to connect more young Jewish folks with the work I was doing. I met the leaders of Jconnect, and suddenly every volunteer event was full of people doing great work and having fun. Eventually, I transitioned into a staff roll with Jconnect as Director of Social Justice programs where I now coordinate advocacy, education, service, and activism efforts. It's a unique and positive community, and a wonderful way for young Jews to be Jewish in fun and innovative ways.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

JConnect is now an established part of the Seattle Jewish community for Jews 21-32 wanting to connect and reconnect to the Jewish community. As a transplant to Seattle, I've met a lot of great people through JConnect programs and have made some friends for life. Events such as Jews 'n Brews, the Spice It Up cooking class at Hillel with Israelis from Seattle's Partnership 2000 city in Israel, shabbat services and dinners, Jewish learning initiatives, and service opportunities have all been ways for me to connect to and with the Jewish community. Surpisingly, other U.S. cities have not emulated JConnect Seattle's model, so I feel lucky to be in a city and community that cares about its young adult Jewish population.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was not an active member of my university's Hillel as an undergrad. I connected to Judaism in different ways. When I came to Washington, I found that J-Connect was the best way to connect to the community- either with other Jews or as Jews serving the larger community. Through J-Connect I have a wonderful start to my week because of Yoga with Whitney on Mondays. I have been a part of Robert's amazing outreach efforts to bring awareness and action on homelessness and modern slavery. I also have been connected to others in the community through Rabbi Jacob's awesome networking skills. They make it easy to connect whether it be through a themed happy hour, cooking for a local tent city, or having a potluck Shabbat hosted in someone's house nearby. If you're in the area, come check it out!

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An amazing way for the Jewish crowd to connect with other people and make new friends. I appreciate all of the events that Jconnect puts together, and Passover lunches for the community are simply the best idea!

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Hillel since 2001, and a member of Jconnect since 2005. They do an amazing job reaching out to students and alumni from the UW and beyond. They bring dynamic and diverse communities together, year-round, not just on key holidays. I especially love the classes they offer and the reasonable cost of the class (yoga for $7!? An all-day cooking class for $10?!? Fabulous! Madness!)

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

JConnect Seattle is an incredible resource for 20/30-something jews in Seattle. With dozens of activities per month, there is something for everyone - networking, parties, social justice, jewish education, shabbat dinners, jewish environmentalism, sports teams, outdoor activities, cooking classes... you name it. Jconnect is all about creating connections and building relationships - between individuals in the community and between individual jewish 20/30-somethings and other Jewish Regional/National groups. Personally I feel more closely connected to the Seattle and American Jewish communities as a result of my involvement with Jconnect. Jconnect is blessed to have two amazing, high-energy, dynamic and engaging rabbis; a passionate and dedicated staff; and a diverse and creative crew of volunteer event planners/organizers.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jconnect is a model to be emulated everywhere. I have never seen a more effective program for helping jewish life to flourish

7 jmf1184

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jconnect is a great organization that does so many wonderful things for our community. The diversity of programs is unbeleivable, and the creatvity of offerings is beyond words. There are programs that really cater to the young adult demographic, and I have met great friends through the program.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jconnect has been an amazing place to meet other young Jews, participate in cool projects, go on hikes, and go for services. This year I really loved participating in the Jharvest program with Jconnect. It's a Community Supported Agriculture program, where we get fresh organic vegetables from a nearby farm and pick them up each week. It's helped me eat more healthy, and been a good way to socialize with people who value fresh food like I do. We had an amazing harvest dinner out on the farm, with 70 people eating all of these amazing dished prepared by a volunteer chef.

6

Client Served

Rating: 4

JConnect is the place for Jewish post-college young adults to gather, connect with each other, learn, and pray. Personally, it has been my main connection to Jewish activities since college. I would likely be less involved and informed without it. Jconnect serves a wide range of people with a variety of services. The various rabbis attempt to build relationships with the parcitipants. I have met up with Rabbi Will specifically on several occasions for coffee, and to discuss matters Jewish, outside of any official planned activity. In years when I can't make it home for high holidays or Passover, I feel very at home in the Jconnect services and events. One of the rabbis hosts monthly mid-week lunch-time learning sessions on the Microsoft campus, which I find quite informative and interesting if a little rushed. A few years ago I attended a birthright Israel trip organized by Jconnect and consisting of entirely local members (with the exception of one, who later moved here). The experience was incredible, and I now consider a number of my fellows I met on the trip to be good friends. JConnect has so much to offer, that all but the most misanthropic anti-socialite would find at least some part of it appealing. I am grateful that Seattle has such a service to offer.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed having jconnect seattle as a community player for the past several years. They continue to put on a variety of great events, everything from educational lectures to exercise classes to great parties and simchas. They are filling a niche in the seattle jewish community that had previously been vacant and I think they reach a lot of people that would otherwise not have a community to participate in.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a board member for a year now. The welcome and support I have received from staff, board, and JConnect members has been so impressive and heartfelt. The program manager organizes so many well-attended events and continues to engage more and more young people in our area. The executive director is one of a kind and is the heart and soul of Hillel UW.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As someone who moved to Seattle from another city, Jconnect was a perfect way for me to meet a great group of individuals throughout the community. They're an extremely active organization with a wide range of activities to choose from. A lot of my friends to this day or people I've meet through JConnect events.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

JConnect has introduced me to a network of like-minded peers who get together for various events - both secular and religious - in the Seattle area. In addition to local events, JConnect also addresses topics of interest to link our local community with the greater Jewish community as a whole. Along with community building through JConnect, I've enjoyed the wide range of diverse activities promoted by the organization - yoga classes, lectures, community supported agriculture, religious classes, cooking, outdoor activities, social justice events, just to name a few. There's literally something for everyone.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jconnect welcomed me into Seattle. As a Canadian transplant moving into a new city, having an organization of people my age to meet was indespensible. Most of my friendships in Seattle have formed from people I met at Jconnect events and were fostered by the Jconnect community. Beyond connecting newcomers, Jconnect provides some truly special and unique opportunities. It is one of the only organizations that focuses on the graduate student and young professional community. This is particularly important because this age group tends move away from the undergraduate community very quickly but isn't quite ready to be immersed in more family oriented activities. As a result many young adults end up feeling alienated and isolated. Jconnect enables the opposte, a feeling of belonging and a gateway to the next phase where family oriented events and activities are more appropriate. Finally, Jconnect is extremely diverse. Since it caters to the Jewish community, one could easily make incorrect assumptions about what types of events Jconnect offers and what type of people lead and attend them. Jconnect offers activites for those interested in religious life, but also those interested in social justice, political action, outdoors activites (particularly valuable in the Pacific Northwest) and general social activites. Jconnect is almost entirely participant led thanks to a great staff that mentors and encourages participants to come up with new ideas for events and activities. This means that if a participant would like to raise funds for a charity or volunteer at an organization that Jconnect doesn't yet support, they have the freedom, the resources and the encouragement to organize the event and Jconnect will publicize it and provide any assistance necessary. This has helped furthery diversify the events, activites and body of participants such that they are all beyond classification. I have yet to find any organization that is as welcoming and understanding of people who don't self-identify with a particular community (religious sect, nationality or otherwise) and connect them with one another in an environment of encouragement, tolerance and understanding. The result is a truly remarkable organization that has welcomed thousands of would-be isolated young adults and energized them into active participants and leaders of a continually changing and growing community.

6

Former staff

Rating: 4

JConnect Seattle is many things to me. I daven at J Connect services on Shabbat and chaggim; it is my shul and Rabbi Will and Rabbi Jacob are my friends and teachers. I stop by Hillel sometimes just to say hello and usually bump into friends/community, and that's always very nice. A handful of us have also started our own weekly learning group which is an important part of all of our weeks. I also attend some J Connect events at farms, danceclubs, at Hillel and around. I am a musician and J Connect often employs and provides me with space and support. I also use Hillel counseling services. In short, J Connect does a lot for me. It provides community, Yiddishkeit, employment, counseling, spirituality, food, girlfriends, good friends and warmth.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There were various attempts to resurrect existing and start new Jewish 20-something programs in Seattle, but none were successful until JConnect came along in ~2004. Since then, I and many others can credit JConnect with helping us (re)connect with and grow our Jewish identities, establish our social circles, and meet (and marry) our significant others. My experience with JConnect was so formative that I have since become a board member of the University of Washington Hillel, something I never would have anticipated before my involvement with the program.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

As board chair for Hillel - and as a board member who has watched Jconnect start and get incredible momentum, it is my honor to recommend Jconnect as among the most innovative and exciting programs in the Jewish world today. Whereas many programs are focused on Jewish youth or on young families, Jconnect targets the age at which many people who are seeking meaningful Jewish experiences have critical questions of identity and want and need a safe, engaging and open environment in which to find their Jewish Journey - and delivers incredibly well on what they're seeking.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jconnect Seattle is a wonderful organization that creates a community of Jewish young professionals and graduate students throughout the Seattle area. The leaders of Jconnect Seattle are exceptional. Throughout the year, they provide a significant amount of programming and they are always friendly and welcoming. Some examples of activities include weekly classes, community supported agriculture, Shabbat dinners and social justice opportunities. In addition, I have learned a great deal through my participation and I have made some amazing friends and connections along the way.

6

Former staff

Rating: 5

Hillel at the UW with JConnect comprise the most creative and successful Jewish organization in the city and, perhaps (for young adults) the country!