Call for Speakers: Judaism and Philanthropy


ELI Talks, in partnership with Jewish Funders Network and Jewish Teen Funders Network,  is seeking inspired Jewish ideas for our next round of Talks! We are looking for great new ideas and approaches to E, L and I—Engagement, Literacy and Identity—on the subjects of Jewish philanthropy or Judaism and philanthropy.

ELI Talks bring forward an inspired Jewish idea and must address one or more of the following: Jewish religious engagement (E), Jewish literacy (L), and Jewish identity with Israel and peoplehood at the core (I).

We seek a diverse range of voices, perspectives, and areas of expertise which spark new thinking and deep conversation. Teen and young adult nominations are encouraged. So dream big – this is a great opportunity to share your vision for Jewish philanthropy in the 21st century with a wide audience!

To be considered, speakers must be available for a live taping of their talk, to be scheduled between Oct. 26 and Oct. 29 in New York City. All selected speakers must participate in our tested coaching process beforehand, which entails a weekly coaching hour by phone or Skype in September and October (3 – 6 weeks total), with assignments to prepare for each week.  All speakers are also expected to share their talk online and elsewhere once it has been produced.

Please note, we are not looking for program pitches or solicitations to donors. While your work or organization may provide an important basis for your idea, an ELI talk is not a commercial or your “stump speech.”

What you need to know:

Deadline: Speakers will be chosen on a rolling basis through the end of August

Criteria: Speakers will be chosen by a committee of Jewish educators, experts in online video, and topic specialists, based on the following criteria:

  • Adherence to the E-L-I format
  • Originality of the “inspired Jewish idea”
  • The speaker’s willingness and ability to go through the coaching process, develop their idea, and present their talk live, adhering to the ELI format, in an engaging, compelling way.
  • The speaker’s ability to share their talk online, through their own channels or those of their organization/project, and engage in continued discourse around his/her idea after the video has been released.

Travel stipends: Stipends of approximately $500 are available for selected speakers who require financial assistance to participate in the taping in New York City.
ELI talks are intended to serve as the anchor piece of a broader communal conversation; use the form to submit your inspired Jewish idea. You can also nominate someone else you think should be considered.

Need some inspiration? Check out David Bryfman's talk, "The Value of Jewish Living and Learning in the 21st Century," and Dan Libenson's talk, "The Jewish Innovator's Dilemma".

Let's get that conversation started!