Jenerator: Putting the "Profit" in Nonprofit

If ever there was an initiative designed to “teach a man to fish,” it would be the Federation’s Jenerator program. And more and more people are starting to take notice. Though barely out of its infancy (it was launched less than two years ago), Jenerator has been selected as one of the “most inspiring and innovative” Jewish nonprofits of 2017 by the Slingshot guide, an annual Jewish publication measuring not only “innovation” but impact, organizational effectiveness, and leadership.

One of those leaders, Bab Freiberg, the Federation’s Director of Strategic Consulting, is thrilled with the attention Jenerator is receiving. “It’s great to see how strongly it’s connecting both with nonprofits that are looking for ways to generate earned income – so that they don’t have to rely exclusively on fundraising – and for what I call our ‘angel advisors.’ who are looking for meaningful ways to use their expertise to give back to the community,” said Freiberg. “It’s exactly the kind of partnership the Federation is trying to foster and that’s why it feels so rewarding to be a part of it.”

Those “angel advisors” – all industry leaders in their fields – have expertise in business development, start-ups, market research, financial modeling and forecasting, information technology, law, and human resources. They are experts whose time translates to thousands of dollars but, through Jenerator, are generously offering it to their beneficiaries pro bono.

One such client, Ruben Arquilevich, executive director of URJ Camp Newman, was quick to share the crucial role that Jenerator has played in Camp Newman’s earned income venture.

Ruben Arquilevich

“A few years ago, we did some strategic planning, thinking about what our next decades will look like,” said Arquilevich. “And what surfaced at the top was this idea of providing a sacred space for the Jewish community beyond summer camp, which was how the concept of a year-round Jewish community retreat center was born. And that’s where Jenerator played an instrumental role in terms of providing guidance and coaching and being a true thought partner.”

Among those offering their expertise have been former Federation president John Pritzker, founding partner of Geolo Capital, and Eric Horodas, president and CEO of Greystone Hotels. “They have both given incredibly helpful guidance, particularly on the hospitality aspects of our vision. I can’t stress enough how valuable their help has been,” added Arquilevich.

Summer at URJ Camp Newman

Indeed, it’s not often that nonprofits have access to visionary philanthropists and world class chief executives, but that’s what Jenerator is providing. And, having tripled in size since its roll out in 2015, the hope (and increasingly, the expectation) is that, by instilling entrepreneurial techniques and mindsets, Jenerator will enable nonprofits to rely less upon donors’ checkbooks and more upon “self-injenuity.”

For more information about Jenerator, either as a nonprofit or as an “angel advisor,” contact Bab Freiberg at or 415.512.6295.


June 06, 2017


Jon Moskin