The Collaboratory

The Collaboratory is the largest annual gathering of Jewish community visionaries and catalyzers of change in North America.

This annual convening is just what it sounds like: a Collaborative Laboratory, where a unique cross-section of leaders, ventures, and philanthropists come together to ignite new thinking and seed game-changing collaborations that move the needle on our community’s biggest challenges. The Collaboratory is the only space where this network can support each other in opening up new possibilities, spurring Jewish life to take bold leaps into the future.

The Collaboratory 2020 will bring the best of previous years: high-caliber programming, meaningful networking, and inspiring stories from the field. With seven years under our belt, we’re also exploring new ways to harness the power of this network to push the periphery of what’s possible, and to spur our community to think boldly about the future.

2020 will also be a more intimate, invite-only gathering that elevates the voices of the UpStart and ROI networks. In 2021, The Collaboratory will open back up to a wider audience.

Co-produced by: UpStart and ROI Community


➡︎ Who is invited?

The Collaboratory 2020 is a gathering for the UpStart and ROI Community networks, as well as select funders invested in the work of Jewish community change.

The ROI Community network includes anyone who has participated in the ROI Summit. The Collaboratory will be particularly valuable for those members of the ROI Community who are entrepreneurs launching ventures in the Jewish community, change-makers at Jewish institutions, or foundation professionals.

The UpStart network includes three groups of people:

  • Anyone who has participated in one of our core Venture programs (Venture Accelerator or Entrepreneur Sprints) as well as members of the UpStart Venture Alumni Network (UVAN)
  • Anyone who has participated in an UpStart Change Accelerator for institutional leaders
  • Anyone who has participated in a recent, intensive UpStart Field Accelerator (NYJTI and sJE)

Select funders and sponsors invested in the work of Jewish community change will also be invited to The Collaboratory 2020.

➡︎ How do I know if I am considered in the UpStart Network?

You are considered “In-Network” if…

You participated in an ROI or UpStart leadership development program, only the participant in that program is invited to attend. Programs that fall into this category include:

  • ROI Summit
  • UpStart Change Accelerator
  • UJA Intrapreneurship Fellowship
  • sJe Field Accelerator
  • New York Jewish Teen Initiative (NYJTI)
  • You participated in an immersive program specifically designed for an organization, you can send up to two individuals per organization. Those team members who have strategic decision-making and/or high-level execution responsibilities will get the most out of the convening. Eligible venture programs/networks include:
    • UpStart Venture Accelerator & Entrepreneur Sprints
    • UpStart Venture Alumni Network (UVAN)

Funders and sponsors are invited by invitation only and are selected based on their knowledge, participation, and support of the field.

Several local stakeholders will be invited to join the convening for the Opening Night Celebration.

➡︎ If I’m not in the UpStart or ROI networks, how do I get an invitation?

Unfortunately, the 2020 convening is only open to the UpStart and ROI networks, as well as select funders invested in the work of Jewish community change. That being said, we know that The Collaboratory has many committed and aspiring attendees.

➡︎ Will there be opportunities to engage with Collaboratory content if I’m not there in person?

Our goal is to make some Collaboratory 2020 content accessible to a wider audience. Sign up for the UpStart email list here to make sure you’re in the know about both opportunities.


We are thrilled to announce Reverend Jen Bailey and Lennon Flowers speaking together as our Collaboratory keynote.

Rev. Jen and Lennon broke through together, creating The People’s Supper, which builds trust and connection between people of different identities and perspectives through a shared meal. Since January 2017, The People’s Supper has hosted over 1,400 dinners in 121 communities across the United States. Bringing their background as social entrepreneurs, connection-makers, and community-builders, Rev. Jen and Lennon will invite our network to create “brave space” as we chart new paths in Jewish life.

Reverend Jen Bailey is co-founder of The People’s Supper and the founder and executive director of Faith Matters Network. She is also an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and her writing appears regularly in publications including Sojourners and The Huffington Post.



Lennon Flowers is co-founder of The People’s Supper and the co-founder and executive director of The Dinner Party. She is also an Ashoka Fellow and an Aspen Ideas Scholar. She has written for CNN, YES!Forbes, Open Democracy, EdWeek, and Fast Company.