As of June, 2019, Makom Hadash has closed. When we founded Makom Hadash in 2010, the goal was to establish and operate a Multi-Tenant Nonprofit Center for Innovative Jewish Organizations in order to strengthen the capacity of Jewish nonprofits – especially at the second stage of growth, to facilitate collaboration and creativity among both resident and non-resident organizations, and to reduce operating costs for individual participating nonprofits.
When we founded Makom Hadash, the goal was to establish and operate a Multi-Tenant Nonprofit Center for Innovative Jewish Organizations in order to strengthen the capacity of Jewish nonprofits – especially at the second stage of growth, to facilitate collaboration and creativity among both resident and non-resident organizations, and to reduce operating costs for individual participating nonprofits.
From inception, Makom Hadash served both large and small organizations. Between the time Makom Hadash was conceived to the present, spaces such as WeWork have experienced tremendous growth and increased popularity. One key learning is that the success of the space was in culture, community, and capacity-building, and that ultimately these mattered more than cost for the space itself. Though we were never able to significantly compete with WeWork prices, Makom Hadash thrived nonetheless because people benefited from and enjoyed the culture so much. Our space remained full – so full that we had to expand to accommodate more members!
Makom Hadash also allowed us to provide a financial and structural cushion to smaller organizations. For Hazon in particular, the ability to stay in one place all that time, even as we grew and changed shape, was incredibly helpful!
Some of the key lessons we’ve learned about how Jewish co-working spaces build capacity include:
- Improved staff retention and hiring: junior staff made friends, found mentors, built networks, etc.
- Mid-level staff who found no room for further growth at their own organization moved, in several cases, to other organizations they connected with through M.H.
- Interns who not only were mentored in their own organizations but also sat with and participated in workshops and group events with peers from other groups were more likely to accept full-time jobs later.
- The space provided an opportunity for larger networking. We did this through a weekly snack time, which typically gathered 20-40 people (staff and guests), and provided an opportunity for intentional community building through a much-desired casual, relatively unstructured environment.
- Informal groups such as a regular lunch-time crew and a 929 Tanakh haburah, a steady group of 2-5 who meet at the end of the day each Monday to discuss Torah, keep staff motivated, learning, and engaged in the things that originally brought them to Jewish professional life.
Many staff have had their lives transformed by working at Makom Hadash. The space has facilitated tremendous career growth, marriages, life-long friendships, and new Jewish journeys. Below are just a few statements of gratitude and reflections from people who have worked in Makom Hadash:
The opportunity to meet and speak with fellow Executive Directors was a meaningful and helpful one. Working in smaller organizations can often be lonely and isolating and creating a small community of “fellow travelers” is particularly helpful. Thank you for providing this service all these years! – Peter Geffen, Kivunim
It was an incredible privilege to “grow up” as a Jewish professional in the Makom Hadash community. I joined Hazon as a fellow just out of college, and I left the space eight years later as the Executive Director of Limmud NY. The communal nature of Makom Hadash fostered a culture of deep caring about each other’s success. Even though our organizations were distinct and our missions were different, I always knew that I had colleagues to turn to for whatever I needed. – Daniel Infeld, Hazon and Limmud NY
The best part of…working in the Jewish communal space is the building of personal relationships. The CEO lunches with Nigel, Cheryl, Rachel, and others have been nourishing and invigorating. The professional programs that were organically derived out of personal relationships were fulfilling and fun. The people I only met because of working in Makom Hadash have brought so much joy to my life. – Sarah Sokolic, Lab/Shul
I really enjoyed working at Makom Hadash…Through connections at Makom Hadash I ended up going to Lab/Shul and Shir Hamaalot. I learned about Pardes and Hadar, decided that I wanted to do full-time immersive study…It was a really important part of my journey. Thanks! – Jason Schwartz, Avodah
Thank you for your support to create this New Space. It has been invaluable in creating 9 years of learning, growth, and professional successes for 20 organizations and many, many staff. We are tremendously grateful.
Makom Hadash was a program of Hazon, and was made possible through the generous support of the Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York, the Schwarz Family Foundation/Jeffrey and Wendy Schwarz, The Natan Fund and other donors.