The Process: PresenTense

Or the tale of the reluctant entrepreneur! In the ever popular Q&A format.

Q: What is PresenTense?

A: PresenTense is a global community of innovators and entrepreneurs, thinkers and leaders, creators and educators who are investing their ideas and energy in revitalizing the established Jewish community by helping innovators and entrepreneurs build new ideas into transformational ventures.

In Boston, with the support of CJP, PresenTense equips passionate people with the entrepreneurial skills, tools, and supportive networks they need to ensure that anyone who wants to make positive change is able to, and the entire community benefits from growth through innovation.

Q: So you’re a entrepreneur?

A: Reluctantly yes. I am stepping out on a ledge and creating a product I think there is a demand for, and looking at it in a socially conscious way. In that way, I’m a social entrepreneur  But I’m not quitting my day job just yet.

Q: So you’re in a social entrepreneurship program? What does that look like?

A: It’s a 10 month long entrepreneur accelerator powered by design thinking (stay with me through the jargon) to help me create, build, implement, etc. a business plan for a product. I’m in the “interfaith cluster.”

Q: Hold up. Interfaith cluster?

A: Yup! New to this year’s program is a focus on community identified problems. So instead of putting out a call for anyone with any idea to join, CJP has identified areas for growth in the community (or gaps in the nonprofit/community landscape). They didn’t tell me what to work on, just encouraged me to think of a product in this area.

Q: Back up a bit further. Interfaith?  What does that even mean?

A: Good question– you’re clearly not a Jewish professional! That’s great- welcome! I’m so excited you’re here! Short answer: interfaith is the (jargon-y) word we use to describe romantic relationships between Jews and non-Jews. So far, I’ve found only the Jewish community describes these partnerships this way.

Q: So what are you working on in this interfaith cluster?

A: I’m working on creating/enhancing spaces, places, and times where couples can have conversations about religion, identity, community, and family. I want to build safe (and brave) spaces for conversations that can be exciting, challenging, scary, or all of the above. My research has led me to create a series of “conversation cards” or flash cards with prompt questions for you and your partner to use to start a conversation. Right now, I’m calling the product “Share & Tell: Conversation Cards for Couples,” and hope to have them designed, printed, and for sale soon!

Stay tuned!



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