So I figured if I’m going to be talking about what I’m doing in Israel, I might as well start with the present (yup, that’s a pun) — and work backwards. I assume I’ll work backwards, I suppose we’ll see tomorrow.

So here’s a crash course in PresenTense — what they do, why I’m volunteering with them, etc.

In short, PresenTense (PT) helps innovative Jews create social start-ups, so they can in-turn change their communities for the better.

I say Jews, because that’s the main focus, but really the community is open to anyone with a good idea (and maybe a plan) of how to improve the world around them. Even then, PT invests it’s time and energy in people, not exact ideas. PresenTense started off as a magazine.

After a little while, they discovered that the innovative social entrepreneurs that they were writing about needed advice and direction — so they started the summer Global Institute (GI). The Global Institute Fellowship is in its 5th year, and that’s what I’m working on now.

PT has also expanded into local fellowships in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. PT calls them Community Entrepreneur Partnerships or CEP.

In case you haven’t noticed, PresenTense absolutely loves buzzwords and terminology. Like to the point where I’m pretty sure we have a dictionary of phrases that we use lying around somewhere; if we don’t, we need one.

Coming up next/soonish: I started out my time with PresenTense as I was finishing with OTZMA. It was just as we were getting ready for Launch Nights – which I think I’ll write about in a different blog post.

These days I spend a lot of time running the PresenTense blog, and working on making PT’s web presence sustainable for the future. I’ll also talk more about the Fellows, and the various tech we use behind PresenTense to make it go.

Maybe someone out there on the lazy web will have ideas of how we can improve the stuff we use.