Meet Ellie Hoch

High school student Ellie Hoch never realized there could be a connection between entrepreneurship, social responsibility and Jewish values.

Until, that is, she was looking for a program to engage with other Jewish teens and discovered 4Front’s new Social Innovation Fellowship. 4Front, a hub for Jewish teen engagement, is housed at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC.

In the program’s inaugural year, the teens developed a prototype product to address a community need. They were charged with relating their ideas to Jewish values.

For Hoch and her group, that translated into a product to prevent drowsy driving. They based it on the Jewish values of Pikuach Nefesh (save a life) and Achrayut (social responsibility).

“There are many programs that encourage innovation,” says Hoch. “The Social Innovation Fellowship allows you to look at entrepreneurship from a different perspective. It connects us to our Jewish values and promotes Jewish identity while enabling us to fulfill our social responsibility.”

As part of the project, the group also visited Israel, meeting with start-ups and connecting to their Ashkelon and Odessa counterparts, who also participated in the program.

“I love that our Jewish community brings people in Baltimore and all over the world together,” Hoch adds.

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