“The TEDx of Social Action” — TOM:NYC Makeathon

Press Release – New York, NY — TOM:NYC will be a three-day Makeathon to invent affordable, assistive technology addressing needs of people with disabilities. New York’s first TOM Makeathon will feature teams of eight “makers” (engineers, product designers, developers and coders) who will unite with “need-knowers” (individuals with a deep understanding of a specific disability or challenge) to create prototypes where there is no market interest due to prohibitive cost or speciality of condition. Designs will then be published online for public domain use, accessible to those with similar disabilities around the world. The event will be held April 21-23rd at New Lab in Brooklyn.

TOM:NYC is part of multi-week, national campaign on campuses across the U.S. Berkeley, Cornell University, Northwestern, UCI, Vanderbilt, and Solomon Schechter Makeathons are being organized with the support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and will be the latest in activities launched by the global TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers movement.

Tikkun Olam Makers (Hebrew for “repairing the world,”) which was launched in 2014 by Reut Group, is a network of makers currently organized in 10 countries. At a recent Makeathon, a team of Makers created a robotic arm for a quadriplegic man for $700–nearly $14,000 cheaper than its market value. At another, members of Israel’s space program designed wheelchairs more ergonomic and affordable than what’s available on the market.

At TOM:NYC, Makers and Need-Knowers will team up to create devices for 15 challenges, including prototypes for a portable, lightweight ramp that will provide greater mobility in urban environments, adaptable tech for weight machines at the gym, and redesigning a manual wheelchair so it can be be propelled without the use of one’s arms.

The Jim Joseph Foundation is championing the innovative efforts to mobilize young leadership by supporting the seminar training for campus organizers, supporting the development of a campus methodology and guidebook, as well as supporting each of the six Makeathons. These efforts are designed to create a scalable model to reach and engage even more young Jewish leaders, Jewish high schools, and college communities across the United States.

“This is a dynamic initiative that mobilizes young people to create change for good in an environment imbued with creativity and Jewish values,” says Barry Finestone, President and CEO of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “The Foundation is excited to partner with TOM, offering opportunities for young adults to connect with Israelis and to engage in projects that inherently reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

By investing in promising Jewish education grant initiatives, the Jim Joseph Foundation seeks to foster compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews in the United States. Established in 2006, the Jim Joseph Foundation has awarded more than $450 million in grants to engage, educate, and inspire young Jewish minds to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives. www.jimjosephfoundation.org

TOM:NYC is a partnership of TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers, Reut Group, Cornell Tech, Entrepreneurship at Cornell, Cornell ILR’s Yang -Tan Institute on Employment and Disability and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

Tikkun Olam Makers—How it Works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKJQ2B0QW1s

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