UpStarts: Kelli Pfaff, the Efshar Project & Jewish Early Childhood Education

May 3, 2022 | Article

UpStarts: Kelli Pfaff, the Efshar Project & Jewish Early Childhood Education

May 3, 2022

IST @ 50JEWISHcolorado lay leader Kelli Pfaff recently spearheaded the IST@50 Committee’s May 1 event, which celebrated 50+ years of the Joyce Zeff Israel Study Tour (IST), and she’s far from resting on her laurels.

Last week, UpStart announced that it had selected The Efshar Project as one of ten entrepreneurial leaders for the 13th cohort of its flagship Venture Accelerator program. Said Pfaff, Efshar’s Project Director, “I couldn’t be more thrilled for our community to have an opportunity to participate in this extraordinary learning experience. We believe we are doing something really special here in the Denver/Boulder area to elevate the importance of investing early in our Jewish community.”


Selected from a pool of more than 50 highly qualified applicants, The Efshar Project seeks to elevate early childhood education through advocacy, innovative programming, coaching, and mentoring to its network of 12 Jewish early childhood education partner schools in the Denver/Boulder area. The Efshar Project was chosen for its demonstrated track record of inclusivity, creativity, and vision. With UpStart’s support, The Efshar Project will continue to provide critical solutions for burgeoning communities, reach underserved populations, and respond to urgent communal issues. As a member of the Cohort, the Venture Accelerator will benefit Efshar by providing opportunities to learn how to design sustainable models for funding and growing impact, enabling Efshar to serve Jewish communities across the country for years to come.

This year, JEWISHcolorado disbursed early childhood education grants totaling $100,000 to 12 Jewish early childhood centers serving infants through pre-K. The funds go to help support and inspire lifelong Jewish connections through exemplary early childhood education experiences.

UpStart, whose mission is “to inspire and empower leaders to dream, build, and grow bold initiatives that enhance the vitality of Jewish life,” will support their new cohort as they tackle the Jewish community’s most pressing challenges. And JEWISHcolorado will continue to support both our extraordinary lay leader Kelli Pfaff and centers for Jewish early childhood education.