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Jan. 16, 2013 9:30 am

Tribe Commons: coworking space ‘rooted in Jewish cultural values’ to open in Center City next month

Tribe Commons, a coworking space that describes itself as “rooted in Jewish cultural values,” is slated to open in Center City this February. Located in The Camac Center at 201 S. Camac St., the coworking space is part of a broader nonprofit called Tribe12, which has the mission to engage members of the Jewish community […]

Tribe Commons, a coworking space that describes itself as “rooted in Jewish cultural values,” is slated to open in Center City this February.

Located in The Camac Center at 201 S. Camac St., the coworking space is part of a broader nonprofit called Tribe12, which has the mission to engage members of the Jewish community in their 20s and 30s.

Tribe Commons aims to be a place for entrepreneurs in the Jewish community to connect, said Tribe12 founder Ross Berkowitz, but membership will be open to anyone who is looking for office space. He likened it to church programming, saying that churches often organize programs that are open to people of all different religions. The new spot is another addition to the city’s bustling coworking scene.

Visit Tribe12 here.

Initially, Berkowitz is looking to accommodate about a dozen permanent members and 20 to 30 part-time members. He said that as a nonprofit, Tribe12 already has a community. The next step is looking for people in that community who’d be interested in office space. Tribe12 and its four staffers will also be housed in the Tribe Commons space, Berkowitz said.

When Tribe12 sent a message through the Philly Startup Leaders listserv about its social entrepreneurship accelerator [check back for a story on its current class], there was some backlash, with some members calling the accelerator exclusionary. When asked about these sentiments, Berkowitz said he believes in the benefit of creating niche communities, “as long as those communities are willing to reach out beyond themselves.”

He added that it’s not useful to simply refuse to acknowledge people’s differences.

“The reality is that these [niche] groups exist,” he said. “You can’t ignore it.”

Berkowitz, 40, lives in Bella Vista with his wife and three-year-old daughter.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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