Why Federations should Remain Neutral

neutralFederation boards are well advised to think and act carefully with a clear sense of both history and their role.

By Robert Hyfler

The “contract” Federations have with their stakeholders – donors, agencies, synagogues and the community at large – is one explicitly based on philanthropy,  community building and the concept of Jewish unity. It is not nor has it ever been represented as primarily a political contract.

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Chabad in Russia: At What Cost?


[This essay is from Contact, a publication of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life. Reprinted with permission.]

By Josh Tapper
Photographs by Max Avdeev

The expansive gold-tinted sanctuary inside the Marina Roscha synagogue sits at the top of an imposing central staircase, through a towering set of double doors. On a recent Friday evening, as the Sabbath began to fall in Moscow, the sanctuary was flooded with men, intimately backslapping and handshaking as if they were in a tiny shtiebel, not the palatial aerie of Chabad Lubavitch, the largest and most influential Jewish organization in Russia. In a corner near the entrance, Berel Lazar, the country’s Milan-born, New York-raised chief rabbi, sat inconspicuously at a table, quietly conducting a shiur (Torah lesson) in Russian to a rapt audience.

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Filling a Gap: New Program is Training Jewish Outdoor Leaders


By Deborah Newbrun Where do nature, wilderness and trip leaders go to learn best practices and outdoor Jewish teaching inspiration for their Jewish summer camps? A generation ago, Jewish summer camp song leaders across the country began to be … [Continue reading]