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?

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[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

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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]