Berlin’s Rabbi: Jews Need to Live Proudly, Show Identity and Fight Ignorance

‘We need to build bridges, not escape hatches,’ says Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal By Menachem Posner In light of the recent attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, where Jewish people were murdered in a kosher market and outside of a synagogue, as well as a number of violent acts recently against Jews in Berlin, Germany, Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, rabbi of the Berlin’s Jewish community, responds to questions regarding Jewry in that Western European capital. Q: What’s the feeling like in Berlin right now? A: There is no doubt that there is the feeling that things are heating up. But then they are heating up all over the world, and things are much more serious in other parts of Europe. The Jewish community here is large, growing and very young. True, anti-Semitism is a serious issue; … [Read more...]

William Davidson Foundation Awards Challenge Grant to ShalomLearning

ShalomLearning, a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating a lifelong love of Jewish learning among Jews of all backgrounds and affiliations, has been awarded a $2 million grant from the William Davidson Foundation. In making the grant, the William Davidson Foundation indicated that its decision to invest in ShalomLearning stems from its deep commitment to advancing Jewish education by merging ancient wisdom with modern technology. The Foundation was able to witness the impact of ShalomLearning partnerships with Detroit-area synagogues as well as other pilot projects around the country. The grant has been awarded in two parts: the first $1 million of support is immediate, and will be utilized by ShalomLearning to scale up operations and outreach across the United States. The balance of the grant … [Read more...]

Seattle Study: 59% Gave Most or All of their Donations to non-Jewish Organizations

The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and the Steinhardt Social Research Institute have released the "2014 Greater Seattle Jewish Community Study," the latest in a series of population studies that uses both meta-analysis data and new surveys to estimate the size and characteristics of the Jewish population. The resulting analysis found that Seattle Jewry has grown nearly 70% in the last 13 years, fueled both by highly educated newcomers arriving in Seattle and by the large proportion of intermarried families who identify Jewishly. The study also found that Seattle has a substantial proportion of individuals who identify as culturally Jewish or as secular Jews. Key findings include: Charitable donations are high, but donors are more likely to contribute to non-Jewish than Jewish … [Read more...]

New Charity Guidelines Deal With Overhead, Executive Pay and More

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Independent Sector has released the 2015 edition of the seminal "Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practices," a set of 33 principles broadly accepted by many nonprofit and philanthropic organizations as the foundational guide for charities’ and foundations’ self-governance. The release marks the first substantive changes to the guide document since the initial October 2007 publication of the Principles. The guide has been downloaded more than 250,000 times with thousands of printed copies in distribution. The 2015 edition of the Principles contains legal background and principles on a broad range of topics including legal compliance, effective governance, financial oversight, and responsible fundraising. Changes in the 2015 edition include eight areas in which the ethics and governance … [Read more...]

PJ Library Comes to Additional Russian-speaking Jewish Communities

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), in partnership with Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), is broadening its outreach to Russian-speaking Jewish families in North America by bringing its PJ Library program to additional Russian-speaking Jewish communities. Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Montreal Federation CJA and the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley are the first three PJ Library communities to be awarded this grant opportunity. Created by HGF in 2005, PJ Library offers families raising Jewish children, ages six months to eight years, a meaningful way to develop and deepen their Jewish identities. Building on the success of PJ Library’s commitment to New York’s Russian-speaking Jewish families - three existing programs in NYC serve this audience - this new initiative will expand the … [Read more...]

Taglit Fellows Trains Second Cohort with Skills, Strategies to Enrich Taglit-Birthright Israel Experience

JAR Leading seminar

“Our research over the years shows that the single most important factor determining the quality of the trip is the strength of the educational staff.” Gidi Mark, CEO Taglit Birthright Israel The second cohort of nearly 100 Taglit Fellows convened last month in San Diego for four days of learning with experts in Jewish, Israel, and experiential education. “Taglit Fellows” is the professional development program launched in 2014 by Taglit-Birthright Israel and implemented in partnership with the iCenter for Israel Education as an educational intensive for exceptional Jewish leaders and aspiring Jewish educators looking to staff Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. These newly and highly trained educators will increase the quality of the Taglit-Birthright Israel experience, play significant roles in the … [Read more...]

With 16 New Houses, Moishe House Now at 75

Moishe House Paris residents prepare food for their Tikkun Olam program.

Due to significant interest from young Jewish communities around the world, Moishe House opened 16 houses last year, including several across Europe and South Africa. Their global network now includes 75 houses in 17 countries. Following the recent launch of a Global Community Fund and with matching support from the Sabrina Merage Foundation, Moishe House opened locations in Cape Town, Paris, and Prague this past fall. As Moishe House works to increase the initial global fund of $100,000 to more than $200,000 in 2015, along with other donations from local supporters, the organization plans to open four new houses abroad and is exploring locations in Europe such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Marseilles, Munich and Vienna while considering communities in South America such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao … [Read more...]