New Reports Released: Online/Blended Learning in Jewish Day Schools

AviChai blended learning report 2015

The AVI CHAI Foundation has released “Online/Blended Learning State of the Field Survey Summary Findings Report” by Anne Deeter. This quantitative report provides a field-wide update on new developments in the use of online/blended learning in Jewish day schools since the 2012 “Online Learning: State of the Field Survey.” This report is the second “State of the Field” report on Jewish day school online/blended learning recently released by The AVI CHAI Foundation. The previous report, “Moving Forward: An Interim Report of Select AVI CHAI Blended Learning Initiatives in Jewish Day Schools,” by Dr. Leslie Siskin, is a qualitative analysis charting the progress of day schools involved in some of AVI CHAI’s funded initiatives in this area. Both reports indicate rapid growth in the field and … [Read more...]

JJ Greenberg Memorial Award Presented to Israeli Pair

Hila Marmos and Meytal Brown-Mendelwicz, co-directors of The Opportunity Fund for Civic Service, were named this year’s winners of the annual JJ Greenberg Memorial Award. The award, which is administered by the Jewish Funders Network (JFN), and was presented at the 2015 JFN International Conference held last month in Tel Aviv, came with $5,000 to be used for professional development or tzedakah. This marks the first time the award has been given to a pair of recipients. The Opportunity Fund is an independent philanthropic consortium, launched in the spring of 2012, by a coalition of Israeli and North American partners: the Revson, Gandyr, and Arison Foundations, UJA-Federation of New York, the Social Security Institute of the Government of Israel, and an anonymous foundation. The goal of the Fund … [Read more...]

Pew: Muslims to Overtake Jews as 2nd Largest Non-Christian Religion in US

Pew Future of World Religions

The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths. Over the next four decades, Christians will continue to make up the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current demographic trends continue, by 2050 the number of Muslims around the world (2.8 billion, or 30% of the population) will nearly equal the number of Christians (2.9 billion, or 31%), possibly for the first time in history. With the exception of Buddhists, all of the world’s major religious groups are poised for at least some growth in absolute numbers in the coming decades. Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not … [Read more...]

Bnei Menashe Community in NE India Holds Large ‘Model Seder’

photo courtesy  Jonathan Haukip

Churachandpur, Manipur - More than 550 members of the Bnei Menashe community from the northeastern Indian state of Manipur participated in a massive pre-Passover “Model Seder” Tuesday night at the Shavei Israel Hebrew Center in Churachandpur to mark the upcoming holiday and learn about Passover practices and customs. The Bnei Menashe are descendants of the tribe of Manasseh, one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who were exiled from the Land of Israel more than 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian empire. Some 3,000 Bnei Menashe have thus far made Aliyah thanks to Shavei Israel, and another 7,000 are still in India waiting for the chance to move. … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation Announces Grants of $71m

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) and its donors made grants in 2014 of nearly $71 million - an increase from $65 million in the prior year - to causes ranging from education to human services to health initiatives to civic life. Among the year’s notable accomplishments were the creation of a record 77 new charitable funds. Marking its 60th anniversary in 2014, The Foundation reported that charitable assets under management rose 7 percent to $972 million (unaudited) at December 31, 2014 from $906 million one year earlier. Inflows from donors - which include the newly established funds, as well as additions made to existing funds - climbed nearly 30 percent to $130 million last year from $101 million in 2013. 30 percent of total grants awarded last year went to … [Read more...]

Chip Edelsberg to Step Down in December 2016 as Jim Joseph Foundation Executive Director

San Francisco, CA - The Jim Joseph Foundation Board of Directors and founding Executive Director Chip Edelsberg, Ph.D., today announced that he will step down effective December 31, 2016. Edelsberg has served in the position since 2006, shortly after the Foundation became a private foundation. The Foundation seeks to create compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for youth and young adults in the United States. “Serving as the executive director of the Jim Joseph Foundation has been the professional opportunity of a career,” says Edelsberg. “I am proud to have partnered with Foundation President Al Levitt, the Directors, and staff to build an organization. Together with a diligent, talented staff and a dedicated Board, I have had the privilege to collaborate with grantees and other … [Read more...]

Most Charities Exceeded Fundraising Goals for 2014, Study Finds

Sixty-three percent of respondents - the largest share since 2007 - saw fundraising receipts increase in 2014; this according to a report released yesterday by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative. While this is a very slight increase from 62 percent in 2013, it continues the trend of increases of 58 percent in 2012, 53 percent in 2011, and 43 percent in 2010. The four regions of the United States had mixed results in charitable receipts in 2014: Among respondents in the North, just 59 percent saw increases in 2014, less than 64 percent in 2013. In the Midwest, 66 percent saw increases, slightly higher than 63 percent in 2013, but not enough different to meet tests for statistical significance. In the South, 67 percent saw increases, essentially the same as the 68 percent in 2013. The … [Read more...]

Bronfman Fellowships & Amitei Bronfman Alumni Venture Fund distributes $25,000 in Alumni Micro-Grants


The Bronfman Fellowships Alumni VentureFund (AVF) - a peer-to-peer giving fund supported by donations from the Bronfman alumni community - has announced the Winter 2014/2015 Alumni Venture Fund Grantees. The AVF gives grants to innovative, creative, impactful alumni led projects that are in the spirit of the Fellowships’ core values. For the first time this year, both BYFI's American and Israeli alumni governing bodies joined to make all grant decisions based on group deliberation and close discussion with applicants. The AVF has distributed over 200 grants, and Bronfman Fellowships alumni throughout the country and the world are making meaningful change in their communities as a result. This year, our 21 grantees will be: Bringing Yiddish into the 21st century…. Eli Batalion (BYFI ’97) - … [Read more...]