Genesis Philanthropy Group Announces New CEO

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Foundation also announces several other new leadership appointments New York, July 31, 2014 - Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) today announced the promotion of its North American executive director, Ilia Salita, to CEO of the organization. Salita will lead the private foundation’s global effort to develop and enhance a sense of Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide. … [Read more...]

Debating Perpetuity: Five Considerations

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Foundations have flexibility - they can vary their spending rates based upon their plans and circumstances. by John Hoover Several years ago, ACBP set out to research issues facing spend down foundations. To our surprise, there was little information available. Since then, there has been an increasing amount of publications and forums around spending down assets as compared to perpetuity. In absorbing this information, we have a few considerations to highlight. Investment and impact are two major concerns facing every foundation. Investments are managed to produce a return. Returns are spent to have impact - with a portion held for reinvestment. The target spending rate for many foundations in the United States is five percent. This has roots in the federal government’s minimum distribution … [Read more...]

The Jewish World Responds: Stop the Sirens Campaign

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The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), in partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), has launched Stop the Sirens. The campaign, initiated with a $10 million goal, is now looking for $30 million in commitments to deal with immediate and critical needs. eJP has been informed that all federations are making an effort to participate. As of July 24th, $8,500,000 has been allocated to specific projects proposed by JFNA's major partners (The Jewish Agency, JDC, World ORT and the Israel Trauma Coalition) and the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) and Masorti movement in Israel. Shortly before Shabbat, eJP spoke at length with Heschel Raskas, the chair of JFNA's Allocations Committee, to both understand the process and … [Read more...]

From HS Students, to Foundations, to Global Organizations, the Jewish World Mobilizes

On July 7th, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge and the Jewish world immediately mobilized to provide a range of services to soften the war’s impact, particularly on the lives of children and families, but also to assist those who are risking their lives in defense of Israel. Following are just some of the many initiatives underway (culled from list-servs of the various organizations, July 25th). Alexander Muss High School in Israel Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) students and staff helped raise $2,000 in a one-day drive for food and supplies which were delivered to IDF soldiers. The drive was initiated by AMHSI teens, who are spending six weeks in Israel this summer living on AMHSI's Hod Hasharon campus, where they are on a study and travel program learning about Jewish … [Read more...]

The Case for Tzedakah in Jewish Education

by Saul Kaiserman Jewish education is an intrinsically optimistic endeavor. Our work as educators is predicated on the faith that we can inspire our students to personal growth. Further, we believe that by studying the past we can successfully prepare for an unknown future. We believe that compelling questions of value and meaning have shaped our communities since the days of the Bible. Our role as educators is not to pass along definitive answers to these questions, but rather to enable our learners to form reflective communities, guided by the decisions of previous generations while empowered to take responsibility for arriving at their own conclusions. I believe our classrooms and other places of learning must be the “laboratory” for the Jewish future, providing vital and distinctive … [Read more...]

Why I am Funding Big Data in the Jewish Community

by Simone Friedman Rones One of my biggest challenges in managing our family’s philanthropy is knowing whether our grants - especially those we give to organizations serving Jewish young adults - are really making a difference. Are the programs we fund truly having an impact on the individual Jews who are participating in them? Are the young adults attending these programs deepening their involvement in the community by participating in other programs as well? And most importantly, are the programs we fund empowering young adults to move from being passive consumers of Jewish programming to becoming active participants in creating their own Jewish experiences? Unfortunately, the Jewish community suffers from a leaky pipeline problem as individuals move between organizations or disappear from an … [Read more...]

Jewish Social Change Organizations Awarded $1,000,000 in Grants Through Jewish Funders Network Matching Grant Initiative

Jewish organizations working on lasting systemic and cultural change, that engage people across lines of difference, and that have a proven track record of collaborations in and outside of the Jewish social change sector, received more than $500,000 in grants in the second round of a matching fund supported by seven foundations in partnership with the Jewish Funders Network. The $1 million Jewish Social Change Matching Fund was designed to grow philanthropic investment in the U.S. Jewish social change field. The first round of $500,000 in matching grants was awarded at the end of last year. Our partnership with seven leading foundations in this field is a prime example of how our network of funders is uniquely positioned to collaborate, maximize their individual impact, and collectively … [Read more...]

Can the Pew Findings Guide Philanthropic Investment in the Jewish Community

Philanthropic efforts need to walk a line between supporting the existing institutional structure and disruptive efforts that foster development of new forms of engagement. [This essay is from "Philanthropic Priorities in Light of Pew," reprinted with permission from Contact, a publication of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.] by Leonard Saxe The 2013 Pew Research Center’s “Portrait of Jewish Americans” was like manna from heaven for pundits across the Jewish world. The study unleashed a virtual tsunami of commentary. Most commentators lamented the state of American Jewish life described by Pew and saw the findings as evidence of fuzzy identification with Judaism, growing secularization and lessened Jewish engagement. Pundits typically saw the findings as confirming their … [Read more...]