from The Forward: The Politics of Rescue "It was Maimonides who said that there is no greater religious duty than pidyon shevuyim, the redemption of captives, an injunction with deep biblical roots and plenty of historical illustrations. This obligation fueled the movement to free Soviet Jews and undergirds the contemporary Israeli impulse to strike lopsided deals and embark on military campaigns to redeem its soldiers. It’s the reason … [Read more...] about Departure from Yemen: An Editorial
Are Tax Changes A Concern? by Robert I. Evans & Avrum D. Lapin Seemingly, not just the U.S. government is undergoing significant change these days. The world of (Jewish) philanthropy could be looking at a major transformation as well. Proposals to change the federal tax deductibility on charitable donations for individuals in top tax brackets may be one major issue that could challenge the existing paradigm. But amidst all of the … [Read more...] about Is Jewish Philanthropy in a Seismic Shift (#1)?
A key finding of the recent Jumpstart study of Jewish startups is that “startups say they would benefit most from mechanisms that lower administrative and operational costs.” One successful model for sharing costs is Bikkurim: An Incubator for New Jewish Ideas. Bikkurim gives its resident organizations office space and professional support, and they form a community of innovators. In some ways it resembles Jumpstart’s own JSpace concept, which it … [Read more...] about Cost Sharing and Sustainability
During the past several weeks we have read about major staff reductions taking place across the Jewish world. Tens of valued professional Jewish communal workers along with competent and loyal administrative and support staff have received pink slips - in some cases they were given just two days notice to clear out their offices - as their jobs were being retrenched. These costs saving measures are not unique to Jewish organizations and have been … [Read more...] about The Ethics of Downsizing
by Bob Goldfarb It’s hardly news that philanthropists are reconsidering their priorities in the face of the economy’s woes. The move to provide for basic needs, for example, is a natural and laudable response to the jump in unemployment. It’s important, though, not to lose sight of the long-term welfare of the Jewish community, and that includes arts and culture. Jewish communal life stands on four pillars: education, religion, community, … [Read more...] about The Case for Arts and Culture