In Philly: The Debate on Funding Overseas Needs

from Jewish Exponent:

Making Sense of the Donated Dollars

When it comes to dollars designated for the Jewish state, is it more important to fund a soup kitchen or send more college students on a Birthright Israel experience?

While it might not be an either/or proposition, these issues lie at the heart of an ongoing debate, especially as funds for Israel continue to decline.

Now that Israel is considered a first-world economy with a growing philanthropic sensibility, should the focus still be on using communal dollars to assist Israel’s poor and disadvantaged? Or should those monies be utilized to bolster the Israel-Diaspora connection at a time when American Jews are increasingly becoming disconnected from Jewish life and the Jewish state?

Locally, the tide seems to be shifting toward prioritizing identity-building programs.