Jewish Philanthropy in Israel

mail1eJewish Philanthropy is pleased to welcome Gidi Grinstein, the Founder and President, of the Reut Institute, who has graciously provided us with the English translation of his series of blog posts on Philanthropy in Israel.

Gidi is considered one of the leading policy analysts in Israel and commands a variety of expertise on national security, negotiations, governance and socio-economics. He has an extensive background in policy-planning and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Tel-Aviv University Schools of Law and Economics.

Please join Gidi for the discussion.

Diaspora and Jewish Philanthropy in Israel: Overhaul or Be Marginalized

March, 2008


Jewish Philanthropy in Israel: Overhaul or be Marginalized

An introductory piece that summarizes the key points of the series.


  • Post 1: An Introduction by a Grantee – This is the short version of what has brought me to write this series and an introduction to the logic of its structure.
  • Post 2: Why Should we Care? – This post answers the question: why is this issue important to Israelis and to Jews.

The Challenges:

  • Post 3: Decline of Jerusalem and the Rise of Others – This post explains the fundamental transformations of Israeli society that impact Jewish philanthropy in Israel.
  • Post 4: Diminishing Marginal Impact – This post describes the growth of the Israeli economy and the marginalizing impact that it has on Jewish philanthropy.
  • Post 5: Where is the Israeli Center? – This post focuses on the growing disconnect between the Israeli socioeconomic center and Jewish philanthropy.
  • Post 6: The Rise of Israeli philanthropy – This post discusses the impact of the growth of Israeli philanthropy in Israel and its impact on Jewish philanthropy here.

The Response:

  • Post 7: It has to be Qualitative – This post makes a simple point that the response to the challenge of marginalization has to be qualitative i.e. aiming to leverage greater impact with the same dollars.
  • Post 8: On Vision: The TOP 15 Agenda as a Possible Framework – This post offers the TOP 15 Vision as an example of a possible overarching framework for philanthropic activity in Israel.
  • Post 9: On Organization: Heavy Hitters Come Together – This post discusses the need for the heavy hitters of Jewish philanthropy to unite in the name of their mutual interests.
  • Post 10: On Organization: Standardize your Expectations – This post calls upon the heavy hitters to standardize grant requests and reporting to make them more accessible to Israeli talent and innovation as well as to save resources.
  • Post 11: On Organization: The Challenge of Small Nonprofits – This post describes the inefficiencies generated by small nonprofits and calls to create the incentives for them to grow, merge, synergize or shut down.
  • Post 12: On Focus: Institution Building and Better Management – This post calls for a shift from focusing on performance and results to capacity and institution building.
  • Post 13: On Focus: Develop a Philanthropic Ethos – This post challenges philanthropists to develop guidelines for their activity that would help them focus.
  • Post 14: On Priorities: Government and Market Failures – This post challenges philanthropists to focus their resources on the conditions where they can make the biggest impact i.e. where neither the government nor the market can address the crisis.

Philanthropic Leadership:

  • Post 15: On Philanthropic Leadership – Not every act of philanthropy amounts to leadership. Sometimes, it is the opposite. This post discusses the concept of philanthropic leadership.