Jewish Philanthropy in Israel’s Press

Timed to coincide with the various events these two weeks, the Israeli press has had a significant uptick in North American Jewish philanthropy related stories. Here are some links – just a few of the news stories and opinion pieces – appearing in The Jerusalem Post these past few days:

Pledges are up, but checks are being delayed

Donation pledges from North American Jews for next year are up, but many who promised to give money this year are asking to delay handing over their checks, the leaders of North America’s umbrella Jewish organization said Sunday.

Charity dollars are holy dollars (an opinion piece by Gil Troy)

The General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities is meeting in Jerusalem with the world reeling from the economic meltdown. More than 2,500 powerhouse leaders gathered, planning to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary. Instead, the participants are sobered, dreading the cutbacks they will have to impose on so many worthy recipients in Israel and abroad. Hopefully, before these generous trendsetters of the Jewish world limit gifts to the needy, they will discuss how they can make their organizations – and their own lifestyles – leaner.

As we emerge from this age of excess so many of us have enjoyed, we should acknowledge how we started treating luxuries as necessities. In the ever-escalating spending spiral that typified this era, the art of austerity succumbed to the lure of luxury.

Making An Impact

Vulnerable new immigrants, children at-risk, the elderly, young people from the periphery, small business entrepreneurs, victims of terror, people with physical and mental disabilities, lone soldiers, civilians on the front lines, women and community leaders. The vast number of programs and activities supported by United Jewish Communities (UJC) – Federations of North America in Israel touch the lives of millions of Israelis and strengthen the connection and understanding between Israel and the North American Jewish community.

American Jewry’s challenge (an opinion piece by Manfred Gerstenfeld)

What are the prospects for American Jewry? The United Jewish Communities General Assembly in Jerusalem is an opportune time to address challenges facing the larger concentration of Jews in the world.

An Israeli Idealist

Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski’s address to the opening plenum of the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities in Jerusalem on November 16 may be part of his swan song in his present capacity, or the GA may be his last appearance as JAFI chairman before taking a leave of absence to plunge back into politics.