New Philanthropy in Israel

Also speaking at yesterday’s inaugural conference at The Center for the Study of Philanthropy in Israel was Professor Baruch Shimoni of Hebrew U. on his recently released paper, Business and New Philanthropy in Israel: Ethnography of Mega Donors. Dr. Shimoni’s paper assumes “that philanthropy in Israel is undergoing a process of change, engineered mainly by a new generation of donors with vast experience in the business sector...”

Like a number of social innovators we hear about, Dr. Shimoni continues…
“It would seem that the members of this group represent a shift from spontaneous, personal, romantic philanthropy based on charity to the poor, to “rational philanthropy” which is characterized by the personal involvement of donors who perceive themselves as “investors” and not only as philanthropists.

The concepts used by these rational philanthropists are imported mainly from the business sector, and they include measurable outcomes, transparency, and strategic work according to rules and regulations.”

The paper is available in Hebrew from The Center.

Preliminary findings were also released on a new Public Opinion Survey on Philanthropy in Israel conducted by Professor Hillel Schmid and Avishag Rudich of the Center.

The survey tells us…

“even though there is considerable opinion among Israelis that much of the public social programs and projects should be the responsibility of the government, the public nevertheless views philanthropic activity in a highly positive light and believes that it plays an essential role in Israeli society.

Regarding opinions about the contribution from Jewish communities abroad, 88% of the general Jewish and ultra-Orthodox participants expressed a very positive attitude toward those contributions. Moreover, 58% of the participants in the general Jewish group believed that the extent of contributions from Jewish communities abroad is high.”

for additional background on the preliminary results, click here