NewsBits: Around the Jewish Web

Touching the world of Jewish philanthropy, here are a few items appearing on other Web sites you may find of interest.

from The Jerusalem Post:

US Jewish leader: Israel must take more financial responsibility

US Jews expect Israel to accept more financial responsibility for its needs, Rebecca Caspi, senior vice president and director general operations of UJC-Israel, said Wednesday.

Caspi said that due to the economic crisis, Israel no longer was at the forefront of American Jews’ attention.

“Even people who understand the importance of Israel and who have family here find it easy to forget Israel,” said Caspi. “The economic slowdown coincides with other changes taking place anyway in the Jewish world.” Caspi said that fundraising proceeds for Jewish causes in the US have dropped by about 20 percent.

from The New York Jewish Week:

Seminaries, 92nd St. Y Forced Into Painful Cuts

In further signs that the deepening recession is having a major impact on Jewish universities and institutions, two major seminaries here announced tuition freezes and budget cuts, the city’s largest Jewish cultural institution laid off nearly 10 percent of its staff and Brandeis University is taking the highly unusual step of selling off its prized contemporary art collection.


Did Bernie Bankrupt Brandeis?

But in an exclusive interview, Peter French, Brandeis’s chief operating officer, explained that the university’s situation is far more dire than it appeared in news accounts, which extrapolated the $10 million figure from published documents. He objected to the word “bankrupt,” but what would you call an institution with a projected deficit of $79 million over the next six years, a tapped-out reserve fund, a shrunken endowment and “quite a number” of big donors hit hard by the Madoff scandal?