NewsBits: Around the Jewish Web

new-website-iconThe weekly papers are beginning to hit the Web.

from The Forward:

Jewish Charities Look to Stimulus Bill To Stave Off Cuts

While the public’s eye has been trained on the money that Bernard Madoff allegedly swindled from Jewish organizations, most Jewish charities are fearfully watching another, much larger donor that is falling on hard times: the government.

Jewish agencies such as nursing homes and community centers take in an estimated $10 billion each year from government sources — some 10 times the amount these agencies raise from the public. Most of the $10 billion is directed through state governments that are struggling mightily to stay afloat in the current economic downturn.

from The New York Jewish Week:

Recession Forcing Groups Off D.C. Sidelines

A spiraling economic emergency has upset the traditional political calculations of Jewish groups and prompted several to become active in the national effort to avert an even deeper calamity.

This week the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the United Jewish Communities (UJC) were lobbying for versions of the massive economic stimulus bill now moving through Congress, a dramatic and revealing shift for organizations that have traditionally steered clear of positions on core economic issues like taxes and spending.

from The Jewish Journal:

One Year Later, Gold’s Changes Face Kudos, Backlash

People are starting to get the message that The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles isn’t going to be their grandparents’ umbrella organization

The Federation’s internal government has been re-drawn, and the board now is less than a third the size of the old 133-member parliament. Beneficiary agencies like Jewish Family Service and the Bureau of Jewish Education now receive funding for specific programs instead of their entire operation and must shoulder more of their own expenses, including part of, and eventually all of, their rent. And, in the latest and perhaps more significant sign of change, the Federation’s longtime president, John Fishel, announced last week that he will step down at the end of 2009.

from the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle:

Federation plans for decreased allocations in 2010

Last week the Milwaukee Jewish Federation board of directors made decisions in response to the recent global economic downturn that will change the size and scope of Milwaukee’s Jewish community infrastructure and services for the next fiscal year and, likely, beyond.

and this from The Boston Globe:

Donation drop puts Brandeis in a bind

Each winter, Brandeis University president Jehuda Reinharz flies down to Palm Beach to court wealthy donors, trips that in the past yielded millions for the university. But last month, Reinharz returned nearly empty-handed, lamenting to faculty during a recent meeting that he has never received so little…

While university officials have largely blamed the current financial crisis for their predicament, Mark T. Williams, a Boston University economist who specializes in financial risk management and who is familiar with Brandeis finances, said the school’s financial woes have been brewing for years.

“Brandeis has not been managed well for quite some time,” Williams said. “It’s fiscal irresponsibility that started well before the current downturn. They’d love to blame it on the market and on Madoff, but it’s more deep-seated than that.”