NewsBits: Around the Jewish Web

Recent stories you may find of interest…

from The Jewish Chronicle (UK):

US Jewish charities: prospering despite credit crunch

“It’s a very challenging time, but we are finding creative ways to cope,” said [Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s] CEO, Misha Galperin.

… In 2009, American Federations raised $823 million in their annual campaign, down 11 per cent from the previous year. Across the country, hundreds of jobs were cut and services were downsized.

from The Guardian:

Charity makes us who we are

Thankfully, the citizens of Tel Aviv are not as callous as national leaders when it comes to practising one tenet of the Jewish faith.

from Haaretz:

Why do Israeli reporters ignore the Jewish Diaspora?

Two weeks ago, I had coffee with the president of one of the largest Jewish federations in North America. We discussed a wide range of issues of concern, but he seemed to come back every few minutes to one particular gripe. His federation has just launched an expensive campaign opposing a noisy attempt by a handful of lefty celebrities to boycott Israel from a prestigious international cultural platform. They paid for full-page ads in major newspapers and drafted a glittering list of stars to sign a public letter denouncing the boycotters.

The Israeli media had widely reported on the fracas but why, oh why, complained the president, had no Israeli newspaper seen fit to mention the key role played by the local Jewish community? … I was at a loss to explain to him the total indifference of the Israeli public, and by extension its media, to the worthy efforts on its behalf by organized American Jewry.

from The Jewish Chronicle (UK):

Good times over as JNF seeks cash from Iceland

The UK’s third biggest fundraising Jewish charity retains hopes of eventually recovering £375,000 that was caught up in the Icelandic banking crisis.


Thoughts on Next Dor: Synagogue 3000

As daunting as the challenge appears, dare we not attend to this missing generation? Our generation has had its opportunity to create our Jewish world. The next generation has its music, its art, its culture, its voice: are we listening? Next Dor urges us to hire a professional whose work is not to missionize the synagogue, but to build relationships with these Jews, one by one — a liberal Chabad per se. Meeting these young Jews where they live, physically and metaphorically, and listening to what they deem to be meaningful and compelling will help us to reshape what we offer. If we care, we’ll listen — really listen — and respond.

from The Jewish Week:

More Kosher Soup Kitchens Aiding The Newly Poor as Recession Impact Deepens

The storefront on Lee Avenue had yet to open for “business” last Wednesday evening when a large, hungry crowd filed in and found places at its brand-new tables.

… “Brooklyn is considered the capital of Jewish poverty, and Williamsburg is the capital in the capital,” said Rapaport as he inspected the finishing touches at the new location. The new Masbia is intentionally nearly identical to its counterpart in Borough Park, which opened four years ago and has drawn praise for its dignified, restaurant-like setting and quality, fresh food.