NewsBits: Odds and Ends

from the Yale Daily News:

Slifka Center hit by Madoff scandal

When the Madoff scandal erupted this winter, Yale officials said that the University had no money invested with the disgraced financier. But two positions at the Slifka Center that were funded by a nonprofit organization that had invested money with Madoff may now have to be eliminated, the center said this week.

from The Seattle Times:

Ravenna Kibbutz a magnet for Jewish newcomers

Founded in 2007 and inspired by other local cohousing arrangements as much as the socialist Israeli collective farms of old, the kibbutz has rapidly become a magnet for Jewish young adults moving to Seattle….

The kibbutz recently expanded, opening its third house in late June and annexing the basement floor in one existing house when the renters moved out. Planned for the new home: chickens and more room for kitchen gardens.

The kibbutz is strategically situated near a cluster of North End Seattle synagogues representing nearly every denomination, including the New Orthodox Emanuel Congregation and the unaffiliated Jewish community Kavana.


Going Going Gala: Charity Cancels Fancy Event and Still Raises Money

This year, its 85th anniversary, Hillel canceled its annual black-tie gala in New York City, an event that last year cost about $200,000 and netted $1.2-million.

Instead, the organization held a virtual international gala, during which supporters held 85th birthday parties for Hillel in their homes, in public parks, and in bars…

The event raised more than $850,000 net and cost $75,000. And Hillel saved approximately $125,000 in what it would have spent had the organization gone ahead with the gala.

both from The New York Times:

Civic Groups Wary as Russia May Ease Curb

President Dmitri A. Medvedev introduced legislation this week that he said would partly relax restrictions on civic organizations. The new measures were tentatively welcomed by human rights groups, which have long criticized the government for hampering civic development.

Mr. Schaaf [Matthew Schaaf, an author of the Human Rights Watch report] and others said the new legislation, if passed, would ease restrictions for only about a third of Russia’s nongovernmental groups and would not apply to any group that received foreign financing.

Foundations Trim Staffs After Assets Slide Lower

Racked by steep declines in the value of their assets, the nation’s foundations are paring their staffs in large numbers…

To maintain a stable level of grants, most large foundations use a rolling three-year average of their asset value to calculate how much they will give away each year. Thus, grants this year are expected to dip only slightly.

Next year, however, the Foundation Center and other analysts expect foundation giving to dive, and foundations are hoping that reducing staff now will help offset the impact of that decline.