The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (Brandeis University) has released a new report examining an important facet of the American Jewish community’s relationship to Israel, philanthropy.
The New Philanthropy: American Jewish Giving to Israeli Organizations was developed by Eric Fleisch and Ted Sasson and analyzes the growth in philanthropic support for Israeli non-profits over the past decade and a half. This is the first research of its kind to provide a comprehensive account (within the limits of the available data) of American Jewish giving in Israel.
from the introduction:
In recent years, scholars of the American Jewish community have noted declining contributions to the federations and declining transfers by federations to overseas causes including Israel. Some observers have expressed concern that this pattern indicates distancing from Israel. Indeed, the notion that American Jewish donations to Israel are declining has become a core claim of scholars who believe the two largest centers of world Jewry are growing apart.
Over the past two decades, as donations through the federation framework have declined, there has been a concomitant increase in the number of Israeli organizations directly reaching out to American Jewish donors. Some scholars have estimated that the increase in donations to these independent entities has offset the decline in federation giving. However, to date, no systematic research has tested this hypothesis.
This is the first research of its kind to provide a comprehensive account (within the limits of the available data) of American Jewish giving in Israel. Our study draws on U.S. Internal Revenue Service documents to describe the sum and distribution of American Jewish donations to causes in Israel and to provide a partial account of historical trends.
The complete study The New Philanthropy: American Jewish Giving to Israeli Organizations is available here.