The Changing Paradigm of Jewish Philanthropy

As we have written previously, the most recent Journal of Jewish Communal Service – with the focus on Jewish philanthropy – is now available. Published by the Jewish Communal Service Association in partnership with the Jewish Funders Network, the latter has graciously made three of the articles available for download.

from the cover:

“At a time when old paradigms are falling by the wayside, the new philanthropic environment can enable, indeed may force, the Jewish people to rethink, reinvent, and create new strategies for changing priorities. Are we up to the task? Let this Journal issue serve as the beginning of a long-awaited public discussion on the myriad of issues that emerge from the challenge of philanthropic change”.

The Gift as a New Paradigm

(Joanna S. Ballantine – in conversation with Jeffrey Solomon, Sandy Cardin, and Rabbi David Gedzelman, April 23, 2009)

Since 2000, more than 200,000 young adult Jews have taken part in a transformative experience known as Birthright Israel, a free 10-day educational trip to Israel for Jews aged 18 to 26. As Leonard Saxe and Barry Chazan write in their 2008 book, Ten Days of Birthright Israel, the program was “conceived to curb assimilation by shifting an entire generation of young Jews from a trajectory of non-involvement with the Jewish community to one of identity and engagement. Birthright Israel offers Diaspora Jews raised in other countries a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit Israel. Most of those who have received the ‘gift’ to reconnect with their heritage have been from North America.

A Conceptual Map of Poverty in Israel

(Yael Shalgi, President, Israel Philanthropy Advisors, Tel Aviv, April 23, 2009)

We are now at the height of the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, and our interest in getting the most out of every philanthropic dollar is especially strong. Given the daily news of our dwindling available philanthropic resources, we are interested more than ever in thinking how we can invest our resources most effectively.

The Dynamic Role of the Family Foundation Professional

(Stefanie Rhodes, Director of Member Services and Foundation Professionals, JFN, April 23, 2009)

Foundation professionals – paid employees of foundations tasked with guiding their boards and trustees with their grant making – hold honorable, exciting, impactful, and meaningful positions. They have the opportunity to make true change in the world by working with a family that has chosen, whether in response to Jewish law, personal inclination, or both, to enrich the society in which it lives. This article focuses on those professionals working within private and family philanthropy.

in case you missed last week’s Jewish Week – editor and publisher Gary Rosenblatt on a fourth Journal article

The Tensions Within Philanthropies

Two colleagues [John Ruskay and Jeffrey Solomon], widely viewed as leaders in their posts, discuss the complex and often heated relationship between the establishment federation form of philanthropy and the more independent style of family foundations.

eJP note: The Journal of Jewish Communal Service is available from the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America.