The Crisis of American Jewish Philanthropy

From the Jerusalem Post…

Here is something of a reality check about American Jewish finances. They are not what they used to be. True, we have it easier here than in most places. But across the US, the relentless news is about economic woes, the collapse of the mortgage market and home foreclosures. When traditional news broadcasts offer “consumer segments” about saving on your household grocery bill, something is sad and scary in the US.

Shortly before the recent Wall Street and real estate woes sent jitters through philanthropic organizations in the New York area, some local Jewish federations quietly let it be known that they were short on funds and needs were great. For many who are routinely approached by federations, it sounded like the boy who cried wolf.

SHOULD AMERICAN Jews support the Jewish Agency? It is hard to make that case these days in the metro New York area. The main aliya agency seems to be Nefesh b’Nefesh. The free trips on Birthright Israel for college-age kids are due to the largesse of the mega-donors. And here in the New York area, the idea of Jewish education is less about the Sochnut’s offerings than the bank-breaking tuition at any day school.”

Read the complete article here.

updated May 5th: I do not remember the last time a non-political article from the Israeli papers has been picked up so far and wide. And on a Sunday, no less.