Turning Crisis Into Opportunity

from an opinion piece by Claude Kandiyoti, publisher of Contact J, a monthly publication of the Belgian Jewish community:

Here are three principles that served us well in the past, and that could help the Jewish world get over this crisis: For one, collective Jewish responsibility is global, not local. We should remember that each of us is committed to helping those who are far away as well as nearby.

Second, we must coordinate so that resources go to where they are most critically needed. Today’s Jewish philanthropy is more complex than ever. However, resource decisions must not be made arbitrarily but by shared wisdom and shared action. Ultimately, coordination can reduce dependence on individual donors.

Finally, even in a time of crisis we should not only act in the interest of those who are needy – the hungry, the vulnerable – but also continue to invest in our community’s future, for example in schools and Jewish community centers.

Major donors are not going to stop giving, but they will give less. And as the basket shrinks, organizations will be left fighting for a diminished pool. This challenge should be seen as an opportunity for Jewish institutions to reform their programs and renew their vision, as they focus on what is the most important and relevant.

You can read Claude’s complete opinion piece in Haaretz.