Your Daily Phil: A DAF app with a Jewish twist + Jewish leadership in Basel

Good Thursday morning!

In today’s Your Daily Phil, we cover a new DAF that’s making a special exception for the High Holidays, and feature a reflection by Mark Wilf on the 125th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress. Also featured in today’s newsletter are Shari Arison, Pink, Nicola Mendelsohn, Erica Goldman, Russell Wolkind and Lonny Wilk. Below, a Jewish teen magazine explores the challenges of recent years…

JGirls+ Magazine, a teen publication by and for self-identifying Jewish girls, released an anthology last month titled “Salt and Honey: Jewish Teens on Feminism, Creativity, and Tradition,” with 78 works from 62 contributors.

The Jewish community “likes to performatively look towards what young people have to say, and pick a young person who is incredibly eloquent and articulate and be like, this is the young person that we’re listening to,” Maya Savin Miller, a college freshman co-editor and contributor to the book, told eJewishPhilanthropy.

“Salt and Honey” aims to challenge that by showing older Jews “all these young people messing up and writing about the messy parts of their lives, and the parts that sort of don’t make sense to them,” she said. Savin Miller hopes the anthology will inspire more Jewish teens to write for Jewish publications.

The magazine, which is stylized as jGirls+, is supported by a range of major foundations and organizations including The Covenant Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia — along with a host of Jewish women’s funds and foundations from across the country. The magazine was launched in its current form in 2017.

“Salt and Honey” came about through a chance encounter in 2019 between Elizabeth Mandel, the founder and executive director of jGirls+, and employees at publisher Behrman House. After learning about jGirls+, Behrman invited Mandel to turn the magazine’s content into a book, with the final product including both previously published works and new pieces, such as essays, poetry, photos and visual art.

Though compiled and edited largely during the pandemic, only one piece is explicitly about COVID-19. Instead, editors focused on trying to capture the broader range of the Jewish teen experience, and the uncertainty many teens feel about the political and social upheavals of the past few years, along with their own developing identities. Mandel is hoping to publish new editions of the anthology in future years.

“I think that this book captures that young Jewish people are deeply wrestling, in the spirit of our tradition, with almost everything,” said Emanuelle Sippy, a college sophomore co-editor and contributor. “That work is… exhausting. And it can also be moving, and it can also be where we encounter joy and community and friends.”

Read the full story here.


How a new affordable DAF prepared for the High Holidays by allowing clients to donate less

Donors who give certain multiples of $18 on Daffy will see rainbow chai emojis cascade down their screens.

Courtesy of Daffy

It only took some feedback for Daffy, a charity app, to program in a shower of rainbow chai emojis for users as thanks for donating to Jewish nonprofits. Launched last year by Adam Nash, an active member of the Bay Area’s Jewish community, Daffy’s goal is to make a tool that’s increasingly used by the wealthy accessible to small donors as well. Now it’s become even more accessible to Jews, reports Lev Gringauz for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Low-dollar DAF: Daffy is a donor-advised fund, or DAF, which allows users to park their charitable giving in an account and more easily donate to a range of nonprofits. DAFs have skyrocketed in popularity, growing 27% from 2019 to 2020, according to a National Philanthropic Trust survey conducted last year. But instead of hosting accounts worth six or seven figures, as do many DAFs, Daffy charges users $3 a month to run an account on the platform with no minimum balance and, at the beginning, a minimum donation amount of $20.

Multiples of 18: Starting today, just ahead of the start of the High Holidays, Daffy users who donate to Jewish nonprofits will see buttons to give in multiples of $18 (a new minimum), $180 and $1,800. In addition, the donation page will include an explanation for why Jews consider 18, whose alphanumeric value in Hebrew translates to “life,” an important number in gift-giving. “It suddenly hit me that maybe we have a role to play… bringing people together around their traditions for giving,” Nash, Daffy’s CEO, told eJewishPhilanthropy.

Read the full story here.


First Zionist Congress anniversary reinforces the importance of Jewish leadership


“Upon attending the recent 125th anniversary celebration of the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, it was striking to be in the same place that helped transform what was just a dream in August 1897 into an expanding and evolving reality in August 2022,” writes Mark Wilf, chairman of the board of governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Cultivating connections to Israel: “The anniversary also serves as a powerful reminder of the motivation behind my ongoing lay leadership journey in the Jewish community. As the son of Holocaust survivors, there is one particularly powerful belief that is part of my personal wiring: If there had been a State of Israel when my parents were children, many of my family members who were killed in the Holocaust would have lived. That is why it is so important to protect the modern Jewish state — and not only to protect it through security, but also to strengthen the state and the Jewish people as a whole through cultivating connections to Israel. And Jewish leadership is the vehicle for achieving these essential outcomes.”

Strengthening the Jewish collective: “At its core, Jewish leadership is about strengthening the Jewish collective, a priority that is arguably as important as ever in today’s global environment for the Jewish people. We can most effectively strengthen the Jewish collective by reaching every Jew, creating both a place for them in the community and a connection with Israel.”

Read the full piece here.


Smaller European Jewish communities, summer camp and lessons in building meaningful community

Courtesy of JDC

“The last weeks of summer always transport me back to England’s northeast, where as a 14-year-old I attended my first Jewish summer camp experience away from my family. In the learning and laughter, and the bonds made with friends I have until today, we built and lived a Jewish community,” writes Russell Wolkind, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s director for global planning, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Be active and engaged: “Those two weeks strengthened my connection to my identity – already well-formed through strong family engagement with Jewish communal life in London – and helped me see the power of mutual responsibility and the potential young Jews had to vision and lead. That summer started a journey that has spanned trips to Israel, becoming a counselor myself and serving as a camp head for several years… I followed in the footsteps of those who came before me and similarly carved out the path for those who came after. This cycle offers a powerful source of energy and commitment, to be active and to engage within Jewish communities far and wide.”

Summer camps: “This is especially so in Central and Eastern Europe where, for more than three decades, my organization, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation and others, have invested in such experiences, most notably the JDC-Lauder Szarvas International Jewish Summer Camp in Hungary. Together, alongside and in partnership with the communities themselves, we’ve shaped the leadership of Jewish communities that emerged out of the Holocaust and Communism.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Read

Meta Moves: Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch interviews Meta executive Nicola Mendelsohn, who in her day job promotes the company’s growing metaverse and promotes its policies, but is also personally focused on raising awareness around follicular lymphoma, which she was diagnosed with five years ago. “‘What became clear as I went on my own learning journey… was as a disease, it was one that not many people knew about, and that didn’t have a lot of funding behind it,’ Mendelsohn explained. ‘The key things are you need a bit of awareness, and you need the cash in order to kind of push it on.’ [Mendelsohn’s] foundation hopes to be a major player in American medical research on the disease. Next month, it will announce the recipients of a grant program that will award $500,000 to institutions studying follicular lymphoma. A fourth-quarter fundraising campaign last year raised $2.5 million from 6,000 donors, according to information provided by the foundation. Mendelsohn, always ready to boost her business, argued that philanthropy can have a place in the metaverse, too. Through a Facebook group, she has connected with more than 9,000 other people living with follicular lymphoma.” [JI]

Take Ten: 
Three Gen-Z entrepreneurs are launching Chariot, a platform based on the Jewish principle known as ma’aser, or tithing — donating 10% of one’s income, Julia Gergely writes in The Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “‘We grew up with that Jewish value,’ [Salo] Serfati, the company’s 25-year-old CEO explained. ‘Interestingly, everyone’s taught us that we should donate tzedakah but we’ve never been given a good structure of how to practically follow it.’ Chariot’s big idea is to transform how donor-advised funds, or DAFs — investment accounts that hold money specifically set aside to be donated — are used to [give] to charities online. ” [JTA]

Community Comms

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Word on the Street

Erica Goldman has joined The Bronfman Fellowship as deputy CEO. She was previously chief program officer at JPro

Lonny Wilk 
is now deputy director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Florida region…

After 18 years, Boston University President Robert A. Brown announced on Wednesday that he will step down at the end of the current academic year.…

New York University’s Stern School of Business received a $20 million gift from alumnus and Stern executive board member Charles C.Y. Chen…

High Point University in North Carolina announced a $30 million gift from John and Lorraine Charman in support of a new library…

Former Bank Hapoalim controlling shareholder and philanthropist Shari Arison has completed the sale of a fourth group of the bank’s shares to institutional investors. Wednesday’s sale leaves Arison with a 5.6% stake in the bank, worth more than $700 million…

Pic of the Day

Shahar Azran/WJC

The World Jewish Congress co-sponsored an anti-extremism event last week in Berlin, in which combat sports enthusiasts received training and attended seminars on how to identify and combat extremism.


Chiaki Nozu/Getty Images

One of the world’s best-selling music artists, Alecia Beth Moore, known professionally as Pink

Holocaust survivor and a pioneer in children’s Holocaust education, Bat-Sheva Dagan… Chair emeritus of L Brands, Les Wexner… United States senator from Vermont and past presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders… Labour party member of the U.K. House of Commons, Dame Margaret Eve Hodge (née Oppenheimer)… Pharma executive, Samuel D. Waksal… Chairman of Douglas Elliman and its parent company, NYSE-listed Vector Group, also chairman of Nathan’s Famous, Howard Mark Lorber… Owner of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie… Former co-chair of the Jewish National Fund, he was previously a member of Knesset, Eli Aflalo… CEO of Weight Watchers until earlier this year, Mindy Grossman… Owner of Sam’s Fine Wines & Spirits in Walpole, Mass., Jay W. Abarbanel… British physician and professor of neuroscience at Columbia University, Daniel Mark Wolpert… Founder and president of Cedille Records music label, he is the son of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, James Steven Ginsburg… Russian real estate developer Zarakh Iliev… Australian businessman James Douglas Packer… Rabbi of the Jewish Center of Princeton, Rabbi Andrea Merow… Aspen, Colo., resident, Adam Goldsmith… Actress, model and television personality, Brooke Burke… Founder and executive education consultant Atlanta-based JewishGPS, LLC, Robyn Faintich… Principal and co-founder of BerlinRosen, Jonathan Rosen… Head coach for the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team, Eran Ganot… and his twin brother, the creative director of an eponymous clothing line, Asaf Ganot… Founder and CEO at SPARK Neuro, Spencer Gerrol… Director of corporate communications at Related Companies, Andrei Berman… Drummer for heavy metal band Slipknot, he is the son of drummer Max Weinberg, Jay Weinberg… Washington correspondent for Jewish InsiderGabby Deutch… and her twin sister, who is the director of admissions at the Jewish Community Day School of New Orleans, Serena Deutch… Former director of the Israel Fellows Worldwide program for the Jewish Agency, Gilad Peled… Philip Ehrensaft…

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