Your Daily Phil: Addressing preschool teacher shortage + OU partners with Community Security Service

Good Friday morning!

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In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on a new program to train early childhood educators and interview Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt about Elon Musk‘s attacks on his organization. We also feature a column from Erica Brown. We’ll start with a new partnership between the Orthodox Union and the Community Security Service ahead of the High Holy Days. Shabbat shalom!

For less-distracted reading over the weekend, browse this week’s edition of The Weekly Print, a curated print-friendly PDF featuring a selection of recent Jewish Insider, eJewishPhilanthropy and The Circuit stories, including: Making a Minyan in Tel Aviv; Israel on track to join U.S. Visa Waiver Program as deadline looms; Top Republican donors like Nikki Haley, but wary of financial commitment; ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ — Change my bat mitzvah date. Print the latest edition here.

As the Jewish community prepares to increase safety measures ahead of the High Holy Days, which begin next Saturday, two leading organizations have announced a partnership to enhance security awareness, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen.

The Orthodox Union and Community Security Service announced their collaboration Wednesday through a memorandum of understanding. The partnership marks the first time CSS has formally aligned with a denomination of Judaism. By working together, the groups hope to build awareness around volunteer security opportunities, programs and training, according to the agreement. Discussions between CSS and additional streams are also underway.

“The safety and security of our community’s shuls and members is of prime importance for the OU,” Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the OU, the largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization in the U.S., said in a statement.

Evan Bernstein, national director and CEO of CSS, told eJP that the OU partnership took until now because “it’s critical that we ensure [partnerships] go beyond optics and can add value.”

“With the rise in antisemitism in recent years, no one denomination has been spared from hate and it takes a whole-of-community approach to improve our security,” Bernstein said.

Read the full story here.


Jonathan Greenblatt and Elon Musk (JP Yim/Getty Images for The Asian American Foundation/Chesnot/Getty Images)

In less than a year, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has gone from feeling “cautiously optimistic” about new X owner Elon Musk’s takeover of the company to accusing the entrepreneur of stoking antisemitism on one of the world’s largest social media platforms. “There’s no doubt that by claiming the ADL is causing antisemitism, this is invoking a classic trope of blaming the victim, blaming the Jews for their misfortune,” Greenblatt told Gabby Deutch for eJewishPhilanthopy’s sister publication Jewish Insider in an interview yesterday.

Not the question: Greenblatt declined to say whether Musk’s remarks could be described as antisemitic, or whether Musk himself is an antisemite. “I’ve never said Elon Musk was antisemitic,” Greenblatt noted. “I think people can lapse into tropes, people can invoke long-standing myths, that might not reflect their true worldview… That being said, this question about whether he is or is not: That’s not the point. It’s not for me to try to understand what’s his mentality or his psychology. As the head of the ADL, my job is to protect the Jewish people.”

ADL’s off X: Asked if thinks that brands should reconsider advertising on X in light of Musk’s latest broadsides, Greenblatt said: “ADL had been advertising on the platform … We were spending money on the platform. But that stopped when these attacks started last week. So to answer your question, I think brands make these decisions for themselves. We made a decision.”

Read the full interview here and sign up for Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff here.

Teaching teachers

With new name, ElevatEd, effort to train, retain teachers for Jewish preschools launches in 5 cities

Getty Images

A joint pilot program by the JCC Association of North America, Jewish Federations of North America and the Union for Reform Judaism to train hundreds of educators for Jewish preschools in an effort to address a major national teacher shortage launched on Tuesday in five U.S. cities, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

Teachers wanted: The program, which had the working title of “Project-412,” has been named ElevatEd and will take place in 14 communities across the United States, with five of them starting now and nine more beginning early next year. ElevatEd hopes to recruit, train and credential over 420 educators nationwide — up to 30 in each community — over the next three years to address what the JCC Association has deemed a “critical shortage of qualified early childhood educators.” The first five pilot communities are: Boston; Denver-Boulder, Colo.; East Bay, Calif.; Houston; and Long Island, N.Y.

Kids are the key: ElevatEd’s executive director, Orna Siegel, who joined the program this spring, told eJP that while the program is specifically focused on early childhood education, she believes that it will have far-reaching effects. “The research is clear: families who send their children to Jewish early childhood programs have a significantly greater likelihood of continued Jewish communal engagement for years to come,” she said. “By focusing on increasing the pool of trained, high-quality educators in Jewish early childhood settings, we believe that this investment will significantly grow the capacity and reach of this powerful educational experience, in turn creating an environment for children and families to root deeply and grow into a strong, connected, diverse Jewish ecosystem.”

Read the full story here.

The Torah of leadership

After leadership: Thoughts on Parshat Netzavim-Vayelech


Vayelech literally means ‘and he went,’ but the sedra ironically opens with Moses’ confession to the Israelites that he could no longer go on,” writes Erica Brown, vice provost for values and leadership at Yeshiva University and director of its Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks-Herenstein Center, in her weekly column for eJewishPhilanthropy, “The Torah of Leadership.”

Time to pass the baton: “This was not, Rashi reminds us, because Moses did not have the physical strength, which one might assume to be true of someone of his advanced years. In the last chapter of Deuteronomy, we are told outright that Moses had his physical capability intact: ‘His eyes were undimmed, and his strength was undiminished’ (34:7). … According to Rashi, he was not permitted to continue.”

The next chapter: “What they fail to teach you when you take the most senior role in leadership is what it’s going to feel like one day after leadership. … In ‘The CEO’s Guide to Retirement,’ Bill George writes in his 2019 Harvard Business Review article that it’s important to know when to leave and how to plan for what’s next.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Giving Tzedakah Helps You, Too: In The Times of Israel, Rabbi Elchanan Poupko reflects on the holiness of helping those in need. “One of the things I miss most about living in Israel is the beggars. Living in America’s suburbia, it hurts me that there are no beggars at my door. Growing up in Jerusalem, every beggar had a story, every beggar was holy, and every beggar deserved more. It hurts me that I do not get to show my children what the proper way to give is; it hurts me not to smile at someone, wish them a Shabbat Shalom, and give them some money for Shabbat; it hurts me not to have the opportunity to give dignity to those whom life had deprived of the dignity they deserve… As the Jewish holiday season approaches, as the cost of living in Israel ranks 27% above other OECD countries, as the Shekel’s value takes more than a 10% hit, as the world is dealing with increasing mental health crises, remember your holy beggars. Remember to be kind.” [TOI]

We Need to Talk About Kiva: In the MIT Technology Review, Mara Kardas-Wilson investigates what happened to the microloan organization, Kiva, which sprang to life in 2005 with big plans to save the world with small investments, but whose management practices in recent years have prompted a “lenders’ strike,” threatening its future. “On the captains’ calls and in letters, the strikers were clear about a top concern: the fees now charged to microfinance institutions Kiva works with. Wouldn’t the fees make the loans more expensive to the borrowers?… Another key concern, strikers told me, is Kiva US, a separate program that offers zero-interest loans to small businesses domestically. [One lender] had no fundamental problem with the affordable rates, but she found it odd that an American would be offered 0% interest while borrowers in poorer parts of the world were being charged up to 70%… But what really irked the Lenders on Strike was how much Kiva executives were being paid for overseeing those changes.” [MITTechnologyReview]

Peaceful Transitions of Power: In the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Brian Schreiber discusses the need to plan for handing over power to the next generation of leaders. “Succession planning is the defined approach to an inevitable transition of leadership. Its Jewish roots go back to biblical times with the transition of Moses and Joshua, two unique individuals with different assets to lead community. Moses played a pivotal role in the transition, elevating Joshua’s visibility and promoting his leadership qualities. But while internal leadership succession is well established within the private sector (where roughly 70% of CEO succession is groomed from within), intentional succession strategies have historically been far less established within the nonprofit sector, including Jewish institutions.” [JewishChron]

Around the Web

Israel is on track to join the U.S.’s Visa Waiver Program at the end of this month, officials with knowledge of the process told eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider

Carrie Darsky was named the JCC Association of North America’s inaugural chief talent officer…

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has come under fire from governments and organizations around the world for distorting the Holocaust and perpetuating antisemitic stereotypes by saying that Jews were not murdered because of antisemitism but because of their “usury”…

In a new partnership with the Jewish Federation of Springfield, the Illinois State Museum will display and hold recitals featuring six violins that were played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust…

A New Jersey appellate court ruled in favor of a Jewish woman who had made a video, which was posted online, demanding a ritual divorce, or get, from her husband, overturning a lower court decision that accepted his claims that the video put him at risk of physical abuse. The ruling was hailed as a victory by free speech activists and by advocates for women who are denied a get

Cleveland Cavaliers chairman and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and his wife, Jennifer Gilbert, pledged $375 million to create two medical facilities in the Detroit area. One will be a rehabilitation center at the city’s Henry Ford Hospital to serve patients recovering from brain and spinal cord industries, and the other will be a neurofibromatosis research center…

Researchers from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, the Yad Vashem Holocaust research institute and the Roman Jewish community uncovered a trove of Vatican documents shedding light on at least 3,200 Jews who were sheltered by Catholic convents and monasteries in Rome during World War II…

Israel is facing internal and international criticism for signing a deal with Russia to collaborate in the field of cinema, bucking trends by Western countries and international film studies to eschew such agreements with Moscow…

The Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity joined Repair the World’s Jewish Service Alliance, a coalition of Jewish groups focused on service opportunities for young adults…     

National Public Radio profiled a new website, Shtetl, which reports on the Haredi community

Sarah Wunsch, a civil liberties lawyer, died last month at 75…

Pic of the Day

Courtesy/International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

At the groundbreaking ceremony for a new building that will house 222 IDF “lone soldiers” — servicemembers who either do not have family in Israel or who are not financially supported by their families — Yehiel Gozal, executive director of Friends of the IDF Israel; Steve Weil, CEO of FIDF; Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoram Yair, chairman of the Association for Israel’s Soldiers; Yael Eckstein, president and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews; Raz Kinstlich, mayor of Rishon Lezion; and Maj. Gen. Yaniv Assur, commander of the IDF Personnel Directorate, pose with a shovel at the construction site in Rishon Lezion yesterday.

The new building is funded by FIDF, IFCJ and the Association for Israel’s Soldiers.

“It is incredibly inspiring to see soldiers leave their homeland and come here, to the State of Israel, to serve in the Israeli army with unbelievable commitment,” Assur said during the ceremony. “This is proof that Israel is the home of all Jewish people. Today, we’re not just building a home for lone soldiers, we’re also building a symbol for hope, for mutual responsibility, and for coherence.”


Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Owner of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie… 

FRIDAY: Holocaust survivor and a pioneer in children’s Holocaust education, Bat-Sheva Dagan… Chair emeritus of Bath & Body Works, Leslie H. “Les” Wexner… U.S. senator from Vermont, 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… Former co-chair of the Jewish National Fund, he was previously a member of Knesset, Eli Aflalo… CEO of Weight Watchers until early 2022, 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, a classical music label, he is the son of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, James Steven Ginsburg… Real estate developer in Russia, Zarakh Iliev… Australian businessman, James Douglas Packer… Senior rabbi of the Jewish Center of Princeton, Rabbi Andrea Merow… Aspen, Colo., resident, Adam Goldsmith… Actress, model and television personality, Brooke Burke… Founder of Atlanta-based JewishGPS, Robyn Faintich… Principal and co-founder of BerlinRosen, Jonathan Rosen… One of the world’s best-selling music artists, known professionally as Pink, Alecia Beth Moore… 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, both turn 42… 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 Insider, Gabby Deutch… and her twin sister, who is the external affairs associate at VELA Education Fund, Serena Deutch… Director of education at Itrek, Gilad Peled… Philip Ehrensaft…

SATURDAY: Beverly Hills resident, Barbara Schechter… Former president of Israel, Reuven “Ruvi” Rivlin… Real estate investor and manager, Harris Rosen… Senior fellow emeritus in the foreign policy program at The Brookings Institution, Kenneth G. Lieberthal… Former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald M. Berwick… President of the Middle East Forum and publisher of its Middle East Quarterly journal, Daniel Pipes… President emeritus of Yeshiva University, Richard M. Joel… Founder of the Shas party, he served in the Knesset for 16 years, Nissim Mordechai Ze’ev… Founding president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, Martin Kramer… Brooklyn educator, Steven Elworth… Editorial director of Schocken Books, the Judaica imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Altie Karper… Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison… Suzanna Stone… D.C.-based communications strategist and tactician, Jeffrey Weintraub… Founder and managing member of Alternative Asset CFO Services, Lloyd Eric Appel… U.S. senator (D-DE), Chris Coons… Professional golfer formerly on the PGA Tour and then on the Champions Tour, Jules Ira “Skip” Kendall… Actor, comedian, screenwriter, film producer and musician, famous for “The Chanukah Song,” Adam Sandler… Author and senior national correspondent at HuffPost, Jonathan Cohn… Former member of the Knesset for the Yesh Atid party, Dov Lipman… Partner and associate director at Boston Consulting Group, Sacha Frédéric Litman… New York City-based freelance journalist, David Freedlander… Israeli entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of Lightricks, Zeev Farbman… Global lead of digital assets at Amazon Web Services, Michael B. Greenwald… Program specialist at USC’s school of architecture, Carla Hashley… Longtime head of Google Cuba, Brett Perlmutter… Associate director at Alums for Campus Fairness, he is also the D.C. chair of B’nai B’rith Connect, Trey Meehan… Founder of International Hummus Day, now working on Notion, Ben Lang… Fourth overall pick by the New Jersey Devils in the 2021 NHL draft, Luke Hughes

SUNDAY: Chairman of Shamrock Holdings, Roy Disney’s private investment company, Stanley Gold… Huntington Beach, Calif., resident, Dianne Varon… Former EVP and general counsel at Chicago’s futures broker Rosenthal Collins Group, Gerald Fishman… Past president of Congregation Ahavas Israel in Passaic, Howard Penner… Retired coordinator of the Youth Advisory Council at Truman Heartland Community Foundation, Henri Goettel… Houston attorney, and Republican party activist, Gary M. Polland… Denver attorney and politician, he served in the Colorado House of Representatives for eight years, Joel Judd… Executive assistant to the office managing partner of the E&Y office in Tampa, Nancy Carol Finkel… U.S. senator (R-WY), Cynthia Lummis… Retired VP at Goldman Sachs, now a part-time schoolteacher, Matthew Fried… Real estate attorney in South Florida, Steven A. Greenspan… Editor of Mideast Dig, Richard Behar… Former acting administrator of the DEA, now an MSNBC contributor and host of “The Oath” podcast, Charles Philip (Chuck) Rosenberg… Founder and managing director at Beacon Global Strategies, Andrew Shapiro… NYC trusts and estates attorney, Lawrence I. Garbuz… Founder and CEO of NYC-based hedge fund JS Capital Management LLC, Jonathan Soros… Television writer and producer, Eric Kaplan… Director of the mid-Atlantic region of Agudath Israel, Ariel Sadwin… Principal at Blue Zone Partners and managing partner at Precision Infrastructure Management, Charles Szold… PR strategist Josh Nass… Fox News foreign correspondent based in Jerusalem, Trey Yingst… Jennifer Meyer…