Your Daily Phil: ADL to train Jewish Agency shlichim on antisemitism

Good Wednesday morning.

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on the Reform movement’s reaffirmation of its support for the two-state solution, and feature an opinion piece by Rivkie Feiner about the need to help Israelis get back on their feet, not just give them charity. Also in this newsletter: Cantor Devorah FickLiev Schreiber and Ilan and Sherri Glazer. We’ll start with a new partnership between the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Anti-Defamation League.

The Jewish Agency for Israel is teaming up with the Anti-Defamation League to train its North American emissaries in combating antisemitism in light of the increasing number of anti-Jewish incidents across the country, the organizations shared exclusively with eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

This marks the first such partnership between the two organizations. The new training program is being announced today at a gathering in Stamford, Conn., of the roughly 350 Jewish Agency emissaries, or shlichim, that are currently serving in North America. This is the first Kenes Shlichim — the annual gathering of the Jewish Agency emissaries — since the Oct. 7 attacks, which affected many of them personally.

“In this unprecedented time, there’s a hunger among American Jews to deepen connections with Israel – the work of the shlichim to build those bridges has never been more important,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said in a statement.

The partnership comes amid a noted rise in antisemitic incidents around the globe, much of it related to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

“These shlichim are dealing with students, families, youth groups, synagogues across the U.S. Jewish community. They need to know how antisemitism looks and what to advise their communities to do about it if asked,” an ADL spokesperson told eJP.

The training sessions will take place in seven regions: Cleveland, Florida, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago.

“Our shlichim are helping young American Jews be proud of their identities and feel a unique bond with Israel, and we are proud to partner with the world’s leading anti-hate organization to do everything we can to further those objectives,” Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog, chairman of the Jewish Agency, said in a statement.

Read the full report here.


The U.S. presidential podium prior to a speech during the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Convention at National Harbor in Maryland on Dec. 16, 2011. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Reform movement, the largest American Jewish denomination, reaffirmed its commitment to the two-state solution yesterday, releasing a statement yesterday from the denomination’s main bodies voicing support for Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas but unequivocal opposition to calls from parts of the Israeli government to resettle the Gaza Strip, eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen reports.

Deep dismay: The statement comes as the Israeli government and the Biden administration plan for — and often disagree on — what the day after will look like for the coastal enclave and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more generally. The Reform movement leaders said they were “deeply dismayed” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comments rejecting the notion of a sovereign Palestinian state and expressed support for the eventual implementation of a two-state solution to the conflict, which the White House has been increasingly calling for. “The peaceful future we dream of includes an end to the West Bank occupation,” the Reform institutions wrote.

Inflection point: Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Union for Reform Judaism president, told eJP that the timing of the policy release comes during “an inflection moment… not just in the [Israel-Hamas] war, but this crisis for the Jewish people and Israel.” He added: “We wanted to aggregate together some of the long-standing commitments that we as the Reform movement have. We wanted to reiterate that we believe the U.S.-Israel relationship is critical and has been for 75 years. We wanted to reiterate that there needs to be a long-term future… for a Palestinian state.”

War support: The statement reiterated the Reform movement’s support for Israel’s stated goals for the war: dismantling Hamas and retrieving the Israelis being held hostage in Gaza. The statement also outlines 13 “non-military steps Israel can and must take” for its future security, including: accepting the need for a “peaceful Palestinian state”; preventing the collapse of the Palestinian Authority; stopping incitement by Israeli government ministers against Palestinians; rejecting forced relocation of Gazans; limiting Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza as much as possible; and working toward normalized relations with Saudi Arabia.

Read the full report here.


The greatest form of tzedakah

A limited-edition necklace by Israeli artisan Adi Raffeld Podhorzer featuring the words “Strong Together” in Hebrew. Adi Raffeld Podhorzer/Instagram

“I was in Israel when the war broke out on Oct. 7. I flew home because I had a business to run and children who needed to go back to school, but was determined to return and volunteer in some way,” writes Rivkie Feiner, CEO and chief visionary officer of Feiner Grant Strategies, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Consider your strengths: “While picking vegetables would be a welcome change from my deskbound existence, I thought hard about what unique skills I could contribute during my limited time in the country. I decided to reach out to Gvira Milworm, CEO of Temech — a trailblazing NGO that empowers Haredi women (an underserved group) to pursue their professional dreams via classes, coaching, consultations and conferences — and offer to deliver a coaching workshop.”

Not handouts, but a hand up: “What I learned from the participants in my workshop blew my mind. These are amazingly talented artists and entrepreneurs. They have grit and determination; one traveled 90 minutes by bus to come to the session. They are intelligent and gifted, and the products they shared rival any I have ever seen… but the thing all of these women have in common is the need for opportunities and/or resources to market their creations so they can cover their expenses and make a small profit. And there are so many others like them. More than anything, they need our caring, personal encouragement and active support. My message to women and all who care: Our sisters are hurting — and we each have skills or resources to share to help them boost their businesses and earn a living.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Bad Feelings: In the Detroit Jewish News, Cantor Devorah Fick explores the root of a recent unexpected sensation. “I first noticed it a few weeks ago, standing on the bimah in front of my community at Congregation Beth El of Windsor, offering a sermon about the hostages and Israel and the Jewish people as mishpachah (family). Suddenly, I felt a strange twinge, unexpected and startling, but fully recognizable: I felt… shame? Really? It was inexplicable but unmistakable… For me, the shame has emerged in public speaking and teaching and professional engagements and opportunities outside of the Jewish community when I am asked to speak on ‘safe’ Jewish topics but cautioned that I should not mention Israel. ‘We don’t want anyone to get upset or offended’… And as we do our best to protect ourselves by walking in the cycle of shame, the world around us believes it as well. After all, if we have nothing to be shamed for, why would we not speak up?… It’s time for us all to stand up to the systematic shaming of the Jewish people and Israel over the past 100 days — to call it out, name it and bring it into the light.” [DetroitJewishNews]

Giving Aid Post-Oct. 7: In The New York Times, Gal Koplewitz examines the struggles facing the nonprofit Road to Recovery, which organizes Israeli volunteers who drive Palestinian patients to Israeli hospitals, after the Oct. 7 massacres. “Several of the group’s volunteers died in the Hamas-led attack, including Vivian Silver, a prominent peace activist who was killed in her home at Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel. Others were taken hostage, like Oded and Yocheved Lifshitz, a couple in their eighties from Nir Oz, a kibbutz near the Gaza border. Dozens more lost loved ones or were evacuated from their homes near Gaza… Some volunteer drivers say that, since the attacks, friends have called them naïve or radical for continuing to help Palestinians. The group says donations have slowed, as even Israelis who support its work prioritize giving to other initiatives… Still, [Yael Noy, the organization’s chief executive,] said, the group has signed up some new volunteers. In the West Bank, it is back to running its usual number of daily rides. Several volunteers who were evacuated from their homes near Gaza have changed their routes, and now drive from their temporary hotel accommodations to pick up Palestinian patients at a crossing near Bethlehem. ‘It’s a way of holding on to hope,’ Ms. Noy said. ‘When we help Palestinians heal, we also heal ourselves.’” [NYTimes]

On Notice: In The Lantern, Ohio State University’s student-run newspaper, Matt Levine calls on the school’s administration to do more to support its approximately 3,000 Jewish students. “When I made the choice to attend the Students for Justice in Palestine rally in the Ohio Union on Jan. 11, I wasn’t prepared for what I heard. It was my second day back from Israel after attending a nine-day Wartime Fact Finders trip, alongside 23 remarkable Jewish and non-Jewish students from across the nation, assembled by Maccabee Task Force, an organization created in 2015 to combat the disturbing spread of antisemitism on college campuses… As the protesters called out, “There is only one solution, intifada revolution,” my legs went weak. I felt helpless. I looked at the police but they couldn’t help me. I looked toward administrators but they couldn’t help either. It’s about time everyone listened — Jewish students have for long enough. It’s up to [university President Ted Carter Jr.] to listen, too. And if not, the Department of Education has given him something to read instead.” [TheLantern]

Around the Web

The World Jewish Congress and BBYO signed a “strategic alliance” to provide “the next generation of Jewish leaders with high-level training and education to prepare them for university life and the future.” The new partnership will be rolled out at the youth movement’s Centennial International Convention next month…

A new study by FoundationMark found that foundation assets rose to an all-time high of $1.5 trillion last month, less than five years after it reached $1 trillion…

The Times of Israel profiles 710 West, an Israeli nonprofit working to help evacuees find remote work…

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation and the nonprofit Project Twenty Four brought an Israeli basketball team, whose players are mostly from Gaza-border towns, to the Florida city for a week, where they compete in a tournament against local Jewish athletes and meet players from the Miami Heat

David Rubenstein and Mike Aroughet are moving ahead with plans to purchase the Baltimore Orioles for $1.725 billion…

OneTable hired Amalia Kruszel as its next chief technology officer…

Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard and a co-founder of a competing school, the University of Austinstepped up his criticism of his former Ivy League employer over its handling of antisemitism on campus, writing in a series of tweets that he “cannot think of a worse stretch in Harvard history than the last few months”…

Hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin said he is halting donations to Harvard over its handling of antisemitism on campus, less than a year after he gave $300 million to its Faculty of Arts and Sciences…

Liev Schreiber spoke to New York’s Temple Emanu-El’s Streicker Cultural Center this weekend about his nonprofit, BlueCheck Ukraine, which he co-founded with Michael Goldfarb to vet Ukrainian nonprofits and causes…

Startup Nation Central is laying off nearly one-fifth of its staff, which its CEO, Avi Hasson, said was due to fewer donations…

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency spotlights Ilan and Sherri Glazer, who created Jewish liturgy and rituals for stillbirths, which are generally not included in existing mourning traditions…

New York City’s Tenement Museum is opening a new exhibit about a Black family, who — in a first for the museum — did not live in its building on Orchard Street but one a few blocks away on West Broadway…

The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore is moving its headquarters from the city’s Mount Vernon-Midtown area, where it has been for more than 40 years, to the Park Heights area…

Standing Together, a joint Jewish-Arab Israeli activist group, is facing growing criticism from the left for its pro-shared society views…

Elliot Resnick, the former editor of The Jewish Presspleaded guilty to taking part in the Jan. 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol…

Pic of the Day

Over 50,000 people attend the traditional Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City today, during Chol Hamoed (the intermediary days) of Sukkot.

Educators participate in a session at the iCenter’s Conflict of Interest certificate program this week in Chicago. The training was held Jan. 28-30, with over 100 educators from across North America.


Annie Liebovitz smiles

Chief rabbi of Norway while also serving as a member of Knesset from 1999 to 2009, Rabbi Michael Melchior

Israeli nuclear physicist and professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Igal Talmi… Scion of a leading rabbinic family in pre-WWII Poland, former assistant U.S. solicitor general, now a private attorney with an active Supreme Court practice focused on religious liberty issues, Nathan Lewin… Classical music composer as well as acclaimed movie score composer, Philip Glass… Associate professor emeritus of Talmud and rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary, Mayer Elya Rabinowitz… Chair of Bain & Company, Orit Gadiesh… Founder and CEO of MikeWorldWide, Michael W. Kempner… Former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for 20 years, Matt Kisber… Founder and CEO of Oneg, Jeanie Milbauer… CEO at Gracie Capital, Daniel L. Nir… Dermatologist who served as the U.S. ambassador to Iceland from 2019 to 2021, he is a candidate for U.S. Senate from Nevada in the 2024 election, Jeffrey Ross Gunter… Co-founder, chairman and CEO of Meridian Capital Group, Ralph Herzka… Organization of American States commissioner to monitor and combat antisemitism, Fernando Lottenberg… Neurosurgeon and chairman of the Rockland County (N.Y.) Board of Health, Jeffrey Sable Oppenheim… Fourth-generation real estate developer who builds upscale condominiums, he is a founding partner of Redbrick LMD, Louis Myerberg Dubin… Classical cellist, her debut in Carnegie Hall was at 17 years old, Ofra Harnoy… Host of NPR’s news quiz “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,” his older brother is a rabbi, Peter Sagal… Canadian-born businessman, Dov Charney… Mayor of Efrat and former chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, Oded Revivi5… CEO of City Cast, he was previously CEO of Atlas Obscura and SlateDavid Plotz… Actress best known for her role in the Showcase series “Lost Girl,” Anna Silk… CEO at Affiliated Monitoring, Daniel J. Oppenheim… Senior adviser of BerlinRosen’s New York office, Michael Rabinowitz-Gold… VP of insights, sports and Olympics at NBC Universal Media, Matthew Gottlieb… Film producer and founder of Annapurna Pictures, Megan Ellison… Singer, who won Israel’s “Kokhav Nolad” (“A Star is Born”) song contest in 2008, Israel Bar-On… Managing director at 25madison, Grant Silow… Israeli singer, songwriter and television actor, Eliad Nachum… Director of programs and strategy at the Kraft Group and affiliates, Clara Scheinmann… Associate at Covington & Burling, Eli Nachmany