Your Daily Phil: CANVAS doubles down on arts networks + Celebrating purpose at Hadassah conference

Good Monday morning!

Congratulations and welcome to our new sister publication The Circuit, which launched today. The Circuit is covering the Middle East and beyond through a business and cultural lens. See today’s Daily Kickoff for the full announcement.

CANVAS, a collaborative fund dedicated to making grants to Jewish arts and culture organizations, has awarded $195,000 to nine emerging arts networks. Grant amounts ranged from $10,000 to $25,000. This latest grant cycle is on top of an initial investment of $736,000 in large arts networks at the start of the pandemic in spring 2020.

The grantees are The Alliance for Jewish Theatre; The Institute for Jewish Creativity of American Jewish University; Jewish Art Salon; Jewish Plays Project; Jewish Studio Project; Kultura Collective; New Jewish Culture Fellowship; Rising Song Institute at Hadar; and The Workshop at the Hendel Center at Jewish Theological Seminary.

Lou Cove, CANVAS’s founder, told eJewishPhilanthropy, “Perhaps most exciting is how the CANVAS footprint has expanded with these grants. We’re funding new disciplines (theater, music, Jewish arts education) and new regions (including a first foray into Canada). This also marks our first investment in a program (The Workshop) dedicated to Jewish artists of Color, Indigenous Jews, Sephardi and Mizrahim (JOCISM).”

“Taken together,” Cove continued, “these investments don’t just increase the number of organizations and artists served, they illustrate the vibrant diversity of the 21st century’s Jewish creative renaissance. We hope other funders take note, and lovers of the arts take heart.”

The new grants to the emerging arts networks bring CANVAS’s total funding for arts groups in the last 18 months to more than $1.6 million. Jewish artists and arts organizations were particularly hard hit during the pandemic.


Women’s voices pushing for change at Hadassah conference


From civil rights to civic engagement to Israel advocacy and women’s health, women’s voices powered Hadassah’s “The Power of Purpose” virtual conference on Sunday. Panels featured high-achieving, advocacy-centered women including Lesley Stahl (“60 Minutes”), Jenna Bush Hager (co-host, NBC’s ‘TODAY with Hoda and Jenna”), Rabbi Tamar Manasseh (MASK — Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killing), Noa Tishby (actor, producer and writer) and others speaking out on behalf of themselves and others,’ eJewishPhilanthropy’s Esther Kustanowitz reports.

An ‘obligation to help’: “So much of our life is determined by where we’re born. And as long as I’m here I will continue to work and help kids that weren’t born in the best addresses but deserve the same [opportunities] that we all do,” Bush Hager said. She added, when you’re born into a life of privilege with options, “it’s your obligation to help.” Mandana Dayani, co-founder of civic engagement organization I am a voter, said that “loving your country can mean asking it to be better.” She added, “If we allow any form of hatred to exist then you are allowing all forms of hate to exist. If history has taught us anything it is that hatred starts with Jews but doesn’t end with Jews.” 

Real talk about diversity: Manasseh noted that she was likely the only Black Jewish woman in the Zoom session and noted that “this community needs representation other than myself.” “A lot of Jews cast their lot with white Americans,” Manasseh said. “We have history here that we need to discuss if we’re going to be real allies. If you have the power to cancel someone, you are powerful. You can’t be powerful and a marginalized group at the same time,” she said.

Israel conversation: Lee Moser, chief of staff for former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren and founder of the women’s venture investing company AnD Ventures, said that technology creates jobs, and that “Israel has gone way beyond Start-up Nation to ‘partnership nation,’” she said. Noa Tishby, founder of Act for Israel and author of Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth, said we have failed to properly educate our children about Israel, and “need to address apartheid and ethnic cleansing before they hear [those terms].”

Have a voice: Manasseh urged those on the Zoom call to raise their voices and speak out, thereby setting an example for the next generation. “I am not quiet. I am loud. I am in your face,” she said during her panel. “Take up all the air in the room. We’re not our mothers and grandmothers. Our daughters are in the room. Teach them how to have a voice,” she said.

Read more from the conference here.


Are we failing the aging?


“[B]ecause our nation is aging fast and our Jewish community is aging faster still, it is high time for institutions, communal leaders and funders to answer for themselves some hard questions about their responsibilities to older adults,” write David Gamse and Norman Goldstein, respectively CEO emeritus and immediate past president of the Jewish Council for the Aging in Rockville, Md., in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

COVID deaths: “The CDC reported on Oct. 14, 2021, that more than 81% of COVID-19 deaths occurred in people over age 65. That was 80 times higher than the number of deaths among people ages 18-29. By December, one of every 100 Americans over 65 had died from the disease… Would we be as silent if one of every 100 American children had died?”

New tech tools: “We emerged from pandemic quarantines with a newfound appreciation of human contact. While homebound, we learned some handy tech skills, including those for Zoom and telemedicine. However, we also came to realize that governments at all levels and many private institutions including ‘caring nonprofits’ cared less about us than we ever had imagined.” 

Funding choices: “Jewish communities simultaneously inspired and disappointed us. On one hand, they raised and smartly utilized millions of dollars to help those in need. For example, they distributed food and essential supplies to older adults and families, and they launched or expanded telephone reassurance services and online programs to educate and uplift. Moreover, many were national leaders in protecting their clients, staff and volunteers from exposure to COVID. Yet in some communities, programs for the aging apart from housing, home care and hospice seemed to lose ground to programs for younger persons.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Trip Troubles: Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash reports on the concerns over the impact of the cancellation of short-term Israel programs for teenagers and young adults. “While he said it’s too early to assess the implications of the pandemic closures, [Israel Experience CEO Amos] Hermon is worried that even if the trips restart – Israel reopened its borders to individual foreign nationals, not groups, this week – the requisite infrastructure will have collapsed along with the country’s entire foreign tourism sector. ‘Some of our competitors are very good companies, but now they are facing bankruptcy and we are all really worried that when the skies do open again there will be no infrastructure left,’ he lamented. ‘Incoming tourism in Israel is now in very bad condition, more and more tour guides – the best people in the industry, who love talking about the history of this land, the archeology, the conflict, society — have lost their livings.’”[JI]

Israeli Cuisine: Asif, a culinary library in Tel Aviv with revolving exhibitions, cooking workshops, a rooftop farm and café, is a joint venture of the New York City-based Jewish Food Society and Start-Up Nation Central, an Israeli organization that promotes Israel’s tech ecosystem, writes Jessica Steinberg in The Times of Israel. The Jewish Food Society took off in 2017, with the help and funding from philanthropist Terry Kassel. During the pandemic, Kassel raised over $1 million and, “utilizing the Jewish Food Society network of restaurants, they worked with 22 small and large New York City eateries to create and deliver lunches to frontline workers, totaling 80,000 meals in those first weeks.” [TOI]

Community Comms

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Word on the Street

Yad Vashem launched the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Leadership Academy. The academy came about as concerns rise over deficiencies in the basic awareness and knowledge of the Holocaust among both individuals and groups around the globe… 

Angel Alvarez-Mapp is joining Repair the World as chief operating officer, effective Jan. 31…

The Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership announced the first cohort of its educational leadership program… 

“Judge Judy” Sheindlin gifted $5 million to New York Law School, where she, her daughter and granddaughter attended…

The Novo Nordisk Foundation in Hellerup, Denmark, is providing a five-year, DKK200 million ($30.4 million) grant to PlanBørnefonden in support of efforts to expand opportunities for young Syrian refugees living in Jordan. The grant is the largest humanitarian grant in the foundation’s history…

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute received a $40 million commitment from the Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation in support of multiple myeloma research… 

Japanese investments in Israeli startups reached a record $2.9 billion in 2021, nearly triple the amount in 2020…

Customers of the nonprofit giving platform Classy raised a total of more than $1.1 billion on the platform in 2021…

Aura Herzog, mother of Israeli President Isaac Herzog and widow of Israel’s sixth president, Chaim Herzog, died at 97…

Pic of the Day


French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin at a memorial ceremony Friday in Paris, France, marking the seventh anniversary of the deadly attack against the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Porte de Vincenne in eastern Paris.


Bill Polo/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, Jonathan D. Sarna

Founder of the Center for Research on Institutions and Social Policy, he was a former speechwriter for Robert F. Kennedy, Adam Walinsky… Conservative writer, David Joel Horowitz… Executive editor of Denver’s Intermountain Jewish NewsRabbi Hillel Goldberg…. Professor at Brandeis University, former longtime president of CJP Boston, Barry Shrage… Former president of the supreme court of the United Kingdom, Baron David Edmond Neuberger… Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Steely Dan, Donald Fagen… World renowned cellist, Mischa Maisky… U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)… Longtime book editor, Sydny Weinberg Miner… Retired executive director at Beta Alpha Psi, Hadassah Baum… Founder and CEO at Quantifiable Media, Rose Kemps… Fellow for religious freedom at the Freedom Forum Institute, Richard Thomas Foltin… Majority owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob… Member of the Knesset for the United Torah Judaism party, Uri Maklev… U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)… Member of the UK’s House of Lords and advisor to the government on antisemitism, Baron John Mann… Actor and author, Evan Handler… Vice chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples, Beth Ellen Wolff… Author and journalist, Tod Goldberg… Member of the Knesset for the Likud party, Galit Distel-Atbaryan… Caryn Beth Lazaroff Gold… Founder of Affinity Partners, Jared Kushner… Advisor and speechwriting director for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Adam David Weissmann… Spokesperson on terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Treasury, Morgan Aubrey Finkelstein… Andrew Tobin… Debbie Seiden..

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