Your Daily Phil: Celebrate Israel Parade returns to NYC + Humanizing nonprofit branding

Good Monday morning!

In a day of wide emotional swings, sunburnt parade-goers, who had just marched up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday afternoon in the first Celebrate Israel Parade since before the pandemic, packed into the Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side for an event hosted by the Israeli Ministry of Defense to honor bereaved families who have lost loved ones to war and terrorism.

Israeli officials, including Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Israeli Consul General in New York Asaf Zamir, as well as Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), addressed the gathering, which was interspersed with musical interludes by IDF Chief Cantor Shai Abramson. The event was organized by the ministry’s Department of Bereaved Families, Commemoration and Heritage.

Gantz drew comparisons between Jewish history and the biblical story of David and Goliath. “This union of loss and triumph, sorrow and salvation, heartbreak and happiness, which cannot be separated from one another — serves as proof that we have been fighting Goliath ever since,” he said.

“The Goliath that displaced us from Zion and the Goliath that expelled us from Spain,” he continued. “The Goliath that tried to destroy us during the Russian empire in the 19th century and the German Goliath that nearly succeeded in the next one. And just like David the king, the people of Israel overcame. Not only did we survive, not only did we make the desert bloom – but we also built the strongest military in the Middle East region — because history showed us that we must defend ourselves by ourselves [and] be our very own ‘Davids.’”


NYC events on Sunday see young and old pay tribute to Israel

American Jews, including some older than 80, receive awards from Sar-El for volunteering repeatedly at Israel Defense Forces bases in New York City on Sunday, May 2, 2019.

Ben Sales

On Sunday in New York City, Jews demonstrated two ways of supporting Israel — on opposite sides of the generational spectrum. The Celebrate Israel Parade was filled with thousands of children, while dozens of senior citizens were celebrated later in the day for volunteering with the Israeli army, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Ben Sales.

Marching in the heat: The parade was the day’s main event, returning after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus. Tens of thousands of marchers participated, according to the event’s organizer, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, as did a long list of dignitaries from New York City and state. But despite the masses of teenagers marching up Fifth Avenue in the nearly 90-degree heat, the crowds of spectators appeared sparse in some places, standing just one row deep along most of the first half of the parade route. Some sections of the sidewalk that were exposed to the sun stood empty.

Octogenarian volunteers: Shortly after the parade and a few blocks away, about 100 people gathered in the Conservative Sutton Place Synagogue to celebrate Volunteers for Israel, also known as Sar-El, which brings thousands of volunteers to Israel Defense Forces bases to do logistical work — packing bags of food, folding uniforms, refilling gas and more. About two-thirds of Sar-El’s volunteers are senior citizens, which the crowd at the synagogue reflected. Many of the attendees were older and came wearing green T-shirts bearing the word “volunteer” transliterated into Hebrew.

Read the full story here. 

Creating conversation

Humanizing brands

iStock/Getty Images

“It’s a human truth that people will forget what you said, but not how you made them feel. So it goes for brands,” writes Mark Goldman, senior vice president of marketing at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Humanizing is critical: “I study brand theory and have concluded that the most successful brands act less like products and more like human beings. That’s why humanizing brands is critical to the success of any brand — be it B2C, B2B, or even a nonprofit brand… So, how can you humanize a brand? First, an enticing brand personality matters more than a brand’s attributes. Why? Because human beings respond to human qualities. Therefore, the basic human truth of treating others as you would want to be treated also applies to brands.”

The need to stand apart: “In today’s noisy, cluttered media landscape, making a meaningful connection is more important than ever. In 1759, English poet and essayist Samuel Johnson wrote, ‘Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently pursued, and it is, therefore, become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic.’ So, advertising clutter has been an issue for a long time.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

‘Antisemitism Tax’: Synagogue security funding may come at the expense of other needs, Howard Husock, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in The Wall Street Journal: “I call it the anti-Semitism tax. More than 5% of our budget is now devoted to security to protect the congregation. That’s more than $150,000 a year to prevent tragedies like the deadly attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 or the hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, in January. We had long used funds to hire off-duty cops for the High Holidays to direct traffic, but this is much more serious…Membership dues keep the lights on. Security spending comes at the expense of other budget items: building repairs, new books for the library or lower tuition for preschool parents, a key source of the new members we need to thrive as a community of believers. Ours is a reasonably well-off congregation, but those that aren’t face hard choices.” [WSJ]

Community Comms

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Word on the Street

According to a survey commissioned by Vanguard Charitable, in 2021, 37% of American donors gave half or more of their charitable contributions to disaster relief efforts and 64% gave to a charity they had never supported before…

The Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education, in collaboration with JCC Global, has published “Peoplehood Papers 31: Building Peoplehood through Culture and the Arts”…

The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore has named Harriette Wimms as its inaugural Jews of color engagement fellow. This new fellowship is a pilot program funded through the Jews of Color Initiative in San Francisco and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation in Baltimore…

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, Calif., announced an unrestricted gift of $70 million from James and Marilyn Simons and Henry and Marsha Laufer in support of community-driven programs and initiatives…

Pic of the Day

Dan Brown

At the Limmud FSU ReCharge conference on Saturday in Parsippany, N.J., Julia Ioffe, founding partner and Washington correspondent at Puck, and Daniel Allen of Insider discuss the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Biden administration’s assumptions before the invasion.


Michael L Abramson/Getty Images

Best-selling author and journalist, whose works include Tuesdays with Morrie, he has sold over 40 million books, Mitch Albom

Emeritus professor of physics and the history of science at Harvard, Gerald James Holton turns 100… Businessman who acquired and rebuilt The Forge in Miami Beach, Alvin Malnik… Businessman, optometrist, inventor and philanthropist, Dr. Herbert A. Wertheim… Former dean of the Yale School of Architecture and founder of an eponymous architecture firm, Robert A. M. Stern… Founder and chairman of law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a leading DC lobbying firm headquartered in Denver, and a longtime proponent of the U.S-Israel relationship, Norman Brownstein… British fashion retailer and promoter of tennis in Israel, he is the founder, chairman and CEO of the French Connection, Great Plains and Toast brands, Stephen Marks… Special counsel in the NYC office of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan focused on election law, he was in the inaugural class of Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Jerry H. Goldfeder… Award-winning television writer and playwright, Stephanie Liss… Israeli diplomat, he previously served as Israel’s ambassador to Nigeria and consul general of Israel to Philadelphia, Uriel Palti… Editor-in-chief of a book on end-of-life stories, Catherine Zacks Gildenhorn… Israeli businessman Ofer Nimrodi… President of Newton, Mass.-based Liberty Companies, Andrew M. Cable… Senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Reuel Marc Gerecht… Chairman of the board of the Irvine, Calif.-based Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook… Former ski instructor, ordained by HUC-JIR in 1998, now rabbi of the Community Synagogue of Rye (N.Y.), Daniel B. Gropper… Film and television director, Nanette Burstein… NYC matrimonial law attorney, Casey Greenfield… Israel’s minister of education Yifat Shasha-Biton… Retired attorney, now a YouTuber with 540,000 followers, David Freiheit… President of the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust, Dylan Tatz… Tech reporter and editor for Haaretz in English, Omer Benjakob… Professional golfer on the LPGA Tour, she turned pro at age 17 and is the youngest-ever winner of a modern LPGA major championship, Morgan Pressel… Senior manager of brand and product strategy at GLG, Andrea M. Hiller

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