Your Daily Phil: Fellowships for Jewish leaders of color + Telling Jerusalem’s story 

Good Monday morning!

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we profile one of the key exhibits of the newly reopened Tower of David Museum, which recently underwent a $50 million renovation, and feature op-eds from Rabbi Joshua Rabin and Smadar Bar-Akiva. We’ll start with a report on new fellowships aimed to help Jews of color thrive in leadership positions.

While many Jewish organizations in recent years have actively sought to include Jews of color into their leadership ranks, that introduction has not always been seamless, reports Jay Deitcher for eJewishPhilanthropy.

In some cases, Jews of color in these leadership positions feel unheard, pigeonholed or misunderstood. To address this issue, a number of organizations have recently launched fellowships to prepare Jews of color for the specific stresses and challenges they are likely to face as leaders in the Jewish community, including the JewV’Nation fellowship, Jews of Color Initiative’s philanthropy fellowship and JIMENA’s Sephardic Leaders Fellowship.

All of these fellowships strive to create a peer community for Jews who may feel outside of the Jewish mainstream. Their programs provide mentors who have flourished in similar situations and help fellows develop relationships with other community leaders from all Jewish backgrounds.

All the representatives for fellowships that eJP spoke with reported that mentorship — experts who have walked similar terrain — was an important component of the fellowships . Each of the representatives also acknowledged that it was important to have Jews of all backgrounds involved, people who have committed to being allies, sometimes as mentors, sometimes as teachers and presenters, because many Jews of color may not have the connections and systemic resources that others have.

Sarah Levin, the director of JIMENA, told eJP that there are plenty of people in Jewish spaces who are pushing to grow as a community, which she sees as a positive step in itself. “I don’t know what the answers are,” she said, “but I know that we cannot stop doing the work. As long as there are Jewish leaders, whether it is heads of schools or board members or senior staff, who recognize that something needs to change, then we must keep pushing.”

Read the full story here.

Visual history

Oded Antman/Tower of David Museum

How do you capture thousands of years of history in just three minutes? Ask award-winning Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman, who undertook the near-impossible task of creating a short, animated film telling the entire story of Jerusalem from the time of King Solomon’s First Jewish Temple up to the modern day for the newly renovated and reopened Tower of David Museum, reports Ruth Marks Eglash for eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider.

Giving a taste: Yoav Cohen, once a student of Folman’s and now the museum’s artistic director, told JI that Folman’s work, which is the first to greet visitors at the newly reopened museum, is among the most important. Not only does it incorporate modern technologies to tell the well-worn story of an ancient city in a new and fresh way, but it also gives visitors a taste of what is to come in the $50 million museum redesign. Eilat Lieber, the museum’s director and chief curator, said the goal of the redesign was “to tell the stories of Jerusalem in a multidisciplinary approach.”

Keep it light: “The museum is very didactic, and I wanted there to be a fun, cool entrance where you walk in and have a feel-good atmosphere,” said Folman of his creative process. “I didn’t want there to be this heaviness where we’re going to teach you about the history of Jerusalem,” he added. “It’s a welcome and if you come with kids, they are attracted to the wall and can watch it in loops – this was the idea.”

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

Empty buzzwords

Planning to fail: Why your most expensive mistakes are mental


“I am a congenial contrarian. I know, quite a selling point. But at least I got your attention. Reflective leadership requires self-knowledge, and I know my natural instinct is to mentally zag when others mentally zig. I try not to be mean about it (hence the ‘congenial’ part),” writes Rabbi Joshua Rabin, founder of Moneyball Judaism, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Buzzwords: “So I suppose it’s not surprising that I’ve begun to wonder why I find certain leadership buzzwords less meaningful the more I hear them. If you ask a typical leader how to make change, they will quote mantras from change management literature: Create a compelling vision. Develop a plan. Get stakeholder buy-in. Any strategic plan includes some version of these action steps.”

Just a piece of paper: “However, while the number of plans produced by Jewish organizations is astoundingly large, the number of organizations recreated based on a plan is shockingly small. I almost feel bad for leaders who speak of their organization’s strategic plan as if it is a magical document representing their brilliant vision, when, in reality, a plan is just a piece of paper.”

Read the full piece here.

Global hubs

The delight of being proven wrong


“The year was 2019 and the leadership of JCC Global was designing a five-year strategic plan. Mark Ramer, of blessed memory, then JCC Global president, kept searching for new ways to amplify the organization’s reach,” writes Smadar Bar-Akiva, executive director of JCC Global, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Creating an online leadership tool: “With more than 1,000 JCCs affiliated with the global network, not enough leaders were able to afford expensive travel and participate in flagship programs. Thus, together with colleagues and partners, the concept of the JCC Global Hubs was developed: online courses, open to the senior leadership of the movement from around the world, that will ‘focus on utilizing the resources of the global network to enhance human resource development and capacity building for local JCCs.’”

Pilot program: “One must admit that when the program was presented to the board for approval…, it was not accepted with enthusiasm. Many JCC leaders, myself included, felt that the program takes away the ‘magic’ that happens when JCC leaders from different communities and counties come together in person. Still, the program was approved and we set down to create the first pilot.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Coming Back from the Brink: In The Jerusalem Post, Josh Schoenberg describes his visit to Eastern European Jewish communities as part of the Jewish Federations of North America. “As I was singing Shabbat songs with dozens of four- and five-year-old children at the Aviv Jewish kindergarten in Tallinn, Estonia, it struck me that the parents and grandparents of many of these children were forbidden from singing these same songs for decades, let alone from expressing their Jewish identities publicly. The kindergarten was the first stop on a recent ten-day International Study Mission to Eastern Europe that I was privileged to take part in along with 175 other leaders from Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet… Indeed, Jewish life in Eastern Europe has been rekindled and Jewish leadership is reemerging. This message was most strongly felt at Szarvas, a Jewish identity and leadership-building camp in rural Hungary that is funded by JDC. During the summer, more than 400 Jewish youth from dozens of countries come together to experience the vibrancy of Jewish life.” [JPost]

Not So Loud!: In Fast Company, Sona Khosla, the chief impact officer of Benevity, a donation-management and grant-management startup, details the new “quiet” ways that companies are giving philanthropically. “Quiet giving is a more subtle approach to corporate philanthropy — but it’s no less powerful. At its core, quiet giving is about businesses moving away from flashy, external-facing corporate statements centered on newsworthy issues and toward greater prioritization of investments in their workforces and local communities… Quiet giving also extends outward to communities, with companies partnering with and granting funds to locally focussed causes and nonprofits where employees live and work. For example, a $1,000 grant can make a significant difference to a women’s shelter in a rural setting, whereas the same $1,000 can be a drop in the bucket for a national organization that supports women.” [FastCompany]

Around the Web

A Pittsburgh jury on Friday found Robert Bowers guilty of all 63 charges against him in the deadly 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting. The verdict was hailed by Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Council for Public Affairs and others…

The Hadassah medical organization, the umbrella group that operates the group’s two hospitals in Jerusalem, opened a new facility in the nearby city of Beit Shemesh last week. Dr. Boris Vershitzky, a family medicine and cardiology specialist, will run the new clinic, which has been dubbed Hadassah Beit Shemesh

The families of Yagel and Hillel Yaniv and Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee, who were killed in terror attacks in February and April, respectively, met the recipients of the victims’ donated corneas on Sunday at Beilinson Hospital outside Tel Aviv. Six people had their eyesight restored from the donation…

Apple has doubled its donations toward racial-equity-focused nonprofits, up to $200 million, since 2020… 

Larry Krauss, a Toronto-based private equity manager, will step down as chairman of Canadian Friends of the Jerusalem College of Technology – Lev Academic Center at the end of the month… 

Susan H. Wachsstock was promoted to executive director of The Jewish Education Project and Amy Amiel was hired as chief program officer. David Bryfman will continue to lead the organization as CEO…

Police in East Lansing, Mich., arrested a 19-year-old man whom they believe was planning a mass shooting at the city’s Shaarey Zedek synagogue. Investigators found the name of the synagogue, a date and a list of weapons on his phone…

Pic of the Day

Courtesy/ENTER: The Jewish Peoplehood Alliance

U.K. Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis (front row, second from right) poses for a photograph with representatives from a variety of American Jewish organizations following a meeting that was hosted by Jewish Community Center Association CEO Doron Krakow (front row, right) in New York. The gathering was organized by ENTER: The Jewish Peoplehood Alliance as part of its Jewish Peoplehood Coalition initiative.

In an email to followers on Friday, Krakow praised the chief rabbi’s dedication to Jewish peoplehood. “Rabbi Mirvis’ visit to New York came about in connection with an address he delivered at the United Nations on Wednesday, but in a true reflection of his visionary leadership and inspirational commitment to Jewish peoplehood, he sought out opportunities to meet and engage with Jewish leaders who hungrily filled his two-day schedule. What a privilege it was to have been among them, spending time in the company of others committed to working together to bring the Jewish people to an ever-greater dedication to achrayut (responsibility),” he wrote.



Human rights activist and advocate for women and minorities in Iran, Marjan Keypour Greenblatt… 

Former U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands in the Carter administration, Geraldine “Geri” Mack Joseph… Attorney, investment banker, film producer and former deputy mayor of NYC, Kenneth Lipper… Rabbi emeritus of Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, N.J., Rabbi Bennett F. Miller… Historian of Jews in Muslim lands in the modern era, Yaron Tsur… Retired territory sales manager for GlaxoSmithKline, Harry E. Wenkert… Retired president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Jay SandersonInna N. Zalevsky… Rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Stoughton, Mass., Jonathan Hausman… Overland Park, Kansas, resident, Kathi Shaivitz Rosenberg… Director of communications for Kings Bay Y, Adrienne M. Knoll… Member of the European Jewish Parliament for Latvia, Valery Engel, Ph.D…. OB-GYN physician specializing in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Jessica Rosenberg Brown, MD… Co-founder of Centerview Partners, Blair Effron… Singer-songwriter, actress and television personality, Paula Abdul… Former member of Knesset for the Zionist Union party, Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin… Co-founder of nine companies, Andrew Perlman… Director of the export control department in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eitan Weiss… Staff writer at The New Yorker, Isaac Chotiner… Director of affinities and major giving at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Tslil Shtulsaft… Co-leader of the Jewish Peoplehood Coalition and until recently the executive director of Israel’s Reut Group think tank, Barak Sella… Internal communications manager at Teva Pharmaceuticals and former director of partnerships, resource development and media at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Israel Unlimited, Sarah Groner… Founder of JSwipe, David Austin Yarus… Senior program officer at Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Anna Langer… COO at Switch Money with Friends, Alex Jakubowski… Finance director at M/O Strategies, Cydney Couch… Singer known as Skye for short, Daniel Skye