Your Daily Phil: Garland at ADL: Probes of hate crimes against Jews tripled

Good Friday morning.

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 eJewishPhilanthropyJewish Insider and The Circuit stories, including: How ‘Dear White Staffers’ turned into an anti-Israel, antisemitic account; The rescue mission that tested burgeoning Israel-Indonesia relations; Eugene Vindman offers tough love to Israel as he pursues congressional campaign. Print the latest edition here.

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we feature an inaugural conference “for rabbis, by rabbis,” where candid conversations with peers from across the denominational spectrum covered Israel, antisemitism and more. We report on insights from a survey conducted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington about boosting engagement in organized Jewish life among young adults; and we feature an opinion piece by Karyn Grossman Gershon in honor of International Women’s Day. Also in this issue: Yale Women’s ClubJewish Gen X-ers, and the Lundbeck Foundation. We’ll start with the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now conference, which was held in Manhattan on Wednesday and Thursday. Shabbat Shalom!

Attorney General Merrick Garland gave voice to the fears of many Jewish Americans in his keynote address on Thursday at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now conference, where some 4,000 attendees at the Jacob Javits Convention Center heard eye-popping statistics and firsthand accounts of Jew-hatred, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen from the event

Garland, whose own grandmother fled the pogroms of Eastern Europe, leaving behind two siblings who were murdered in the Holocaust, may be uniquely positioned to understand this moment in America, with antisemitism running at historic levels in the wake of Oct. 7. So when he quietly referenced a statistic — that between Oct. 7 and Jan. 30 of this year, the FBI opened more than three times the number of anti-Jewish hate crime investigations than in the previous four months — it landed with a punch. Yet even that striking statistic, Garland said, does not “begin to capture the fear in which I know Jewish communities have been living.” 

Thursday’s keynote address was a contrast from the day prior, which included a controversial opening session. The political divide was palpable at the conference on Wednesday morning, despite the ADL’s calls for unity in the months since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks. 

Jared Kushner, former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former senior adviser, was presented with the inaugural ADL Abraham Accords Champion Award for his role in helping to broker the Accords, the normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries, in 2020. 

Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, defended his decision to honor Kushner less than a day after the former president nearly swept the Super Tuesday primaries, essentially guaranteeing him the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

“Our next speaker is someone who I disagree with strenuously. He worked for a White House that I consistently and we at the ADL publicly criticized in the strongest terms. And we’ve had more than enough phone calls,” Greenblatt told the gathering, stressing that the ADL is nonpartisan. “But I invited him to speak here.”

“I really don’t care how you vote, but the Abraham Accords are a groundbreaking achievement,” Greenblatt said. Dozens of attendees exited the room as Kushner took to the stage.

Throughout the two-day conference, dozens of global experts, advocates and leaders in the fight against antisemitism took the stage and lead panels. High-profile speakers included Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the State Department’s special envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism; Marc Rowan, CEO of Apollo Management and UJA-Federation of New York chair; Rabbi David Wolpe, the ADL’s inaugural rabbinic fellow; and Daniel Lifshitz, an advocate for Israeli hostages in Gaza whose grandfather, Oded, is in captivity and whose grandmother, Yocheved, was released in November. Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the audience by video.

Read the full report here.


Rabbi Dina Brawer, executive director of the U.K.-based World Jewish Relief’s American branch, speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2023.

A yearlong study of Jewish young adults conducted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington found that most members of this age group are only loosely connected to Jewish groups, but by recognizing and taking advantage of key trends organizations can potentially boost their involvement, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

Market research: The study drew on data from 2022 from three participating organizations — GatherDC, OneTable and the congregation Sixth & I — whose shared dataset represented nearly 37,000 people, roughly 30% of young adult Jews (ages 22-39) in the D.C. area. The federation explained that the research was necessary in order to better understand the behavior of the age group, which makes up approximately 40% of the Jewish adult population in the region. The organization is also already heavily invested in young adults, allocating more than $600,000 a year to boost their engagement in the Jewish community.  

Fill the gaps: “One of the incredible things about this project was the collaboration – each organization supports young adult life, but in a unique way,” said Alexandra Tureau, GatherDC’s managing director. “Now we get to think about how to fill the gaps together, rather than isolated. Our hope is that this information will enable us to strengthen our community and facilitate relevant, active and meaningful Jewish life for all those we serve.”

Autumn attraction: Two of the key findings were that young adults were more likely to participate in Jewish communal activities in the fall High Holy Day season and if the barriers to entry were lowered — a centralized list of events, easier registration processes and offering more “structured events that help create welcoming spaces for newcomers” would all potentially be helpful. Acting on that information, OneTable and Sixth & I co-hosted a Rosh Hashanah dinner last September; it was a sold-out event.

If you build it, they will come: “While this [engagement with Jewish young adults] has always been central to Federation’s work, it has taken on additional significance since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and the rise in antisemitism,” the federation said in a statement. “As young adults are seeking to build strong Jewish communitiesFederation will continue to support strengthening their ties to each other and creating ongoing meaningful engagement. Failure to do so would be letting down a generation.”


‘Zionism: A New Conversation’ brings together 110 rabbis across denominations to talk about Israel

Representative Ritchie Torres (D – NY) (right) was one of the guest speakers featured at this week’s conference.

Since the pandemic hit and the many national conferences went on pause, there hasn’t been a national convening specifically for rabbis to discuss Israel. An inaugural three-day conference, titled “Zionism: A New Conversation” and held Monday through Wednesday in Miami, provided an opportunity for a wide range of rabbis to grapple with the Israel-Hamas war, the rise in antisemitism and more, reports Jay Deichter for eJewishPhilanthropy.

By rabbis, for rabbis: Sponsored by the Lisa and Michael Leffell Foundation, the Paul E. Singer Foundation and Maimonides Fund, the conference was designed by an advisory committee of rabbis of different denominations, ages and locations, who in turn invited 110 rabbis from congregations, day schools, rabbinical schools and Jewish organizations across the U.S. to participate. Session topics included reengaging youth when discussing Israel, creating allies, understanding social media and reclaiming Zionism, but the conference was also about “embracing ourselves,” Yael Dadoun, a Reform rabbi at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Cleveland, told eJP. “Defining our own identities as Jews, as Zionists, and owning those narratives, rather than constantly having to deal with being defined from the outside.” 

The need pre-dated Oct. 7: The urgency of the conference may have intensified after Oct. 7, but it was in the works since winter 2023, according to Michael Leffell of the eponymous foundation. “Israel was getting ripped apart at that time by all these internal divisions over the proposed judicial reform, and we saw it impacting American Jewry. Conversations were getting more divisive,” he said. “We heard about some rabbis who declined to say the prayer for the State of Israel or for the government of Israel. And I thought that was really terrible. People were losing sight of the centrality of Israel to the Jewish people.”

Space for candor: Leffell noted that the conference was “off the record”  because “we wanted to create as brave an environment as possible, as comfortable an environment as possible, so there can be very candid discussion.”

Read the full report here.


Helping women in wartime: Key lessons in honor of International Women’s Day

Electric bicycles procured by Project Kesher are used by Ukrainian nurses to visit homebound patients, supporting 11,500 such visits monthly.

“The needs of women in wartime have been deprioritized for far too long, over too many conflicts. Today, on International Women’s Day, NGOs should recommit themselves to meeting these vast needs, remembering that partnerships and the sharing of best practices is fundamental to such efforts,” writes Karyn Grossman Gershon, CEO of Project Kesher, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy

Consider their needs: “The toll of war is uniquely felt by women and can be seen in the negative impacts on women’s physical and mental health. For example, the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) has shared data on miscarriages from Dr. Tetyana Postolovska, who works out of one of the organization’s mobile reproductive clinics in Ukraine. Her calculations show that the number of women who have lost pregnancies has increased by approximately 10% to 15% compared to the country’s pre-war period. There is evidence that women are also experiencing spikes in postpartum depression, breastfeeding issues and early onset menopause, as well as higher levels of anxiety and panic disorders… With the knowledge that it’s essential to understand the impact of traumatic stress on the body in order to address its impact on society, Project Kesher has advanced women-focused wartime health initiatives in Ukraine and Israel, delivering needed resources and emotional support.”

Use their knowledge: “[T]here is a growing understanding that women’s global needs must be met through channels that include international aid. However, NGOs providing that aid — as well as information, programs and services — should also be aware of the importance of centering the voices of women on the ground in their decision-making. Those that fail to take this step too often discover too late that their efforts have been duplicative, ineffective or simply less than meaningful; while with the input of those who fully understand the specific realities of those in need, as well as the larger cultural and societal context, organizations can and often do generate impact.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Indelible Moments: In Tablet, writer Eduardo Halfon recounts moments from his childhood as a Jew in 1970s Guatemala when encounters with symbols of antisemitism left a lasting impression, even if he didn’t fully comprehend their context at the time. “The only sounds at that hour of the morning were the shrieking din of a flock of parakeets up in the palm tree and the clinking of my father’s clubs in the golf bag and the metallic scraping of his cleats on the dry pebbles… My father ordered me too firmly to hurry up, holding the door open and waiting for me to enter. My brother echoed my father, standing beside him. But I ignored them. I had only recently learned to read capital letters and I still stopped at any sign or lettering to practice… I can still see me standing there that Sunday morning and reading the black, all-caps sentence written on the sign and immediately understanding that for the members of that club, and for some if not all of my fellow Guatemalans, there was no difference between me and a dog. I must have been 6 or 7 years old when I found out that the sign existed, either because I saw it along with my father and brother on a cold Sunday morning, or because my father described it to me one day that he now no longer remembers. And since then I’ve never been able to forget it. Not so much due to the sign itself, but to the feeling of rupture that it left inside me. From that moment on—from that one black, hateful sentence—my two worlds became forever separated, and I was outcast from both of them.” [Tablet]

The ‘Right’ Flexibility: With an estimated 15-20% of the world’s population exhibiting some form of neurodivergence, executive coach and psychologist Samantha Madhosingh shares insights into the experiences and needs of neurodiverse employees in the workplace in Forbes. “Neurodiversity encompasses individual differences in brain function and describes various conditions, including ADHD, Tourette syndrome, autism, dyslexia, and dysgraphia… Robin Adamowicz, a neuro-inclusive workplace practice program manager with autism and ADHD, told me in an interview that neurodivergent employees are often silent because of the ‘fear and stigma’ that exists. Many employees don’t disclose being neurodivergent because they are worried that ‘you might fire me, stop offering me new projects I am interested in, or I won’t get promoted,’ she said… ‘The ability to work flexibly is essential,’ Daniel Aherne, founder of Adjust and recently diagnosed with ADHD, told me in an interview. ‘This may be working from home or being able to work at quieter times. But it also helps when managers have flexibility in systems and a flexible approach. They need a manager who is really clear on the outcome they want, what must be done and by when, but then gives the employee flexibility in how it gets done. That’s the flexibility that helps, not constantly moving deadlines.’” [Forbes]

Around the Web

The Jewish Funders Network shared a list of the members of the recently launched advisory board for The TEN: Together Ending Need, a mix of funders, human services practitioners, researchers and communal professionals…

Yale Women’s Club announced it will dedicate its annual conference to the theme of pinkwashing and Palestine, which Jewish leaders at the university denounced in a statement to Jewish Insider as a “libelous portrayal of Israel”…

The United Jewish Federation of Utah condemned a bar in Salt Lake City that declared Zionists are unwelcome… 

In interviews with Jewish Insider, prominent leaders of the movement to fight antisemitism in higher education expressed skepticism about a set of recommendations handed down earlier this week by Columbia University’s task force on antisemitism… 

The Conservative movement‘s Cantors Assembly will release a virtual concert series on March 14 highlighting contemporary Israeli musicians whose livelihoods have taken a hit in the wake of Oct. 7…

More than 81% of Jewish Gen Xers and older millennials conveyed interest in learning more about their ancestry, expressing belief that it would provide a greater sense of life purpose, according to findings from a new survey commissioned by the Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning… 

The Met Council on Jewish Poverty will distribute $1 million worth of halal food to pantries across New York city during Ramadan… 

In an announcement coinciding with International Women’s Day, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the WTA Foundation unveiled a new collaboration to elevate women’s health and nutrition as a global priority…

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s Life & Legacy program, which supports Philadelphia-area Jewish institutions, finished 2023 with $1 million in annual contributions, much of which reportedly came in during the final quarter…

The Illinois Holocaust Museum Humanitarian Awards dinner, which featured former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and actress Debra Messing, raised over $3 million for the museum. Local philanthropists Michael and Juliet Gray were presented with the museum’s Humanitarian Award at the event…  

Professor Haim Sompolinsky will be the first Israeli scientist to receive the prestigious Brain Prize from the Lundbeck Foundation, the world’s largest award given to pioneers in the neuroscience field… 

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and retired molecular biologist Elena Zhikova, the former mother-in-law of Russian oligarch and philanthropist Roman Abramovichannounced their engagement on Thursday…

Pic of the Day

Courtesy/Alternativa 1

With a time of 2:35:39, Melkamu Jember, 33, of Israel won the 13th International Jerusalem Winner Marathon this morning in Jerusalem.

Some 40,000 participants — including 15,000 IDF soldiers in reserve and regular service, members of security and rescue forces and 1,800 international runners — took part in the marathon, which incorporated landmarks such as walls of the Old City, Sultan’s Pool, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Mount Zion, the German Colony, Rehavia, Mount Scopus, Mount of Olives and other sites.


Annie Liebovitz smiles
Bernard Thibobeau/House of Commons Photo Services

Canadian Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Ya’ara Saks celebrates her birthday on Sunday… 

FRIDAY: Jazz pianist, composer, organist, arranger and music director, Dick Hyman… Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-CA) until 2023, Alan Stuart Lowenthal… Chair of the U.K.’s Office of Communications, Baron Michael Grade (family name Winogradsky)… Judaism and science blogger, he is a retired attorney at Seyfarth Shaw, Roger Price… Lyricist, singer, songwriter and New York Times best-selling author, Carole Bayer Sager… Licensed clinical psychologist and past director of couple therapy training at the Chicago Center for Family Health, Dr. Mona Fishbane… Senior fellow on national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress, Alan Makovsky… Brenda Krantz… Former chair and CEO of MGM, he is now vice-chair of DraftKings, Harry Evans Sloan… Public affairs producer and weekend assignment editor at KDKA News in Pittsburgh, Aviva Jayne Radbord… Former governor of Virginia and later U.S. senator, his mother was from a Sephardic Jewish family in Tunisia, George Allen… Retired in 2016 after 29 years as the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester (N.Y.), Larry Fine… Host and managing editor of the WNYC radio program “On the Media,” Brooke Gladstone… Director of training and operations at Consilium Group, Bunny Silverman Fisher… President of the World Bank Group until last year, David Malpass… D.C.-based labor and employment attorney at Bredhoff & Kaiser, Bruce R. Lerner… Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress, Camryn Manheim… Founder and CEO of 32 Advisors, LLC, he was previously president of UBS Investment Bank, Robert Wolf… VP of talent acquisition at Sageview Consulting, Carin Maher… VP for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Evan A. Feigenbaum… Director of external affairs at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, Zack Fink… Member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2017 (D-NJ), Joshua S. Gottheimer… Marketing and communications director at the Center for Open Science, Alexis C. Rice… Executive director of Masbia soup kitchen, Alexander Rapaport… Executive advisor of social networking site Raya, Jared Morgenstern… Director at PJT CamberView, Eric Louis Sumberg… Founder and CEO of Delta Flow Solutions, Jeff Sonderman… Actress who appears as the store manager Lily Adams in AT&T commercials, she starred in the 2019 film short “The Shabbos Goy,” Milana Vayntrub… Manager of health policy at the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare, David Streeter… Five-time BMI Songwriter of the Year award winner, known professionally as Benny Blanco, Benjamin Joseph Levin… Associate attorney at NYC’s Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, Nathaniel Jacob Sobel… Program analyst at Mathematica Policy Research, Karen Katz… Director of government affairs and corporate citizenship in the Washington office of PepsiCo, Taylor Jaye Lustig… Marketing communications manager for Commerce Casino, Amanda Helen Botfeld… Tennis player, she has won ten singles and fifteen doubles titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit, Jamie Loeb… Director of product marketing and brand operations at DirecTV, Alexa (Lexi) Chavin… Associate at 25madison, Miriam Applbaum

SATURDAY: Professor emeritus of sociology and Jewish studies at the University of Toronto, best known for his work on German Jewry, Y. Michal Bodemann… President at Adelson Family Foundation and a board member of Prizmah, Michael Bohnen… Sag Harbor-based painter, sculptor and printmaker, Eric Fischl… Host of Public Radio International’s “Science Friday,” Ira Flatow… Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Law graduate, author and political journalist, Michael Kinsley… Member of the Knesset from 1989 to 2021, now chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries, Amir Peretz… President and CEO of NYC’s flagship public TV station WNET, Neal Shapiro… Professor emeritus of economics at NYU, nicknamed “Dr. Doom,” Nouriel Roubini… Susan Liebman… Founder and president of NYC-based Gotham Media Strategies, Gordon Platt… Private equity and venture capital investor, Howie Fialkov… VP and head of global communications and public affairs for Meta / Facebook, David I. Ginsberg… Senior fellow at Harvard University’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Matthew Vogel… Former CEO of the Trevor Project, now an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the International Rescue Committee, Amit Paley… Co-founder and CEO at ImpactTechNation, he is also a co-founder of the political party Wake-Up Jerusalem (Hitorerut B’Yerushalayim), Hanan Rubin… Israeli-born singer, now one-half of the world music duo Shlomit & RebbeSoul, Shlomit Levi… News editor at the Jewish News SyndicateMenachem Wecker… Partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Bocarsly Emden, Rachel Rosner… Political analyst on the Fox News Channel, Jessica Tarlov… Communications director for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Alissa “Sadie” Weiner… CEO at New Orleans-based QED Hospitality, Emery Whalen… Pitcher for Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Jared Lakind… Founding partner of Mothership Strategies, Jacob “Jake” Austin Lipsett… Director of adult education and Israel engagement at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County (Fla.), Marla Topiol… First round pick by the San Jose Sharks in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, now playing in the AHL, Ozzy Wiesblatt… Stephen Lent…

SUNDAY: Long Beach, Calif., general surgeon, Leonard M. Lovitch, MD… Author and publisher of the Phoenix Scottsdale Jewish Friendship Trail GuidebookMichael Alan Ross… Senior cryogenics engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona, Lawrence Sobel… Founder and CEO of Cambridge, Mass.-based Pegasystems, Alan N. Trefler… CEO at Strategy3i Ltd. and Fluenzy, Jeffrey Kahn… Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, he won four medals in the 1984 Summer Olympic Games and is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Mitch Gaylord… Record producer, former co-president of Columbia Records and a co-founder of Def Jam Records, Frederick Jay (“Rick”) Rubin… Peabody Award-winning financial journalist and market news analyst for CNBC and one of the co-hosts of its morning show “Squawk on the Street,” David Faber… Executive director until a few months ago of the America Israel Friendship League, Wayne L. Firestone… Stage, screen and television actor, he is the son of novelist Norman Mailer, Stephen Mailer… Investigative reporter for The New York TimesDanny Hakim… Real estate agent on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing,” Josh Altman… Aliza Landes… Executive director at The Vandenberg Coalition, Carrie Filipetti… Actor and director, Sawyer Avery Spielberg… Editor-at-large of Mishpacha MagazineBinyamin Rose