Your Daily Phil: Heard at YU’s Hanukkah dinner + Governors spotlight threat of antisemitism

Good Monday morning!

Last night, Yeshiva University held its annual Hanukkah Dinner virtually. The hour-long show was hosted by CBS anchor Gayle King and featured YU President Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), businesswoman and philanthropist Anita Zucker, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others. Full video here.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to call out antisemitism on the political right and left during remarks he is set to deliver tonight at UJA-Federation of New York’s annual Wall Street Dinner in Times Square.

“Too many on the right seem only concerned about antisemitism when it occurs on the left – and vice versa,” Bloomberg will say, according to a draft of his remarks obtained by Jewish Insider.

Miss Puerto Rico, Michelle Colón, in Israel for the Miss Universe pageant, revealed at an event at Yad Vashem that her great-grandfather was a Holocaust survivor.


Governors spotlight threat of antisemitism in national campaign


As part of a national campaign that launched during Hanukkah to spotlight and combat antisemitism, Democratic and Republican governors from eight states issued official proclamations throughout the holiday denouncing the threat and vowing to do more to fight it, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports. The governors — from Ohio, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Delaware, Connecticut, New York and Michigan — represent a politically and geographically diverse set of leaders.     

Working together: “There was a time not too long ago when we as a community were alone, with the government either acting against us or sitting on their hands, while others spewed hate and violence at us,” said William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which was a major organizer of the campaign. “The difference as we sit here in December 2021 is that the government here in the United States is on our side. They are allies. They’re working with us to combat antisemitism, to combat violence against Jews.”

Shine a Light: The proclamations were issued as part of the “Shine a Light” campaign, which was organized by the Conference of Presidents in partnership with other groups including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and The Jewish Federations of North America. Fifty-eight percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in 2020 were directed at Jews, according to FBI data.  

Small but mighty: A proclamation from Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, which has the smallest Jewish population in the country with just 250 Jews, spotlighted “members of the Jewish faith [who] have been coming to South Dakota for nearly 150 years as early settlers” and praised “their role as early community leaders in our state and ongoing contributions to our diverse culture.” She also embraced the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

State by state: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wrote a letter to the state’s college and university presidents, laying out concrete steps for the schools to take to “create a culture on our campuses that does not tolerate antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiments or any other type of discrimination.” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy participated in an event in Jersey City alongside families of the victims killed in the shooting at a local kosher supermarket two years ago.

Read the full story here.


Is the Great Resignation a great opportunity?

Hillel International

The numbers are in and they are telling us that people are leaving their jobs. In September 2021 alone, a record-breaking 4.4 million people left their jobs voluntarily, in pursuit of better pay, better flexibility or better quality of life. We are, as many have said, in the midst of ‘The Great Resignation,’” writes David Korenthal, associate director of talent acquisition at Hillel International, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Talent investment: “While the Great Resignation has so far hit the corporate world and service industry the hardest, it is coming for us in the nonprofit world too. At Hillel International we’ve invested significantly in our talent strategy and seen strikingly positive results, including above 90% retention over the last three years. Yet, we also see that only 55% of professionals in our campus locations see themselves working there in the next two years (down from 60% in 2019). These numbers tell us that we’ve got a dedicated workforce that loves their work and, at the same time, is looking for something new.”

Challenge: “Our challenge over the coming months is to dive deeper into those numbers and ask: What do our people need that will help them stay? This is also a moment where our employees are evaluating their relationship to this work and asking themselves this question. How we adjust and answer these questions will determine whether the Great Resignation will ultimately hurt or help our field.”

Read the full piece here.


5 tips to maximize year-end giving


“Giving to charity is now easier than ever — especially during the holidays. Whether writing a check, opting to ‘round up’ at the register or simply clicking a ‘donate’ button, you can quickly make a donation and be on your way. But after a few minutes, that good-deed feeling fades, and you may be left wondering if your contribution made a significant impact. What if you could make your giving reach more people this year?” Hannah Shaw Grove, chief marketing officer at Foundation Source, suggests five tips to maximize giving in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy

Find matching opportunities: “Many charities have annual fundraising campaigns with mega donors who match contributions — sometimes as much as 3-to-1 — received during specified time frames. Check to see if your favorite causes have similar opportunities that could double or even triple your impact, and help the organizations reach their goals. Employers often offer matching programs, too, which can make a big difference to nonprofits.”

Make it a family affair: “The holidays offer a rare opportunity to get the whole family together, and it’s the perfect time to get your kids and grandkids involved in giving. One idea is to create a ‘giving budget’ to donate to charity. Each child then suggests a cause to help everyone decide where and how to distribute the ‘budget.’ Actual dollars can then be given for the holidays — and even matched by grown-ups; the possibilities are limitless.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Bang for Your Buck: As the philanthropy space increasingly includes funders from the tech and crypto worlds, there is heightened pressure to maximize the effectiveness of donations, reports Felix Salmon in Axios. The shift is underscored by grants being made by Dustin Moskovitz’s Open Philanthropy, which is donating in increasing amounts over the next several years to GiveWell, which attempts to maximize donations. “Up until now, GiveWell has been cash-constrained, its head of growth Ben Bateman explains to Axios, so it started with the most effective charities and then kept an eye out for opportunities that were even more effective. With the influx of new funds, that calculation changes: GiveWell can broaden out its analysis to look beyond its current top recommendations. The organizations expect that ultimately they’ll be able to spend all of the money in a way that’s at least five times as effective as giving money directly to the world’s poorest people.” [Axios]

Campus Beat: Andrew Davis and Sam Ritter, the co-founders of the Davis New Mexico Scholarship, write in Philanthropy News Digest about the challenges facing first-generation college students who receive scholarships to attend school, many of whom are ignored by scholarship providers. “Most providers of private scholarships see data on the distribution of the funds they award, but few are analyzing the impact of those dollars on graduation rates. Even though receiving a scholarship means students have an increased likelihood of graduating from college, still only 45 percent of scholarship recipients nationwide graduate in four years. Given that first-generation students and those from low-income families are less likely to win scholarships than their peers from more affluent backgrounds, it is clear that private scholarships without a focus on completion do not provide a clear path toward the benefits of a college degree.” [PhilDigest]

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Word on the Street

Rabbi Stacy Rigler has been appointed executive director of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators, effective Jan. 10… Alan Margolies is retiring Dec. 31 as executive director of the The Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida… For the first time since 2006, more members of the Association of Theological Schools saw their student populations increase than decrease… The Ford Foundation and Open Society Initiative for West Africa announced the launch of a five-year, $3.75 million initiative aimed at boosting feminist action and advocacy against sexual violence in West Africa… A report from Northern California Grantmakers and Open Impact finds the San Francisco Bay Area is among the most economically inequitable places in America, and addressing those inequities will require shifts in philanthropic practice… Secure messaging app Signal launched a new feature that allows users to make donations within the app… Solomon “Kal” Rudman, founder and longtime publisher of the Friday Morning Quarterback, died at 91…

Pic of the Day

Mushka Lightstone

Rabbi Mordechai and Chana Lightstone welcome guests to a Tech Tribe Hanukkah party in Brooklyn, N.Y., that featured the first-ever NFT menorah, a digital art file listed for purchase on the Polygon Blockchain.


Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Philanthropist and founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark… 

Former member of the National Assembly of Quebec for 20 years (1994-2014), Lawrence S. Bergman… Renowned artist, Bruce Nauman… Israeli-born producer of over 130 full-length films, Arnon Milchan… Founder of Susan G. Komen (named after her late sister), she also served as U.S. ambassador to Hungary (2001-2003) and chief of protocol of the U.S. (2007-2009), Nancy Goodman Brinker… U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Ohio, he serves on the executive committee of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Judge Dan Aaron Polster… Cell and molecular biologist, he is the director of research and professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, David L. Spector… Philanthropist and founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark… Film and television actress, Gina Hecht… Faculty member and professor at Harvard Law School since 1981, Martha Minow… Author of a bestselling novel, Arthur Sulzberger Golden… SVP and general counsel at United Airlines, Robert S. Rivkin… EVP and chief operating officer of the Inter-American Development Bank, Julie Katzman… Emmy Award-winning producer, writer, director, actor and comedian, Judd Apatow… Member of Knesset for the Likud party since 2015, he was a fighter pilot for the IDF and then a civilian pilot for El Al before entering politics, Yoav Kisch… Professor of economics at the University of Chicago, Michael Greenstone… Professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, the son and grandson of rabbis, Julian E. Zelizer… Israeli communications professional, Amir Mizroch… EVP in the NYC office of PR firm BerlinRosen, Dan Levitan… Editor-in-chief at The Air CurrentJon Ostrower… Chief of staff and head of operations at Israel-based PrettyDamnQuick, Ilan Regenbaum… Licensed community association manager, Beth Argaman… Head of the Italian foreign policy program at Rome’s Istituto Affari Internazionali, Andrea Dessì… Joe Blumenthal…