Your Daily Phil: How Israeli philanthropy is changing + From ‘Great Resignation’ to ‘Sustained Resignation’

Good Thursday morning!

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $2.6 million in funding for the state’s Holocaust Survivors Initiative, which aims to boost survivors’ access to health care services, at an event in Brooklyn yesterday marking Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We are here to recommit ourselves to supporting the survivors,” Hochul said at an event at the Boro Park YM-YWHA with survivors in attendance. “And it is our duty, not just as New Yorkers, but as citizens of the world. And it’s something I take very seriously. But while I’m governor — and I hope to be your governor a long time, God willing — I want to make sure we have the resources to take care of you. So I can say we should take care of people and help them thrive and do well. But we need to put money behind it.”

Hochul also said she would work with the state legislature to pass what she called “important” Holocaust education legislation that is currently stalled in the Assembly. The bill would survey schools to see which are providing Holocaust education, and ensure that all students in the state receive it.

“There are lessons to be learned [from Holocaust education],” the governor said. “And many of these 40,000 survivors in the city of New York right now, they have powerful stories of resilience… We can never forget the atrocities that people — because of their faith, who they were — were subjected to, in the last century.”

Trend lines

How Israeli philanthropy is changing in the COVID era

image of israeli paper money


When David Kahan, a tech executive who lives in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ra’anana, turned 60 a few months ago, he sent an email to his friends and relatives asking them to donate money to an organization called Ten Gav to buy 60 beds for needy Israelis. In the end, more than 120 donors gave a total of about $40,000, enabling Ten Gav to provide 93 beds for Israelis in need. Ten Gav, a nonprofit based in Ra’anana that sources most of its donations from Israelis, is one example of a slowly growing culture of philanthropy in Israel that has been accelerated as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated socioeconomic gaps, Linda Gradstein reports for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Native philanthropy: While in past years Israeli institutions relied heavily on donations from the Diaspora, now observers of philanthropy in the Jewish state say Israelis are increasingly giving as well. “There’s a steady rise, slow but stable, in the amount of money donated and the number of donors giving in Israel,” Sigal Yaniv Feller, executive director of the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) Israel, told eJP. “More people understand that it’s important to give, and have the ability to give.”

Giving time, not money: Historically, Israel was a developing nation whose populace had a strong tradition of volunteerism and national service, rather than a culture of financial giving. Israel’s mandatory draft, which conscripts most 18-year-olds for two to three years, continues to reinforce an Israel ethos of giving time and physical energy. As of 2020, Israelis on average donated 1% of their disposable income, as opposed to Americans, who donated 2% on average.

Changing culture: But there are signs that as Israel has become more affluent, and particularly as its tech sector has brought wealth to the country, Israelis are beginning to open their wallets. According to a study commissioned by the government and Tel Aviv University, Israeli philanthropy grew 43% between 2009 and 2015 in total shekels given, and native Israeli philanthropy accounted for more than a third of donations in the country. Keshet, Israel’s first donor-advised fund, was founded in 2020, now has more than $50 million under management from 87 donors, and has allocated more than $14 million.

Read the full piece here.


A transformational moment: The American Jewish communal order in the post-pandemic age

selimaksan/Getty Images

“We’re undoubtedly living through a pivotal time in history. Future generations will learn about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on society for many years. While we can’t say for sure exactly what this impact will be, we can certainly think about what post-pandemic life will look like,” writes Steven Windmueller, interim director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Societal changes: “Over the years, my writings have often focused on emerging trends and consumer behaviors. Indeed, considerable attention has been given to specific patterns significant to the Jewish communal system. As a result of the pandemic and other forces, my attention has turned to the mega social and economic factors that will alter our society… The Jewish community, already bombarded by a set of internal challenges and threats, must also manage the many external factors now in play. The nature and scope of these forces is fundamentally transforming the Jewish communal eco-system. This article examines a wide array of contemporary themes, among them generational change, public policy considerations and work culture issues, as well as explores technological, nonprofit and economic trends.”

The nature of work: “As younger people enter the workforce, we are experiencing a significant transformation around the nature of work. One of the core outcomes is the permanent status of the remote employee and the rise of the “gig worker.” In their book The Human Cloud, Matthew Mottola and Matthew Coatney argue that traditional full-time employment will be a thing of the past, as organizations shift to hiring people on a contract basis.”

From ‘Great Resignation’ to ‘Sustained Resignation’: “A record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August of 2021. America’s acute talent crisis will likely persist for years. Employers are offering significant compensation increases both to attract and retain personnel. The data supports this finding: year-to-date salary increases have been more than 4%, compared to a historical norm of 2%. Ultimately, we’re likely to see a handful of organizations adopt 32-hour work weeks with the same compensation as a new way to compete for knowledge workers.”

Read the full piece here.


Reacting and responding to the numbers that tell a story

Lukas Blazek/Unsplash

“The challenge in front of us, and I hazard to assume before many Jewish nonprofits, is to strive to be as successful proactively, as we have become reactively. As a community, as we emerge from the pandemic this could indeed be our greatest challenge,” writes David Bryfman, CEO of The Jewish Education Project, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Peaks and valleys: “At first glance displaying the peaks and valleys of the number of educators utilizing resources and professional development opportunities on The Jewish Education Project’s recently created Jewish Educator Portal do not seem unusual. As one would expect, there are moments in time when organizational websites experience more and less traffic, and I imagine that most nonprofits experience similar variations in their outputs.”

Data visualization: “In itself the portal is an incredible achievement, featuring the incredible materials from dozens of Jewish organizations, becoming the aggregated and curated marketplace for quality Jewish educational resources. But these charts also tell me that many educators come to the portal, although not at the same numbers, for resources that one would expect Jewish educators to need to teach about the High Holidays and Hanukkah.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Flipping the Script on Fundraising: What happens when you “decolonize” storytelling, allowing the people who are the subjects of a given fundraising appeal to direct its narrative and focus? The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Emily Haynes examines an experiment using this method, conducted by Amref Health Africa — a nonprofit that aims to boost access to health care across the African continent — and which revealed that recipients of the community health volunteers’ appeal made higher average gifts than those who received the fundraiser-created appeal: “[Communications manager at Amref’s U.K. office Rachel] Erskine says the experiment offers broad lessons for charities. ‘We’re not saying that you should replicate this exact model because it’s quite a big undertaking,’ she says. ‘It’s more about thinking, What are the small changes that you can make to center people and recognize their rights and their dignity and their agency?’ What’s more, she says, the experiment proved that Amref’s work to more ethically represent the people it serves is valuable and urgent. Later this year, the charity will roll out inserts in magazines and newspapers to attract new donors to its mission. The campaign will draw on the lessons learned from the experiment, Erskine says, by explaining Amref’s mission from the perspective of the people it serves.” [ChronicleofPhilanthropy]

Community Comms

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Word on the Street

A specially outfitted plane carrying nine Ukrainian refugees who survived the Holocaust landed in Israel Wednesday night. The flights were organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and the ZAKA emergency response group…

A new exhibition at London’s Wiener Holocaust Library showcases 150 years of efforts in France, Germany and the U.K. to battle antisemitism. Called “Fighting Antisemitism from Dreyfus to Today,” the exhibit runs through September…

Ten Jewish women social entrepreneurs were named to the fourth cohort of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York Collective…

M+R, a consultant to nonprofits, released its annual Benchmark Study on Wednesday. Reviewing the impact of nearly 6 billion email messages, more than $119 million in digital ad spending, millions of social media interactions and nearly 27 million donations totaling over $1 billion, the study looks at online revenue, finding that overall, nonprofit online revenue grew 3% last year compared to 2020, with the largest growth among cultural organizations….

Stanford University announced a $75 million gift from Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, in support of a multidisciplinary neurodegenerative brain disease research initiative…

The Omidyar Network committed $18 million to work being conducted through its New Economic Paradigm portfolio. The group aims to “shape a new, inclusive economy where markets serve the interests of people, our societies, and our planet”…

The J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation in Middlebury, Vt., is working with the state community college system to provide a free, two-year college degree over the next five years. The foundation’s plan builds upon the Community College of Vermont’s Early College program that allows high school seniors to complete their last year of high school and first year of college simultaneously…

Pic of the Day

AP/Maya Alleruzzo

Israeli soldiers attend the opening ceremony Wednesday evening of the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum, in Jerusalem.


Saul Loeb – Pool/Getty Images

Associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Elena Kagan

Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and former member of Knesset, Zalman Shoval… White House chief of staff for Presidents Reagan and Bush 41, former secretary of the treasury and secretary of state, James Baker… Retired judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, Judge Irma Steinberg Raker… Co-founder of Mirage Resorts and Wynn Resorts, Elaine Wynn… Retired four-star United States Marine Corps general, Robert Magnus… SVP and COO of IPRO and former president of the Bronx/Riverdale YM-YWHA and the Riverdale Jewish Center, Harry M. Feder… Cantor who has served congregations in Galveston, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., Sharon Colbert… Criminal defense attorney Abbe David Lowell… Director of congregational engagement at Temple Beth Sholom of Miami Beach, Mark Baranek… American-born Israeli writer and translator, David Hazony… Director of criminal justice innovation, development and engagement at USDOJ, Karen Chaya Friedman… Retired soccer player, she played for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team from 1997 to 2000, Sara Whalen Hess… Executive editor and senior director of content at The Points GuyScott Mayerowitz… Actress and film critic, she is the writer and star of the CBC comedy series “Workin’ Moms,” Catherine Reitman… Co-founder and managing partner of the Arena, Ravi Gupta… Senior editor of investigations and enterprise at Sports IllustratedJason Schwartz… Senior editor at Politico MagazineBenjamin Isaac Weyl… President of Saratoga Strategies, Joshua Schwerin… Israeli artist and photographer, Neta Cones… Co-president, Union for Progressive Judaism Australia, NSW New Zealand and Asia, David D. Knoll AM… Director of communications and marketing at Jewish World Watch, Jeffrey Hensiek… Associate in the corporate department of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Robert S. Murstein… Cybersecurity reporter at PoliticoEric J. Geller… Ahron Fragin

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