Your Daily Phil: How the ADL helped create The Asian American Foundation to track and combat hate crimes + Two more views on Pew

Good Friday morning!

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has raised $1.6 million from 23 local federations since May 12 for victims of Hamas bombing attacks in Ashdod, Ashkelon and other communities in the south, JFNA CEO Eric Fingerhut told eJewishPhilanthropy. The funds will provide psychological support for first responders and help the staff at absorption centers housing about 3,000 Ethiopian immigrants. Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire yesterday afternoon.

JewBelong, the outreach organization known for its use of humor, has awarded “Jewish Partisan Prizes” to 23 young influencers who are defending Israel on Instagram and other social media platforms, Archie Gottesman, JewBelong’s co-founder, told eJewishPhilanthropy.

The $360 prize is named for those who fought the Nazisduring World War II, and it’s meant to help its recipients feel supported at a time when they are engaging in online confrontation that makes them feel exhausted and angry. JewBelong will name another set of winners on May 27, after soliciting contributions to a prize fund from its 95,000-person mailing list.

The Jonathan D. Levine Philanthropic Fund has committed to give $1 million to Camp Ramah in the Berkshires for the construction of a leadership center named after Levine, a rabbi, former Ramah staff member and Ramah alum. The funds will support the construction of a new, two-story building that will provide both housing and meeting space.

The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center hosted a ceremony honoring the 18 Ukranians still living who saved Jews during the Holocaust. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal announced a lifetime monthly state stipend for the group in recognition of their heroism. 


How the ADL helped create The Asian American Foundation to track and combat hate crimes


When The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) launched in early May, only about six weeks had passed since the Atlanta-area shooting that killed eight people, six of them Asian women. Chronologically, the two events happened close proximity to each other, but the work to create the foundation had actually started a year earlier, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), told eJewishPhilanthropy.

Unique expertise: Greenblatt was involved in the foundation’s creation and is the only non-Asian member of its board. The ADL systems that track online hate and real-world hate crime had detected a spike in anti-Asian animus more than a year before the shooting, prompting ADL officials to reach out to allies in the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to share the information, Greenblatt said. “There are a lot of great AAPI organizations, and I suggested that they think about mobilizing specifically on this vector of how they could help fight rising hate,” Greenblatt said.    

Data and analysis: The ADL, founded in 1913 after the lynching of a Jewish businessman, today tracks antisemitic incidents — vandalism, harassment and assault — on a daily basis and posts them on its website, which also features a map providing statistics. The group does analysis, issues regular reports and works with law enforcement and government to provide training. A small group of individuals active in the AAPI community enlisted Greenblatt’s guidance in creating what became TAAF, which has named the tracking of hate incidents as one of its top three priorities. The other two are education and AAPI representation in media, the foundation’s president, Sonal Shah, told the Chronicle of Philanthropy in an interview.

Read the full article here.


If you want to make a difference in the Jewish community, fund women


“I had the very great honor to moderate the release of the 2020 Pew report on Jewish Americans and as such, was given an early look at the findings. I read my embargoed copy eagerly. I knew the four main points the researchers felt important,” writes Meredith Jacobs in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Funding assumptions: “As the CEO of a Jewish nonprofit, one thing was clear to me — after the release, Jewish funding would be focused on revitalizing synagogues, lifting JEDI-B, bridging political divides, and combating antisemitism and hate. This is what happened after 2013 — funding supported reaching out to interfaith couples and creating a sense of belonging for the non-Jewish spouse, and to creatively engage young people in Jewish life. And it seems to have worked. According to the 2020 report, more children of interfaith marriages identify as Jewish; engagement in Jewish life (albeit away from traditional synagogue practice) seems to be up. The ‘rise of the nones’ seems to be contained.”

Missing investment: “But, as the CEO of a Jewish nonprofit focused on building a world in which women and girls might thrive — a world where women can live free of violence, where they have access to long-term economic security, where their workplaces are safe and equitable, and where a woman is just as likely as a man to be lifted to a position of leadership — I knew something else. No one would come away from this report thinking it a priority to fund women’s issues.”

Read the full piece here.


Pew’s limited view


In an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy, Dr. John Ruskay writes: “Hearing that the 2020 Pew study on American Jewry would be released [last] week, memories surfaced from 2011. Back then, as CEO of UJA Federation of New York, we released the findings from UJA-Federations 2011 New York Jewish community study. Widely praised … the lead headlines in both the general and Jewish media focussed on the alarming growth of poverty among the large ultra Orthdox/Haredi communities in New York.”

What UJAFed-NY missed: “Shortly after the New York study was made public, an experienced Orthodox leader whispered in my ear: ‘Your study correctly captured the extensive poverty in the Haredi community; what it missed was the substantial wealth which supports the extensive day school and hesed programs enabling the haredi community to continue to grow, while facing multiple challenges.’ That sage comment came to mind as I reviewed Pew 2020.”

What Pew and others miss: “But what Pew and other community studies fail to capture, just like the wealth in the NY haredi community, is the amazing creativity and renewal also underway in the non-Orthodox/liberal Jewish communities of North America. … Today, while intermarriage rates remain high and the percentage of American Jews who donate to Federations and affiliate with the Reform and Conservative synagogue denominations have declined — and Pew captures this — Jewish life beyond the Orthodox is also bustling with energy and creativity.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

New Development: In the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Eden Stiffman profiles C. Nathan Harris, who leads fundraising for the Oregon Food Bank and has an unconventional way of measuring success — by relationships with supporters and other qualitative measures in addition to financial goals. Harris maintains that this new concept of development will better serve both the cause — by deepening donors’ engagement with it — and his colleagues: “If we’re managing staff to financial outcomes, that results in a profession that is less diverse, that is hostile to women, and that generates burnout. The nonprofit sector is sort of committing itself to a cycle of underperformance.” [ChroniclePhilanthropy]

Hidden Costs: The Fiscal Justice Credit Rating Agency, a new bond rating firm, is working to quantify the cost of social injustice to cities and states and sell the resulting ratings to investors, write Shruti Singh and Saijel Kishan in Bloomberg. There is precedent for such problems as police brutality diminishing a municipality’s creditworthiness — Ferguson, Mo.’s credit rating fell after police killed an unarmed 18-year-old man in 2014 — but usually, such incidents don’t hurt bond ratings, Singh and Saijel point out. The new agency insists that its research will reveal that injustice is expensive: “These issues add up. They have a cumulative effect that increases the risk and volatility for bondholders and residents,” said Ryan Bowers, a co-founder of the firm. [Bloomberg]

Making The Grade: Cara Altimus spotlights Michael Bloomberg’s $150 million gift to Johns Hopkins University to provide funding for PhD students from minority-serving institutions in a blog post on PhilanTopic. Altimus estimates that Bloomberg’s gift could double the number of Black and Latino sciences students in the school’s graduate programs. Longer-term change outside Johns Hopkins will require a cultural shift, she argues, because research has shown that such students systematically struggle to find both mentors and support for their research priorities. “We hope this investment will set the stage for other funders, philanthropic and public, to support scholars of color at every stage of their scientific careers. All funders must take a deep, critical look at their priorities, vetting processes, and advisory protocols.” [PhilanTopic]

Concentration Of Wealth: Conservative leader J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis and a potential candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, called for the elimination of tax breaks for nonprofits and foundations at a conference on “woke capital” hosted by the Claremont Institute Center for the American Way of Life in Washington, D.C., earlier this week, report the editors of the Giving Review. Vance called out the Ford Foundation, with $14 billion dollars in assets under management, and Harvard University, with $120 billion, as examples of “social justice hedge funds” whose disproportionate cultural power is fueled by their special tax status. “The decision to give those foundations and those organizations special privileges is a decision made by public policy,” Vance said. “It was made by man, and we can undo it.” [PhilanthropyDaily]

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Word on the Street

Moving Traditions co-founder and CEO Deborah Meyer announced that she is stepping down at the end of March 2022… JLens has released its 2020 Impact Report…  The Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City has announced the recipients of the 2021 Carrie Jacobi Scholarship… During its first five years, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative distributed a total of $2.7 billion in grants — roughly 6% of their wealth at the time they made their pledge… The John Templeton Foundation has awarded the 2021 Templeton Prize to world-renowned ethologist and conservationist Jane Goodall… A pilot program allowing tourists into Israel is due to go into operation next week…

Pic of the Day


KKL–JNF, in coordination with the Israeli Ministry of Defense, is acquiring about 100 new, modern, portable bomb shelters — each capable of protecting dozens of citizens.


eJP Archives

CEO of Our Common Destiny and a senior consultant on philanthropy at Cresset Capital, Sandy Cardin celebrates his birthday on Saturday…
FRIDAY: Former U.S. Senator from Minnesota, previously a comedian, actor and writer, Al Franken… Guitarist and composer, Marc Ribot… Executive Vice President of American Friends of Bar-Ilan University, Ron Solomon… Chief rabbi of Mitzpe Yericho and dean of Hara’ayon Hayehudi yeshiva in Jerusalem, Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer… CEO of the Boston-based Baupost Group, Seth Klarman… President and publisher of City & State NY, Thomas Allon… Actress and playwright, Lisa Edelstein… Head of Dewey Square’s sports business practice, Frederic J. Frommer… President and CEO of the Michigan-based William Davidson Foundation, Darin McKeever… University Chaplain for NYU and non-resident chief rabbi of the United Arab Emirates, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna… Head of federal government relations at Reef Technology, Brandon Pollak… Professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin, Scott Joel Aaronson, Ph.D… President of Mo Digital and a news source on Instagram, Mosheh Oinounou… International fashion model for Versace, Sharon Ganish… Windsurfer who represented Israel in the Olympics (Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016), she is now a project manager at 3DSignals in Kfar Saba, Maayan Davidovich… Player on the USC team that won the 2016 NCAA National Soccer Championship, she is now in the 2022 class of UC Irvine law school, Savannah Levin… Associate director of the Israel Action Program at Hillel International, Tina Malka… Chief brand strategist at Kivvit, Steve Miller
SATURDAY: Director of the Hudson Institute’s Economic Policy Studies Group, Irwin M. Stelzer… Award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker since 1989, Connie Bruck… Former Skadden partner and then vice-chair at Citibank, J. Michael Schell… Cognitive scientist, former CEO of Haskins Laboratories in New Haven and director of the White House neuroscience initiative (2012-2015), Philip E. Rubin… Director emeritus of policy and government affairs at AIPAC, he was the U.S. representative at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty negotiations in 1990, Ambassador Bradley Gordon… Former member of the Knesset from the Zionist Union party, previously a Major General in the IDF, Eyal Ben-Reuven… Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Dianne F. Lob… Former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona’s 1st district (1993-1995), now an attorney in Phoenix, Sam Coppersmith… U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)… General partner of Google Ventures where he co-leads the life science investment team, David Schenkein… Former head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers (2014-2016), winning coach of the EuroLeague Championship in 2014 with Maccabi Tel Aviv, David Blatt… British writer, philanthropist and documentary filmmaker, Hannah Mary Rothschild… Partner at Sidley & Austin, David H. Hoffman… Former Major League Baseball relief pitcher, Alan Brian “Al” Levine... Harvard Law School professor, Noah Feldman… Israeli cookbook author and TV show host, Shaily Lipa… Actress, producer, and author of Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on EarthNoa Tishby… Member of the Knesset on behalf of the New Hope party, Yoaz Hendel… Executive director of American Compass, Oren Cass… Co-founder of Facebook and Asana, Dustin Aaron Moskovitz… Recently retired slot receiver and kick returner for the NFL’s New England Patriots, Julian Edelman… White House correspondent for McClatchy, Michael Wilner… Youth advisor to the Mayor of Baltimore, Alex Friedman… JD candidate in the class of 2022 at the University of Virginia School of Law, Peter Walker Kaplan… Gloria Woodlock… 
SUNDAY: Businessman who acquired and rebuilt The Forge restaurant in Miami Beach, Alvin Malnik… Founding member and chairman of law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a leading DC super-lobbyist based in Denver, and a long-time proponent of the US-Israel relationship, Norman Brownstein… British fashion retailer and promoter of tennis in Israel, he is the founder, chairman and CEO of three international clothing lines including 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 served as Israel’s ambassador to Nigeria (2013-2016) and as Consul General of Israel to Philadelphia (2004-08), Uriel Palti… Editor-in-chief of a book on end of life stories, Catherine Zacks Gildenhorn… Israeli businessman, Ofer Nimrodi… President of Newton, MA-based Liberty Companies, Andrew M. Cable… Best-selling author and journalist, Mitch Albom… Senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Reuel Marc Gerecht… Israeli-born entrepreneur, author and chairman of the board of the Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook… Rabbi of the Community Synagogue of Rye (NY), Daniel B. Gropper… Film and television director, Nanette Burstein… NYC matrimonial law attorney, Casey Greenfield… Member of the Knesset for the New Hope party, Yifat Shasha-Biton… President of the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust, Dylan Tatz… Tech and cyber reporter and editor for Haaretz in English, Omer Benjakob… Professional golfer on the LPGA Tour and the youngest-ever winner of a modern LPGA major championship, Morgan Pressel… Marketing and communications director, Andrea M. Hiller… Director of Alumni Engagement at Yeshiva University, Aliza Abrams Konig… 
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