Your Daily Phil: IFCJ distributes food aid ahead of Passover

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 recenteJewishPhilanthropy and Jewish Insider stories, including: At antisemitism-focused Ruderman conference, rabbi whose son was killed on Oct. 7 focuses instead on halting internal Jewish turmoil; Several university leaders begin cracking down on anti-Israel disruptions on campus; Is Biden losing his voice against rising antisemitism?; Israelis divided on merits of Gaza military pullback after six months of warPrint the latest edition here.

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on the lack of transparency in the latest anti-Israel fracas at UC Berkeley, and feature two opinion pieces: one by Will Eastman calling for the Jewish community to consider summer camps a necessity, not a luxury; and another by Rabbi Josh Feigelson about the need for support programming for clergy. Also in this newsletter: Michael HelfandDaniel Gillis and David Fisher. We’ll start with new donations by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews ahead of Passover. Shabbat shalom!

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews donated nearly $1.5 million to Schneider Children’s Hospital in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva to create a fortified pediatric dialysis unit to ensure that kidney patients can get the treatment they need even in the case of rocket and missile attacks, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

The fortified dialysis unit was named for IFCJ founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who died in 2019, in light of the $1.45 million donation from the organization. The new unit, which was dedicated and opened earlier this month, is made up of 11 patient-stations and two separate rooms that were built to withstand direct strikes. 

“Since Oct. 7, we have been actively working to ensure maximum physical protection for all our patients, staff and visitors. This new unit, through the support of the IFCJ, will be critical for enabling our dialysis services to continue despite what might be going on beyond the hospital walls,” Dr. Efrat Baron-Harlev, the hospital’s director, said at the opening ceremony. 

“Our focus and dedication has been on raising and distributing the funds necessary to respond to these new realities, including providing the assurance that patients can continue to receive medical care even in the face of these dangers,” IFCJ President Yael Eckstein said at the opening. “I am particularly honored that this unit will bear my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s name, whose life’s work was all about this quest to defend and promote the welfare of our nation’s children and families.”

As part of the organization’s welfare focus, it is distributing nearly 19,000 debit cards loaded with NIS 600 ($160) to evacuated families, to the families of injured soldiers and to the families of people killed at the Nova music festival on Oct. 7 to use towards purchasing food items for Passover. IFCJ will also give 2,000 debit cards to survivors of the massacre at the festival. The evacuated families will receive an additional NIS 400 ($106) specifically earmarked for purchasing new clothes for the holiday.

“Wartime brings with it so many challenges, constantly changing and impacting how and where people need help,” Eckstein said in a statement. “We know that this Passover will be like none Israel has ever experienced before, in a state of war and with so many family members away from home or tragically never to return. Our commitment therefore must be to respond in all ways possible, especially as we say at the Passover seder, ‘All who are hungry, come and eat.’”

Read the full report here.


UC Berkeley condemns student antisemitic threats; school says it can’t disclose if it’s disciplining offenders

Malak Afaneh gives a speech at the home of the University of California, Berkeley law school’s Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. Screenshot

Days after the posting of a video that showed the dean of the University of California, Berkeley’s law school and his wife clashing with anti-Israel students at their home during what was meant to be a congratulatory graduation dinner, the university’s president condemned the incident as “antisemitic, threatening and not [a reflection of] the values of this university.” After the incident, in which a student grabbed a microphone to give an unauthorized speech about the plight of Palestinians, some students and local Jewish leaders wonder whether UC Berkeley will take disciplinary action and are calling out the school’s leadership for a lack of transparency, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen for Jewish Insider.

Breaking the black box: “When you don’t take [immediate] action, people have permission to continue escalating their tactics,” Tyler Gregory, CEO of the Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council, told Jewish Insider. “What we are seeing is inaction on the administration’s part, and we know whenever a student is investigated, it goes into a black box and we don’t learn what happened,” Gregory said. 

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


For Jewish camp, our moment is now

Campers and counselors from NJY Camps’ Round Lake Camp and Cedar Lake Camp in a photo from the summer of 2014. NJY Camps/Facebook

“When I was about to start my role as the primary fundraiser of the largest Jewish camping agency in North America, a well-meaning future colleague asked me a hard question: ‘How will you raise money from people to send someone else’s children to camp?’,” writes Will Eastman, chief development officer of NJY Camps, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Big picture: “Simply getting Jewish children into Jewish camp is not the destination but rather the vehicle. Our goal, our destination, is to play a small part in securing a vibrant Jewish future. Study after study shows that Jewish camp can play a significant role, helping to build a strong Jewish identity and deep, personal connection to the State of Israel… In this challenging world, we need to reframe how we view Jewish camp. It must no longer be seen as a luxury afforded to the rich, or something in which only the most affiliated Jewish kids participate.” 

A model for others: “[R]ight now many Jews are open to increased engagement. This is what makes Paula Gottesman’s recent $2 million matching grant for NJY Camps especially important… In our many conversations on this topic, Paula expressed a deep concern for what Jewish children and young adults are experiencing. She worries that the surging antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment will harm Jewish youth (and she is right to be concerned), and she feels a sense of responsibility to help Jewish families as much as she can… [A matching gift] requires immediate action from others and a sense of collective responsibility, appropriate in this moment when we urgently need to get more Jewish families into meaningful, participatory Jewish life. We need philanthropists who follow Paula’s lead: Think big and be generous, thoughtful and humble. ”

Read the full piece here.


We need to invest in our Yodas

Illustration generated by Alexander Flyax using Midjourney

“At this pivotal moment in the life of the Jewish people, when we are focused on the critical urgent needs of safety and security, there is one essential group I think we’re not supporting enough as a community. They are the people we ask to be our Yodas — our mindful, holy, skillful leaders, who we expect to lead our communities, educate our youth, listen to us, represent us, advocate for us and teach us the ways of the Force (i.e., the Torah),” writes Rabbi Josh Feigelson, president and CEO of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy

Time and space to recharge: “At our winter retreats this year, we offered nearly 100 rabbis and cantors five days of being off their phones, immersed in nature, able to meditate silently and pray and study together in a supportive community. The time and space were a spiritual container in which they could finally slow down and check in with themselves and their relationship with the Divine. Tears flowed. Feelings that had been locked up, emotions and words that these leaders had been holding in while serving their communities, came gushing out. In evaluations, one participant described the gathering as ‘essential to my mental health,’ and another said they were returning to their community ‘more patient, grounded and inspired.’”

Message to funders: “This is essential work, and the sad truth is that there are very few funders out there who are investing in it. Clergy support has been a centerpiece of our efforts at IJS for 25 years, but it’s an area in which I’ve heard funders tell me again and again: ‘We’re not interested in synagogues. We want innovation.’ At IJS, we do plenty of innovation, but as Barry Finestone wrote in eJewishPhilanthropy just after the start of the war in Israel, our collective approach needs to be ‘yes, and’: Yes to innovation, and also yes to supporting the work that is not necessarily radically new but, like Yoda, is radically old, wise and true.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

A Jewish Right to Abortion: Writing in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Michael Helfand examines the implications of a recent ruling by an Indiana appellate court, which found that Jews have a religious liberty right to an abortion. “Advocacy addressing this tension between Jewish commitments and abortion restrictions is not new. Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Agudath Israel of America filed friend-of-the-court briefs encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. But prefiguring much of the contemporary debate, it also argued that those religiously motivated to seek abortions — such as American Jews — ought to have religious liberty protections for such decisions even in the absence of a more general right to abortion… [In] the absence of those protections, Jewish plaintiffs have taken up those arguments and filed suits in a variety of jurisdictions, such as Florida, Kentucky and — most relevant for last week’s developments — Indiana… Because these cases focus on state law — as opposed to federal law — they won’t be heard by the United States Supreme Court. That means litigation over a Jewish right to abortion will be fought in state courts around the country… With an easy-to-follow blueprint now available, last week’s decision may signal that a Jewish right to abortion is no longer merely a theoretical argument. It may, in a world without Roe, be the way of the future.” [JTA]

The Human Side:  In the Daily Herald, Katie McKellar reports on a flagship initiative launched by The Utah Impact Partnership, a group of local business leaders dedicated to solving the state’s homelessness problem. “The goal of Project Human Dignity is to help inform Utahns about the ‘why’ behind now years of increased investment — from both the public and private sectors — toward helping solve homelessness, and to inspire them to be part of solutions. Natalie Gochnour, associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, also acts as an adviser for Utah Impact Partnership…  Gochnour told Utah News Dispatch on Tuesday that Project Human Dignity aims to harness storytelling to help galvanize public empathy and understanding around Utah’s homeless issues to help pave the way for comprehensive public support of continued investment and problem solving… ‘Step one is to help people see the human side of this challenge and to build greater compassion, and put our public in a situation where they recognize this is a community of interest. All of us together, and all of us with our homeless brothers and sisters, we need to take care of our neighbors.’” [DailyHerald]

Give Us a Chance: In Nonprofit Quarterly, Sim Bilal and Esme Hyatt draw attention to the comparative lack of funding for young climate activists, who are greatly motivated by anxiety about climate change’s impending consequences for their generation. “Frontline youth movements have played a critical role in every social justice issue, from police reform to immigrants’ rights — and the youth climate justice movement is no different… Now more than ever, we need philanthropy to help fully empower us — and fund us — to organize and build a mass movement… No one can deny that philanthropy plays a critical role in advancing social change. But despite the UN warning that we are in a ‘code red for humanity,’ it is estimated that less than 2% of philanthropic funding is currently dedicated to climate change action. Even less is focused on grassroots organizing, and less still is focused on volunteer youth organizing. According to the 2022 Youth Climate Justice Study, between 2019 and 2021, youth-led climate justice initiatives represented on average only 0.76% of climate grants from the largest climate foundations. Philanthropy can clearly do a lot more to support young leaders.” [NonprofitQuarterly]

Around the Web

Argentina’s highest criminal court officially determined that Iran planned the deadly 1994 bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, which killed 85 people and injured hundreds, and that Hezbollah carried out those plans…

HIAS has laid off 12% of its U.S.-based workforce after determining that its spending was “unsustainable”…

A recent survey of 600 C-suite executives found that 87% are wary of making statements about world events…

The Wall Street Journal spotlights the “generational” implications of more than 600 Israeli soldiers being killed since Oct. 7, particularly in the religious-Zionist and Bedouin communities…

Daniel Gillis was hired as the next CEO of the United Kingdom’s Camp Simcha, which helps children with serious illnesses and their families…

The U.K. affiliate of Emunah, an Israeli nonprofit that works with at-risk children, appointed Julia Kay as its next CEO…

The British United Synagogue (not the Conservative movement) raised more than $710,000 to purchase Passover food for people in need in its annual Chesed fundraising drive… 

David Fisher was hired to serve as interim CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta when Eric Robbins steps down from the role this summer. Debbie Kuniansky, vice-chair of the federation’s board, has been tapped to lead the search committee for Robbins’ permanent successor…

The Israeli tabloid Israel Hayom profiles a delegation of wounded Israeli soldiers who traveled to Miami with the nonprofit Belev Echad

Vanity Fair interviews comedian Alex Edelman about the end of the run of his “Just for Us” one-man play and his next project, which will focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

Harvard’s student government indefinitely postponed all upcoming referenda, effectively thwarting an effort by the school’s Palestine Solidarity Committee to push a campus-wide anti-Israel vote that was already underway…

The New York Times reports on the internal and external fallout from an NPR editor’s essay in The Free Press that accused the media company of being biased on a range of social and political issues…

Hundreds of non-Jewish Germans rallied in support of the Jewish community of Oldenburg after an attempted arson attack on its synagogue last Friday…

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reflects on the 150-year history of the 92nd Street Y

Pic of the Day

Elman Studio

Bret Baier, Fox News’ chief political anchor (left), moderates a discussion between Fernando Goldsztein, Brazilian businessman and founder of The Medulloblastoma Initiative, and Dr. Roger J. Packer, director of the Brain Tumor Institute and the Gilbert Family Neurofibromatosis Institute of Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., at an event on Wednesday titled “Collaborating for a Cure: New Treatments, Better Outcomes for Children with Brain Cancer.” The event was hosted at the residence of Brazil’s ambassador to the United States, Hon. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti.

In a February opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy, Goldsztein shared the personal story behind his decision to launch MBI and establish a research consortium working to finding new, better treatments for medulloblastoma.


Annie Liebovitz smiles
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Media executive who with her family are majority owners of Viacom and CBS through Paramount Global, Shari Redstone celebrates her birthday on Sunday… 

FRIDAY: Senior U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Judge Alan Neil Bloch… Founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, Pastor John Charles Hagee… National correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning,” Rita Braver… Attorney and bestselling novelist, Scott Turow… Television producer, he serves as chairman of the Liverpool Football Club and the Boston Red Sox, Thomas Charles Werner… Senior vice president at UJA Federation of New York, Stuart Tauber… Fashion designer, he is a co-founder of the Guess clothing and accessory brand, Paul Marciano… West Bloomfield, Mich., resident, Ron Mitnick… Washington, D.C., attorney, Norman B. “Norm” Antin… Chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews since 2014, she was appointed to the House of Lords in 2021, Baroness Joanna Merron… U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of New York, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer… Twin brothers, both real estate agents starring in the Netflix original series “Selling Sunset,” Jason and Brett Oppenheim both turn 47… Actress, director and writer, Jordana Spiro… Realtor focused on the Boston area, Ilya Jacob Rasner… President at National Student Legal Defense Network, Aaron Ament… California State senator, Henry I. Stern… Member of the Seattle City Council, Daniel Aaron Strauss… Comedian, writer and actress, best known for co-creating and co-starring in the Comedy Central series “Broad City,” Ilana Glazer… Israeli actress known for her lead role in the 2012 film “Fill the Void,” Hadas Yaron… Actor, he starred as Big Red in the Disney series “High School Musical,” Larry Saperstein

SATURDAY: Resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., she spied on the Nazis for the French Free Forces in the latter days of World War II, Marthe Cohn… Curator and then director of the Louvre until 2001, he is the son-in-law of the late Alain de Rothschild, Pierre Rosenberg… Geneticist and 1985 Nobel Prize laureate in medicine, Michael Stuart Brown… Author and the former CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Gloria Feldt… Managing director at Tiedemann Advisors, Robert D. “Bob” Hormats… Retired member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-CA) after 10 terms, Susan Carol Alpert Davis… Vice president of the New Israel Fund, Paul Egerman… Actor who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Vincent in the television series “Beauty and the Beast,” Ron Perlman… Longtime drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and the bandleader for Conan O’Brien on “The Tonight Show,” Max Weinberg… Partner in Uplands Real Estate Partners, Deborah Ratner Salzberg… Former member of the U.K. Parliament until 2005, she served as the U.K.’s first ever minister of state for asylum and immigration under then-PM Tony Blair, Barbara Margolis Roche… Co-founder of Highbridge Capital Management and a founding board member of the Robin Hood Foundation, Glenn Dubin… Author of six books and co-host of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman… U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA)… Former orthopedic surgeon, he was the Democratic nominee for the 2020 U.S. Senate election in Alaska, Alan Stuart Gross… Youngest-ever Federal Reserve governor where he served until 2011, he is now a visiting fellow in economics at the Hoover Institution, Kevin Warsh… Guitarist and founding member of the rock group “Staind,” he has also enjoyed a successful solo career in country music, Aaron Lewis… Co-founder and managing partner of Alliance Consumer Growth, Josh Goldin … CEO and executive director of D.C.-based Sixth & I, Heather Moran… Staff writer at Tablet magazine, Armin Rosen… Director of government affairs at CUFI, Alexandria Paolozzi… Venture investor at Venrock, Morgan Hitzig… Director of development at the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Lauren Epstein… Aharon Lipnitzky…

SUNDAY: Anne Monk… Former securities and exchange commissioner, including a four-month stint as SEC Chair, Elisse B. Walter… Israeli news editor and analyst who retired in 2020 from the Haaretz newspaper, Chemi Shalev… Co-founder, co-chairman and co-CEO at Canyon Partners, LLC, Mitchell Julis… Film, television and theater producer, his credits include the widely acclaimed 2016 film “La La Land,” Marc Platt… Birmingham, Ala.-based post denominational rabbi, known on social media as “Deep South Rabbi,” Barry Altmark… Founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and author of nine books about makeup and beauty, Bobbi Brown… Border czar for the first few months of the Biden administration, she is the former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Roberta S. Jacobson… Bench coach for the New York Yankees, he was also bench coach for Team Israel at the World Baseball Classic in 2023, Brad Ausmus… Los Angeles-based freelance editor and writer, Robin Heinz Bratslavsky… SVP of news and executive editorial director for CNN’s Washington bureau, Adam Levine… Emmy Award-winning actress best known for the title role on the WB series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Sarah Michelle Gellar Prinze… Journalist, professor and author of four books, Sasha Issenberg… Co-founder and president of Statt, a venture-backed AI/ML enterprise software platform, Steve Glickman… Principal at Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto, Hillel David Rapp… French entrepreneur, he is the president of CRIF, the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions since 2022, Yonathan Arfi… Founder and CEO of Charity Bids, Israel “Yummy” Schachter… Award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer, Rachel Swirsky… Co-founder and co-CEO of BurnAlong, a Tivity Health company, he is the co-author of the NYT bestseller The Black BannersDaniel Freedman… Classical cellist, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation genius grant in 2022, Alisa Weilerstein… Former baseball first baseman who played in the MLB, Japanese and Mexican leagues, Joshua S. Whitesell… Documentary filmmaker, Nicholas Ma… Washington-based technology policy reporter at AxiosAshley Gold… Isaac Hasson… Graphic designer, Casey Tepper… Yitzchak Tendler… Jon Fine… Moriah Elbaz…