Your Daily Phil: IsraAid dispatches first post-Oct. 7 relief mission

Good Tuesday morning. 

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on a new partnership between the USC Shoah Foundation and the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, and on a new proposal for the 2025 budget of the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program that Jewish groups call inadequate. We feature an opinion piece by Dan Fast and Rabbi Michael Satz with advice for institutions contemplating seeking guidance from a consultant. Also in this newsletter: David Shore, Larry Hochberg and Carlos Galindo-Elvira. We’ll start with IsraAid’s latest relief mission to Papua New Guinea.

Israeli humanitarian response group IsraAid dispatched a five-person team from Israel to Papua New Guinea on Friday after the country was hit by a deadly landslide that destroyed entire villages and buried an estimated 2,000 people under rubble, the organization said. It was the first emergency aid delegation to be sent abroad since the Oct. 7 terror attacks, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

“While we continue responding to the crisis at home and supporting displaced communities in Israel, we are proud to be dispatching an emergency response team to this devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea,” IsraAid CEO Yotam Polizer told eJP.

“We remain committed to our mission of supporting disaster-affected communities wherever they are, however long it takes. Throughout this time, our global teams have continued their long-term humanitarian work in 11 countries around the world, and our emergency response team remains poised to respond to new emergencies as they arise,” Polizer said.

The landslide occurred on May 24 in the country’s Enga Province, covering over 100,000 square yards in debris. The still unstable ground has severely hampered rescue efforts as large mechanical excavators have been unable to safely reach and operate in the area, leaving much of the work left to rescue workers and villagers using hand tools. A dispute between local residents and a nearby gold mine has also complicated the situation.

The landslide has displaced thousands of Papua New Guineans and damaged local sources of clean water, raising concerns of malnutrition and disease outbreaks.

IsraAid’s emergency response team — composed of experts in emergency aid, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene [WASH] and mental health — will conduct rapid needs assessment upon arrival and will tailor and adapt its response in collaboration with the partners,” the organization said in a statement.

All five members of the team have, until now, been involved in the organization’s aid efforts within Israel following the Oct. 7 attacks. The team set out on Friday and arrived in the island nation, which is located just north of Australia, on Monday.

“As humanitarian aid workers, it’s our job to provide aid to disaster-affected communities. If there’s a significant crisis and we have added value to support, we’re proud to be able to do so despite difficulties at home,” Idan Markovich, IsraAid’s senior emergency programs officer, told eJP through a spokesperson.

“On a personal note, I see it as an additional sign of resilience that even though we are experiencing war, we are still professionals and we still have something to offer,” Markovich said.

Read the full report here.


USC Shoah Foundation partners with ‘Living Links’ — grandchildren of Holocaust survivors — so stories continue to be told

Holocaust survivor Masha Friedman (seated, right) recorders the testimony of her experiences during World War II surrounded by members of her family, in an undated photograph.
Holocaust survivor Masha Friedman (seated, right) recorders the testimony of her experiences during World War II surrounded by members of her family, in an undated photograph. Bar Ilan University/CC BY-SA 2.0

As the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles, more than 13 groups of their grandchildren — known as the third generation, or 3G for short — have made it their mission to ensure that their grandparents’ Holocaust testimonies continue to be told. Now the individual groups are collaborating as a community, through a program called Living Links. Last month, the USC Shoah Foundation — the organization founded by Steven Spielberg in 1994 to preserve the memory of the Holocaust — announced it was partnering with Living Links, which it said would enable it to increase the number of 3G affiliates nationwide and expand their speaker training program, which has already trained some 500 speakers and reached 60,000 students, eJewishPhilanthropy’s Esther D. Kustanowitz reports.

Better equip: To prepare for the partnership, Living Links’ co-founders, David Wachs and Jennifer Loew Mendelson, told eJP that they interviewed the existing 3G groups over the course of a year to understand their needs; their findings spurred them to create starter tool kits for recently founded groups, and deepen the knowledge for more established groups by helping them learn about grants, board development and other processes. So far, more than $1 million has been raised toward the Living Links program budget of $5 million over the next three years. One primary expense will be the addition of three staff members to work with the program, the co-founders said, and growing the speaker training program to a national scale will also add to the budget needed.

Going forward: Over the past 18 months, the foundation, whose archive contains recorded testimony from more than 55,000 survivors, has been preparing for its 30th anniversary by considering its future and the future of Holocaust testimonies as survivors die off, Jenna Leventhal, its senior director of administration, told eJP. “We’re an organization deeply rooted in the past, rooted in story, and we wanted to be very thoughtful about going forward and the type of audiences that we’re cultivating,” Leventhal said.

Needed now: Loew Mendelson said that Living Links “couldn’t be launched at a better time, to combat antisemitism and Holocaust distortion,” in light of the rise in global antisemitism after Oct. 7. She added that the organization aims to install a component in which 3G speakers would visit college students for conversation.

Read the full report here.


House subcommittee proposes $305 million for nonprofit security grants for 2025

A Miami Beach police patrol drives past Temple Emanu-El synagogue in Miami Beach, Fla., on Oct. 9, 2023. Marco Bello/via Getty Images

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on Monday proposed providing $305 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in 2025 — the same amount provided for the program in 2023, despite a massive increase in demand and a significant spike in antisemitism since Oct. 7, reports Marc Rod for eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider.

Record requests: This year is expected to see record funding requests for the program, which funded just 42% of requests at the $305 million funding level in 2023. Requests for funding in 2024, following the Oct. 7 attack and ensuing wave of antisemitic hate crimes, have surged in recent months. A bipartisan group of 120 House lawmakers supportive of the program recently requested that the House appropriate $385 million for the NSGP. A group of Senate Democrats requested $400 million. Jewish groups had requested $500 million for the program for 2024, on top of any funding in the supplemental package.

Not enough: Jewish community groups that advocate for the NSGP called the proposed funding level inadequate to meet current needs, while pledging to continue pushing for greater funding as the Appropriations process moves forward. “With the unprecedented spike in antisemitism and threats to Jewish institutions in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, Jewish and nonprofit institutions need sufficient resources to secure themselves against the rising tide of threats and violence,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement to JI. “We are disappointed to see the funding level for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in the House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.”

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


Crafting a covenant for team culture: A consulting case study

Flash Vector/Adobe Stock

“A vibrant Reform temple in Morristown, N.J., Temple B’nai Or has experienced considerable changes within its senior team in recent years… The rabbi and board of trustees set a shared goal heading into 2024: to create a more intentional, positive organizational culture while increasing the senior team’s skills in effective collaboration and communications,” write Dan Fast of Ives Consulting LLC and Temple B’nai Or’s Rabbi Michael Satz in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Expertise makes a difference: “A third party with the right expertise can help mediate challenging conversations and break teams out of their habits. The team at Temple B’nai Or needed tailored solutions, not something one-size-fits-all, so having a consultant develop customized training and resources enabled them to make progress.”

Valuable lessons: “[C]hange isn’t about dramatic personal transformations. It’s about finding common ground, using effective and respectful language, and adopting tools that work for people as individuals. Consistency — whether through structured meeting agendas or sticking to established timeframes for programs — is key. Creating and practicing new routines feels more natural the more you do it. If your organization is contemplating bringing in a consultant, here are the top guidelines we have to offer based on our shared experience…”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Introducing ‘Empowerment Philanthropy’: In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Mark Kramer and Steve Phillips argue for an alternative to “strategic philanthropy,” unimpressed with its impact on societal problems over the past four decades. “This failure of strategic philanthropy, we believe, is rooted in a set of assumptions that originated more than a century ago and still shape our nonprofit sector today: that the beneficiaries of philanthropic support are incapable of solving their own problems, that wealthy donors have the wisdom and incentive to solve society’s many challenges, and that the social sector is an effective alternative to government in building an equitable and sustainable society… Philanthropists’ central focus on using the nonprofit sector to address society’s challenges deflects attention from the dire need for a functioning, representative, multiracial democracy, without which we can never achieve a more equitable and sustainable nation. The more we highlight philanthropy as the solution, the more we excuse government and corporations from the need to change… We are not suggesting that funders forgo supporting nonprofit programs and institutions. We do suggest, however, that funders spend less money chasing the latest social innovation, attempting to scale organizations to national impact or embarking on grand visions to solve complex problems, and instead redirect those funds toward peer-driven change and voter engagement.” [SSIR]

Around the Web

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the deaths of four Israeli hostages — Chaim PeriYoram MetzgerAmiram Cooper and Nadav Popplewell; their bodies are still being held in Gaza…

Firefighters in Israel rushed to contain blazes across the country’s north that were sparked by Hezbollah rockets and drones launched from Lebanon…

Rob Rosen, who has led The Giving Pledge for the past 10 years, will step down at the end of the month; an interim director will be named until a permanent successor is found…

Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze religious figures led an interfaith march yesterday through central Jerusalem to the gates of the Old City in a show of solidarity ahead of tomorrow’s Jerusalem Day “Flag March” through the Old City, which has often been marred by anti-Arab rhetoric and violence…

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Associationsaid the continent’s Jewish communities were in “emergency mode” amid rising antisemitism and may be forced to emigrate en masse…

Aliza Mazor, who has served as UpStart‘s chief field-building officer, was named the group’s next chief philanthropic engagement officer. “She will build collaborative philanthropic and institutional partnerships, and lead business development for UpStart Solutions and UpStart Labs,” the organization said…

The Jewish disability inclusion nonprofit Matan honored David Shore, the creator of the television drama “The Good Doctor,” about a physician with autism, at the organization’s annual gala, which was held last week at Temple Emanu-el in Closter, N.J.…

Robert “Tom” Flesh will succeed Larry Hochberg as chair of the board of directors of the U.S. branch of the European Leadership Network (ELNET), which works to strengthen Israel’s ties to Europe. Hochberg will stay on the board as chair emeritus…

Delta said it plans to resume nonstop flights between Tel Aviv and New York on Friday…

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency spotlights Jews for Jesus, which has a new leader — Aaron Abramson, who has Israeli citizenship — and a new strategic plan to get Jews to accept Jesus as their savior…

The Holocaust Museum Houston elected Elyse Spector Kalmans as its next board chair for a two-year term…

The New York Times examines how different Holocaust museums in the United States are responding to the Israel-Hamas war…

A Vancouver comics festival apologized after it banned a Jewish artist, Miriam Libicki, from presenting because she had served in the Israeli military. Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum announced it would continue to display an exhibit that staff protested against because it included what they called “Zionist perspectives”…

The Chronicle of Philanthropy examines the funding for the groups leading the anti-Israel protests on college campuses…

Jewish Family Home Care in Broward County, Fla., named longtime supporter Michael A. Anidjar as the next chair of its board of directors…

The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix and Northern Arizona spotlights the hanging of a mezuzah on the office door of recently appointed Phoenix City Councilmember Carlos Galindo-Elvira

David Levy, an Israeli politician who highlighted the experiences of Mizrahi Israelis and served as the country’s foreign minister in the 1990s, died on Sunday at 86…

Pic of the Day

Courtesy/Met Council

At the Met Council’s annual legislative breakfast, held as usual on the morning of the Israel parade in New York City, Michal Ohana, a survivor of the Oct. 7 massacre at the Nova music festival, recounted her experience of being shot and left for dead by Hamas terrorists to an audience of over 400 leaders, including 75 elected officials at the city, state and federal levels.

Ohana’s address on Sunday was preceded and followed by footage she recorded on her phone — first of the peaceful celebration, then the moments of the horrible realization that the gathering was under attack, and ultimately her hiding from terrorists who eventually found her, shot her, and left her for dead (she was discovered more than eight hours later by IDF forces). She also spoke of her friends, many of whom were murdered during the attack and two of whom were kidnapped and taken to Gaza, where they remain hostages nearly eight months later.


Jonathan S. Lavine, co-managing partner and chief investment officer of Bain Capital Credit

President and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City until he retired last June, Daniel H. Weiss

Survivor of the Holocaust via the Kindertransport, sniper for the Haganah and renowned sex therapist, Ruth Westheimer (“Dr. Ruth”)… Co-founder of Boston Properties and owner of U.S. News & World ReportMort Zuckerman… Emeritus professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology, David Kristol… Professor of organic chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science and winner of the 2012 Israel Prize, David Milstein… Retired chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Stephen J. Markman… Judge on the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia since 2018, he was the longest tenured member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (42 years from 1974 to 2016), Mark B. Cohen… Lineman for the Miami Dolphins for 11 seasons, which included three Super Bowl appearances and four Pro Bowls, then a judge on the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida (Miami-Dade County), Ed Newman… British journalist, columnist and author of 11 books, Melanie Phillips… First-ever Jewish governor of Hawaii and then chief operating officer of Illinois, she serves on the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Linda Lingle… Co-founder of Ripco Real Estate, Todd Cooper… Chair in Human Cancer Genetics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Matthew Langer Meyerson… U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)… French-Israeli entrepreneur, angel investor in over 360 start-ups, Jeremie Berrebi… D.C.-based photographer and founder of Revamped Media, Daniel Swartz… Reporter since 2014 for the Washington Post covering Congress, campaigns, health policy and Pennsylvania politics, Colby Itkowitz… Israeli supermodel, Bar Refaeli… Senior planning analyst at Con Edison in NYC, Adam E. Soclof… Director at Dentons Global Advisors, Jason Hillel Attermann… Managing editor at eJewishPhilanthropyJudah Ari Gross… Gena Wolfson… Political coordinating producer for NBC, Emily Gold… Ken Moss…