Your Daily Phil: Laura Lauder hails ‘venture philanthropy’ + White House to fight antisemitism

Good Tuesday morning!

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on Laura Lauder’s call to leverage donor-advised funds. Also in this newsletter: Barbra Streisand, President Isaac Herzog and the State of Ohio. We’ll start with Susan Rice’s address to this week’s Anti-Defamation League summit.

Susan Rice, the outgoing director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, said on Monday that the White House is “aiming to release” its national strategy on antisemitism later this month, reports Marc Rod for eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider.

Rice, speaking at the Anti-Defamation League’s National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., said that the strategy will focus on “actions we all can take throughout society to raise awareness and prevent antisemitism, to protect Jews and to build allyship across communities.”

“The Biden-Harris administration is deeply committed to this work because we are alarmed by the rise of antisemitism in the United States and the fact that shockingly, it’s becoming normalized,” Rice said. “Antisemitism is an affront to our Constitution. It threatens our country’s most essential ideals, including freedom of religion. Antisemitism undermines and corrodes our democracy… and thus it threatens our very way of life.”

Rice has been a leader on the White House’s newly formed task force for combating antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate, but, speaking Monday, she traced her connections to the Jewish community back much further.

“Washington’s Jewish community shaped so much of my upbringing,” she said, having grown up in a mixed Black-Jewish neighborhood in Shepherd Park, in a home once owned by the Israeli Embassy that had a mezuzah on its door. Rice said she learned about Jewish traditions from her classmates, and first visited Israel at age 18.

Read the full story here.

High risk, high social return

Laura Lauders speaks on stage at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 1, 2023. (Screen capture)

Laura Lauder called for the tens of billions of dollars “sitting in cash” in donor-advised funds in the United States to be used for socially constructive impact investments, saying this represents “the biggest opportunity for philanthropy in America,” during an onstage panel at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif., reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

Using unused billions: “In the philanthropic space in the United States, we have over $250 billion sitting in donor-advised funds,” said Lauder, who leads the Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund and is on the boards of several Jewish organizations. “Of the $250 billion, almost a third of it is sitting in cash. People are thinking that they’re going to give it away tomorrow and then they don’t, and it sits in these donor-advised funds for years and years. Let’s use the collaborative research that we have identified for fantastic opportunities to put these funds into social impact pools.”

Recycle the dollars: Addressing a session on “Strategic Philanthropy Around the World,” Lauder said she was shifting her focus away from the “pure philanthropy” of donating money with no expectation of return in favor of venture philanthropy, which focuses primarily on impact but also includes concessionary returns. “That is an area where you can really scale philanthropy because you’re looking to do loans, you’re looking to do impact investments. And that way you can grow and scale much more,” she said. “[These] returns can often be not just return of capital, but also concessionary, typically single digits. And that way you can really scale because you can recycle the dollars. I have found that by promoting venture philanthropy and social impact investing, you absolutely get the best of both worlds,” Lauder continued.

It’s a mitzvah: In her remarks on Monday, Lauder noted both her immediate family’s dedication to philanthropy, as well as the broader Lauder family’s efforts, both of which she said were drawn from their Jewish faith and the ideas of “tzedakah and the importance of righteous giving, the idea that we as families must give back.” She continued: “This is a commandment, a mitzvah. As a result, tikkun olam, which means to repair the world, is very much a part of the Jewish faith and what we are passionate about doing. And my husband Gary, who’s here, and I are very, very intent on carrying this on, this legacy to our children. And we learned it very much from my father-in-law Leonard Lauder, who has been extraordinarily generous in his 90 years.”

Alzheimer’s research: Lauder noted that the entire Lauder family recently announced a $200 million donation to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation to find better ways to diagnose and treat the disease. Calling it a “moonshot level” of venture philanthropy, Lauder said the family hoped that this money would enable “research to try to find drugs that can mitigate the situation, as well as discover ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease much earlier, and therefore have drugs to prevent the worsening of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Read the full article here.

Worthy Reads

Jews and Organized Labor Join Forces: Working through a local journalism nonprofit, a Jewish newspaper and a group of striking mainstream journalists are working together to cover the Tree of Life trial in an innovative way, reports Ron Kampeas for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle editor Toby Tabachnick was dreading the trial coverage, with a staff of just three on the editorial side: herself and two reporters, David Rullo and Adam Reinherz… Tabachnick knew Andrew ‘Goldy’ Goldstein, one of the Post-Gazette’s team that picked up a Pulitzer for their coverage of the massacre, from his time as a Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle intern. She also knew he was on strike and wondered whether he could use the extra freelance opportunity. Instead, Goldstein immediately offered up a better idea: Join with the Pittsburgh Union Progress, the strike paper, in a joint reporting project, organized in part through the Pittsburgh Media Partnership, an incubator for local journalism.’” [JTA]

Around the Web

The Genesis Prize Foundation named actor, singer, director, author and activist Barbra Streisand as the 10th anniversary Genesis Prize Laureate

Israeli President Isaac Herzog will take part in this weekend’s coronation ceremony for King Charles III in London, his office confirmed. As the event falls on Shabbat, Herzog will walk to the event, alongside British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

Former New York State Sen. Anna Kaplan, a Jewish Democrat from Long Island, filed to run against the “Jew-ish” (but not Jewish) Rep. George Santos (R-NY) in the 3rd Congressional District next year…

The State of Ohio is on track to double its nonprofit security grants over the next two years and increase its funding for Holocaust education nearly sixfold, according to a draft budget published this week…

Former Meta chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announced she was expanding the Dave Goldberg Scholarship, which is in honor of her husband who died eight years ago this week, by partnering with Peninsula Bridge to almost double the number of low-income students in the Bay area participating in the program…

The Guardian newspaper retracted a cartoon depicting the resignation of BBC Chairman Richard Sharp that was widely denounced as antisemitic and issued a public apology “to Mr. Sharp, to the Jewish community and to anyone offended”…

SP2, the University of Pennsylvania’s school of social policy and practice, announced Brian and Randi Schwartz donated $12.5 million to establish the Randi and Brian Schwartz Social Innovation Scholarship, which will provide financial aid to a cohort of master’s degree students, who will be known as the Schwartz Scholars… 

Pic of the Day

Ron Sachs/CNP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, former chief medical advisor to the president, receives the “Champion of Global Human Health Award” from Dr. Yitshak Kreiss, director general of Sheba Medical Center, at a ceremony in the hospital outside Tel Aviv yesterday.


Rob Carr/Getty Images

Former USAID contractor imprisoned by Cuba from 2009 to 2014, Alan Phillip Gross

Former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, he funded the visitors center at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I., John Langeloth Loeb… Former Lord chief justice and president of the Courts of England and Wales, Baron Harry Kenneth Woolf… Retired professor at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs, Dr. Alon Ben-Meir… Author and activist, Alan Merril Gottlieb… U.S. senator (D-VT) as of earlier this year, Peter Welch… Former member of the Texas Senate, she was born in NYC to Holocaust survivor parents, Florence Shapiro… Co-founder and president of NCH Capital, he has supported the establishment of hundreds of Chabad Houses at universities throughout the world, George Rohr… Former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy following his stint as managing editor of Time magazine, Richard Allen “Rick” Stengel… Member of the New York State Assembly since 2010, David Weprin… Former U.S. secretary of commerce, Penny Sue Pritzker… Partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Jodi J. Schwartz… Admiral in the IDF (reserves), he served as the commander of the Israeli Navy, Ram Rothberg… Director of the Chabad Center in Bratislava, Slovakia, Rabbi Baruch Myers… Founder and CEO of Shutterstock, Jonathan E. Oringer… Israeli writer known for his novels, essays and philosophical work, Yaniv Iczkovits… SVP of Drumfire Public Affairs following four years as deputy chief of staff to then Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Stephen Schatz… D.C.-based CBS News correspondent, Julianna Goldman… Podcast host and founder and president of ETS Advisory, Emily Tisch Sussman… Judicial law clerk at the USDC in Seattle, Gabe Cahn… Deputy executive director at Cornell Hillel, Susanna K. Cohen… Running back for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, A. J. Dillon