Your Daily Phil: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donate $1.3 million to Jewish groups

Good Monday morning!

Ed. note: In celebration of Sukkot, Your Daily Phil will return on Thursday. 

The New Israel Fund (NIF) has named two winners of its Gallanter Prize: Fida Shehada, an Arab-Israeli councilwoman in the Israeli city of Lod, and Mikhael Manekin, founder of Alliance for Israel’s Future, the organization exclusively told eJewishPhilanthropy.

Lod, a mixed Jewish-Arab city, was the site of violence between Jews and Arabs during last May’s conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Alliance for Israel’s Future aims to create an Arab-Jewish political network.

The prize is sponsored by Linda and Sanford Gallanter, NIF leaders who live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each recipient receives a $15,000 cash award and is invited to address the organization’s gala, which will be held virtually this year on Oct. 24.

Shehada, who grew up in Lod, organizes tours of the city for government ministries, highlighting high rates of unemployment and crime. As co-director of the Shutafut Fellowship, a project of Alliance for Israel’s Future, Manekin trains aspiring political leaders. 

“These are two individuals who have dedicated themselves to what might be the toughest, but also the most rewarding, work happening today in Israel: bringing Arabs and Jews together to make social change,” said Orli Bein, NIF’s senior director for the San Francisco Region.


Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donate $1.3 million to Jewish groups

Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are donating $1.3 million to 11 Jewish organizations in a sign of their deepening connection with the Jewish community, eJewishPhilanthropy has exclusively learned.

Learning and giving: The couple has also been meeting with rabbis, historians and scholars to learn more about Judaism and the Jewish community, a spokesperson for the Chan-Zuckerberg family office told eJP. “Mark and Priscilla have made some personal commitments in the past, but these new grants reinforce their interest in learning and deepening their connections with the community,” the spokesperson said. Eleven organizations, most of which serve families and young people in the couple’s San Francisco Bay area community, received the funding, which comes not from the couple’s foundation — the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) — but through their family office. 

Act local: They include three schools: Contra Costa Jewish Day School in Lafayette, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto and the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, as well as three California summer camps: URJ Camp Newman, Camp Ramah in Northern California and Camp Tawonga. The local Jewish Family and Children’s Services and Jewish Community Relations Council, in addition to the Oshman Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, received support, as did two national organizations — OneTable, which helps young Jews host Shabbat dinners, and PJ Library, which provides free Jewish books to families. 

Fighting antisemitism: “Mark and Priscilla are proud to support the important work each of these organizations does in building communities, education, celebrating traditions and faith, and giving people a voice — especially in fighting antisemitism,” the spokesperson said. The couple’s public philanthropic vehicle is CZI, founded in 2015 with $95 million in proceeds from a sale of Zuckerberg’s Facebook shares. CZI underwent a major overhaul in January when Zuckerberg and Chan launched a new, $350 million group focused on criminal justice reform. When the couple launched CZI, they also pledged 99% of their Facebook fortune to philanthropic causes, estimated to amount to $45 billion over the span of their lifetimes.

Read the full story here.


Six scenarios where foundations outshine donor-advised funds


“For high-net-worth individuals who want to make fast, easy grants to public charities while getting a tax deduction for their appreciated securities, nothing beats a donor-advised fund (DAF),” writes Hannah Shaw Grove, chief marketing officer at Foundation Source, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Foundation structure: “Charitable impulses come in many shapes and sizes, and some kinds of philanthropy – especially strategic, entrepreneurial and catalytic philanthropy – require a more extensive and flexible charitable toolkit. [There] are [some] things philanthropists can do with a private foundation that are virtually impossible to achieve with a DAF.”

Naming opportunities: “Foundations have long been used to make grants in exchange for naming rights because they’re legal entities and exist in perpetuity, providing a party to the contract that will endure beyond the donor’s death to monitor the terms of the naming agreement.”

Family engagement: “Foundations are purpose-built for family engagement and creating a family legacy. Strategies for involving family members in their private foundation abound, including design[ing] the foundation to last in perpetuity so it may be handed down from generation to generation. Doing so will cement family values and relationships and create a charitable legacy.”

Read the full piece here.


Taking care of mental well-being on a gap year in Israel


“As gap year programs in Israel get underway in earnest, staff and organizers have had to spend a great deal of time preparing COVID contingency plans, travel visas and accommodations for the burgeoning number of young adults choosing to spend a post-high school and pre-college year in Israel in advance of the new cohorts’ arrival,” write Rabbi Benji Levy and Yonatan Sinclair, two of the co-founders of Jerusalem’s Keshev Center, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Mental health challenges: “However, a troubling phenomenon that began long before COVID-19 and has only worsened since the outbreak of the pandemic also requires their urgent attention: the prominence in mental health issues amongst program participants.”

Checking the problem: “With government support, Machon Dvir, [a behavioral health clinic in Jerusalem working with English-speaking young people], began conducting research in 2017 into the mental health challenges facing gap year program participants and surveyed over 500 young people during the subsequent three years. The results are significant.”

Survey says: “In each of the three years prior to the COVID epidemic, 90% of gap year students reported moderate to high levels of mental distress. This startling figure is even more troubling when considering the primary motivations participants highlight when choosing to take a gap year: to have fun, take a break before college and after high school, and focus on self-growth during this life-changing experience. Few expect to go through a stressful emotional experience, yet the vast majority do.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Big Trust: The Seattle-based Satterberg Foundation has produced an analysis on the results of its experiment with unrestricted grants to four regional philanthropy-supporting organizations (PSOs) on the West Coast, which could shed light on the impact of MacKenzie Scott’s $1.2 billion in support for similar groups, suggests Michael Kavate in InsidePhilanthropy. While some experts question such grants as superfluous backing for an already wealthy and powerful class of philanthropic professionals, Kavate acknowledges, the Satterberg report documents significant progress among its grantees — even those who didn’t invest most of the funding in their own operations, but instead used it to make their own grants. “This report presents a wide range of lessons and specifics on the multifaceted capabilities of PSOs when given freedom and funding,” Kavate concludes. [InsidePhilanthropy]

Expanding Definition: Global Citizen, a high-profile international charity headquartered in New York, won a legal victory in Australia when a tribunal ruled that the country’s charities regulator had wrongly denied the group “public benevolent status” because its activities involved advocacy, reports Christopher Knaus in The Guardian. Last year, the group worked with Lady Gaga, the Rolling Stones, Billie Eilish and Lupita Nyong’o to produce a globally televised concert that raised $129.7 million for charities such as the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 solidarity response fund. “Direct relief activities are a means of addressing one aspect of poverty; however, these activities need to be paired with meaningful changes in government policy and legislation,” said Paul Ronalds, chief executive of Save the Children, in support of Global Citizen. [Guardian]

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Word on the Street

URJ Camp Newman and Wilderness Torah are joining forces to launch the Center for Earth-Based Judaism on the camp’s site in Santa Rosa, Calif.… Hillel of San Diego broke ground yesterday on a long-awaited center for Jewish students across La Jolla Village Drive from the UC San Diego Campus… Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and Université Internationale de Rabat in Morocco signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the study of Moroccan Jewry… Dutch King Willem-Alexander officially unveiled a new memorial — designed by Polish-Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind — in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic Jewish Quarter yesterday honoring more than 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust… The Jerusalem College of Technology dedicated a new dormitory supported by a donation from the Toronto-based Jewish Legacy Charitable Foundation and matched by the Israeli government… The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies reports that following two strong months of recovery, August’s data reflected an overall slowing of nonprofit job gains… Cairo-born Maryana Iskander has been appointed CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, effective Jan. 5, 2022… Justice Mariano-Florentino “Tino” Cuéllar of the Supreme Court of California will become the next president of the Carnegie Endowment, effective Nov. 1… The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage awarded 42 grants totaling more than $10.2 million in support of artists and cultural organizations across the Philadelphia region… The Benderson Family Foundation is donating $20 million to Boston Children’s Hospital in support of pediatric heart disease research and treatment…

Pic of the Day

The Workers Circle

The Workers Circle brought cookies, egg creams and a klezmer duo to Lenox Hill Hospital last week to thank essential workers and the New York Professional Nurses Union for their service during the pandemic.


Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Author, television personality and philanthropist, Carole Gene “Candy” Spelling
After a 40-year career at The New York Times, he helped launch The Hill and later PoliticoMartin Tolchin… Florida real estate developer, he acquired 785 acres of mostly swamp land in South Florida for $6 million in 1967 and converted it to Aventura and Turnberry Isle Resort, Donald Soffer… Wealth management advisor, he won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers during his eight-year career as a tight end, C. Randy Grossman… Dean of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky… Senior chairman of Goldman Sachs since 2019, prior to which he was Goldman’s CEO for 13 years, Lloyd Blankfein… Co-founder of Broadcom and owner of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, Henry Samueli… Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel, Yosef Elron… Insurance agent in Tulsa, Okla., Lawrence M. Schreier… Real estate developer, sports agent and boxing promoter, Marc Roberts… Former rabbi of Congregation Beit Torat Chaim of Jakarta, Indonesia, and the founder and director of Outreach Judaism, Rabbi Tovia Singer… Assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas, he was the goalkeeper for the U.S. field hockey team at the 1984 Summer Olympics, Randolph B. “Randy” Lipscher… Attorney, author and legal analyst on NBC, Lisa Bloom… Member of the Knesset for the Likud party, Keren Barak… Founder of PFAP Consulting and special advisor for the Efrat Development Foundation, Melissa Jane Kronfeld, Ph.D…. Republican policy director at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, James Mazol… Senior reporter and deputy team leader at Bloomberg LP, Drew Singer… Director of business development at the Abu Dhabi Investment Office in Israel, Emily Grunewald… Director of membership for the Sacramento-based California Solar & Storage Association, Carter Lavin… Director of digital strategy and executive communications at Sony Music Entertainment, Alison Bogdonoff... Community and field marketing manager at Sakara Life, Zoe Plotsky… Vice president of marketing and communications at BBYO, Deborah Gavin Shemony

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