Your Daily Phil: Mazon’s virtual Hunger Museum + A call for Jewish unity
Good Monday morning and happy first day of Hanukkah!
In today’s Your Daily Phil, we report on a new virtual museum focusing on hunger, and feature an op-ed by educator Chaim Y. Botwinick on the need for Jewish unity. Also in this newsletter: Stanley Bushman, Vicki and Arthur S. Loring, William S. Levine, Frank Lowy and Andrés Cantor. We’ll start with a new hire at the Anti-Defamation League.
This summer, the Anti-Defamation League’s senior vice president of international affairs, Sharon Nazarian, left to return to a leadership role at her family’s foundation. Her replacement, announced last week, is veteran Israeli diplomat Marina Rosenberg. Like Nazarian, who grew up in Iran, Rosenberg comes to the job with experience in a country with rising antisemitism.
Prior to taking the ADL job, Rosenberg served as Israel’s ambassador in Chile, which has a Palestinian population numbering in the hundreds of thousands — the largest outside the Arab world. Rosenberg told Jewish Insider, our partner publication,that Chile’s Palestinian community is an influential constituency in the country’s politics, including regarding the government’s stance toward Israel. Prior to her time in Chile, Rosenberg served in diplomatic positions throughout Latin America, Europe and the Gulf.
“I think my experience in Chile especially marked me quite a bit, understanding how antisemitism is spreading [quickly] around the world,” Rosenberg, 46, who was born in Argentina, told JI. “And I felt the need to take my actions on a more global spectrum. I really see it as an opportunity to bring my experience to the international team at ADL, in order to keep up the fight against antisemitism and against hate worldwide.”
Chilean President Gabriel Boric, who was elected a year ago, supports a boycott of goods produced in West Bank settlements as well as the Golan Heights. He responded to a Rosh Hashanah gift from the Chilean Jewish community by tweeting that they “could start by asking Israel to return the illegally occupied Palestinian territory.” Earlier this year, he delayed accepting the credentials of Rosenberg’s successor, Gil Artzyeli, for two weeks after a Palestinian teenager was killed amid clashes with the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank.
“I did not expect it to be like that in the beginning; I really had to focus and put a lot of effort to work together with the Jewish community there,” Rosenberg told JI regarding Chile, and added that she plans to build partnerships with other organizations, governments and corporations in her ADL position. “[Their] antisemitism derives a lot from their lack of knowledge because most people there do not know any Jews at all. And also you see the kind of antisemitism that is anti-Zionism, with a lot of hate to the State of Israel.”
Nazarian also attempted to address antisemitism in Chile by helping place an anti-hate curriculum in some of the country’s schools. She told eJewishPhilanthropy in June that the ADL is placing an increasing focus on Spanish-language media and added, “A lot of the challenge facing Jewish communities around the world is, first and foremost, ignorance about Jews, about Jewish identity, who we are, what are our practices, what is our immigration story.”
Mazon unveils new virtual Hunger Museum at gala
Visitors to the Hunger Museum, which is slated to open next year, will see photographs, newspaper accounts and videos that document and provide context around the challenges of poverty, hunger and government policy. But visitors don’t need to fly, ride a bus or walk to experience this museum — or worry about parking or overcrowding in the galleries. Instead, the Hunger Museum, set to open next year, will be all-virtual, and built in cyberspace by the nonprofit Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Esther D. Kustanowitz.
Sneak preview: The more than 120 attendees at Mazon’s annual gala on Thursday night, which was held virtually, got a preview of some of the museum’s rooms. Broadly, the museum’s goal is to share the story of hunger in America, from the Gilded Age to the present, with visitors from around the world. It hopes to provoke conversation about the impact of social, cultural, economic and political changes on hunger and the government’s responses to it.
Real people: “We wanted to make the story as accessible as possible to immerse you in the people and places, the policies and the possibilities and the history of hunger in America for the last 100 years,” Abby Leibman, the president and CEO of Mazon, told guests at the gala. “It’s so very important that we never forget that these are real people who have terrible challenges, who look to their leaders for support, relief and help. And when those leaders responded, literally millions of lives were made better and a better future was also possible. And when leaders began to turn their backs on people to shame them — even to blame them — the safety net was shredded, and people again found themselves struggling.”
new year’s resolution
The case for a Global Year of Jewish Unity
“Over the past several years, our Jewish communities in Israel and in the Diaspora have experienced a rising tide of internal and external hostility and animosity, to an extent unsurpassed in recent memory,” Chaim Y. Botwinick, executive director of the Sha’arei Bina Torah Academy for Girls in Hollywood, Fla., writes in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.
Hatred at a fever pitch: “From the daunting rise of antisemitic rhetoric and speech, to public anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses, in the press and in public arenas, our Jewish community is experiencing epic levels of distress, concern and anxiety. This serious crisis is unfolding right before our eyes, magnified by the current situation in Israel and in Diaspora Jewish communities. The internal antagonism and bitterness between Israel’s politically right-leaning and left-leaning citizens, and the unabashed sinat chinam (baseless hatred) between religious segments of Israeli society and the secular community have reached a fever pitch.”
External and internal threats: “This situation flies in the face of our community’s Jewish values and Torah beliefs, as well as human civility and principles of communal shalom bayit (peace in the home). We can accept this as the status quo, or we can tell ourselves ‘enough is enough,’ and that it is our obligation, duty and responsibility to confront these challenges head-on. We are dealing with both an external threat — antisemitism and anti-Zionism — and an internal threat — sinat chinam and a lack of respect for each other.”
The proposal: “The Global Year of Jewish Achdut, or unity, would be designed to help create year-long programs and initiatives worldwide to promote, enhance and celebrate communal achdut through education, community dialogue, publicity, social platform networking and the training of local and international Global Achdut Ambassadors whose job would be similar to Israelis who come to America to work as shlichim, or emissaries.”
The I is for Inclusion: Despite the $9.3 billion that companies spent on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts in 2022, Jewish experiences and the rise of antisemitism were seldom acknowledged or included in those programs, Mita Mallick writes in Harvard Business Review. “Jewish people hold a variety of views about what Judaism is or means. But antisemitism doesn’t make a distinction, as [CEO and founder of consultancy Saterman Connect Josh] Saterman points out. ‘While a Jewish individual may not consider themselves to be very religious or identify with Judaism, they can still be the target of antisemitism,’ he shares. ‘Antisemitic people might target an individual simply based on something that may identify them as being Jewish, like their last name.’ If you’re a leader, this understanding should inform all your actions and communications about antisemitism. Proactively address and discuss with your teams antisemitic hate speech and hate crimes that have occurred in your local community or made national headlines. Share learning materials offered by the ADL, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Also consider having someone from the Museum of Jewish Heritage Speakers Bureau — comprised of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, as well as World War II veterans — present to your teams. Work with your peers and DEI team to include education on antisemitism in your calendar of leadership trainings and workshops.” [HBR]
New Year’s Transformation: January is a great time to hit the ground running at your nonprofit, Jeff Schreifel writes in NonProfitPRO, including several suggestions ranging from self-care to thinking about donors who can give on a transformational level. “No matter how big your organization is, I can guarantee you have at least a few donors who could give transformationally. They may not be doing so yet, but you need to start thinking about that as soon as possible. These are not necessarily the wealthiest donors on your caseload. You want to look for the donors who have the capacity for more and are deeply connected to your organization. I recommend focusing on three to five. Most likely, these donors are coming from your highest tier group. As you start this process, keep in mind that this process can take 18 to 24 months. I typically recommend doing a 12-month communication plan for your donors, so this is taking that strategy a step further. In your transformational giving plan, you want to be intentional about connecting the donor to the need. You need to really understand the donor’s passions and interests — and the drivers behind them — to accomplish this. You’ll be sharing about the problem and then providing opportunities for the donor to give that are aligned with those.” [NonProfitPRO]
Around the Web
Kansas City businessman Stanley Bushmandonated a total of $6 million to local organizations Jewish Family Services, Jewish Vocational Service and Village Shalom, citing rising antisemitism…
Vicki and Arthur S. Loring made a $10 million legacy gift to the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, Fla…
Alumnus William S. Levine has donated $6 million to the Yeshivah of Flatbush, the largest donation in the Brooklyn Orthodox school’s history. The donation will fund the Levine Institute for Shoah Legacy, a Holocaust education program for middle and high school students…
Former Westfield Chairman Frank Lowy is donating $18 million to Tel Aviv University’s International School in a ceremony on Tuesday…
The Union for Reform Judaism and RootOne, a program of the Jewish Education Project that funds Jewish teen travel to Israel, are partnering to give $3,250 toward Israel travel in high school for teens who had a b’nai mitzvah at a URJ synagogue…
FTX founder and former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s name, and a press release announcing his sign-on in June 2022, have been scrubbed from the Giving Pledge website, a public roster of the world’s richest people who’ve promised to give away most of their wealth. This month, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and charged by U.S. prosecutors with wire fraud and conspiracy…
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of the Guaranteed Income Pooled Fund, a philanthropic endeavor to help organizations access more than $25 million in state grants. The pilots will collectively provide nearly 2,000 people – primarily former foster youth and pregnant Californians – with $600 to $1,200 per month, for 12 to 18 months…
Pic of the Day
Argentine-American sportscaster Andrés Cantor (left), who is Jewish, weeps after yelling “Gooooooaaaal!” to herald Argentina’s victory over France on Sunday in the World Cup final.
Author of 25 best-selling thriller and espionage novels whose main protagonist is an Israeli intelligence officer, Daniel Silva…
Co-chair of the Democratic Majority for Israel and former communications director in the Clinton administration, Ann Frank Lewis… Journalist and playwright, former foreign correspondent for The New York Times based in Saigon, London, Nairobi and New Delhi, Bernard Weinraub… NYC-based real estate investor, Douglas Durst… Ardsley, N.Y., resident, Ruth Wolff… Israeli computer scientist and high-tech entrepreneur, Orna Berry… Town justice in Ulster, N.Y., Marsha Weiss… Host of “RealTalk MS Podcast,” Jon Strum… SVP at the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, Eli Schaap… CFO at wine importer and distributor New York Wine Warehouse, Jane Hausman-Troy… U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)… British cellist, distinguished for his diverse repertoire and distinctive sound, Steven Isserlis… Member of the Knesset for the Meretz party until the most recent election, Moshe “Mossi” Raz… Israeli high-tech entrepreneur, he is the founder and CEO of MyHeritage, Gilad Japhet… President and chief creative officer of Rachel G Events, Rachel L. Glazer… VP and head of federal government relations at American Express, Amy Best Weiss… Acclaimed actor, Jake Gyllenhaal… Film and television actress, Marla Sokoloff… Deputy Washington bureau chief for the Boston Globe, Tal Kopan… Head of global creator programs at LinkedIn, Callie Schweitzer… VC investor Aaron Rosenson… Actress, best known for her role in Amazon Prime’s “Sneaky Pete,” Libe Alexandra Barer… Member of the Minnesota Senate, Julia Coleman… MBA candidate at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Haim Engelman… Founding partner of Puck, Theodore Schleifer… Sarah Wagman… and her brother, exactly two years younger, Daniel Wagman… David Ginsberg…