Your Daily Phil: Millennial leaders meet at ANU + Bringing more teens to Israel

Good Monday morning!

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on an event bringing together young American and Israeli leaders at the Tisch Center for Jewish Dialogue in Tel Aviv and feature op-eds from Charlotte Friedman and Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz. We’ll start with a new initiative by Mosaic United to bring teens from around the world to Israel.

Check out “What Remains,” the final part of Jewish Insider‘s series by Gabby Deutch on the unsolved murder of a rabbi in Washington, D.C., in 1984, Who Killed Kesher’s Rabbi?

Mosaic United will expand its operations this summer, bringing hundreds of teens from around the world to Israel as part of a new pilot program, the organization told eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

Until now, Mosaic United – working with RootOne – has primarily focused on bringing North American teenagers to Israel, subsidizing trips for thousands of them each year. Beginning this summer, the organization will do the same for teenagers from the rest of the world, offering vouchers worth between $3,000 and $6,000 to roughly 300 teenagers from at least 10 countries, Alana Elbin, director of Mosaic United’s Teen Travel Pillar, told eJP.

Elbin stressed that this does not represent a pivot by Mosaic United, but rather that it brings the organization’s operations in line with its stated mission. “Our mandate is all of Diaspora Jewry. We want them to embrace and deepen their Jewish experiences as well,” she said. “The thought behind expanding this to communities outside of North America was always there.”

This summer’s pilot program will be done in partnership with JCC Global and CTeen, Chabad’s teen network. Mosaic is also in talks with NCSY Argentina, though a collaboration has yet to be finalized. It is being run through a fund-matching program, with the Israeli government allocating $1 million toward the initiative. “Mosaic United, through the Diaspora [Affairs] Ministry is providing 50% and the other side is bringing their 50%,” Elbin said.

In order to be eligible for the vouchers, the trips must last at least three weeks, include “formative pre- and post-trip experiences” and include a “meaningful multi-day mifgash [meeting] with Israeli teens,” Elbin said. Staff members must also undergo a 10-hour training session to prepare them to lead the trips, she said. All participants will receive a $3,000 voucher – the same as North American recipients – but with the possibility of receiving up to $3,000 more, based on need and other circumstances. “Some teens are going on these trips for nothing, others are going for about half the cost,” Elbin said.

The trips will run from July to August. They will include participants from South America, Africa and Europe, including displaced Ukrainian refugees, according to a spokesperson for Mosaic United. Next year, the organization plans to triple the number of non-American participants.

Read the full story here.

Cross-border dialogue

American and Israeli leaders take part in an event at the Tisch Center for Jewish Dialogue on April 27, 2023. (Itzik Biran/Koret Center)

The recently opened Tisch Center for Jewish Dialogue at the ANU Museum in Tel Aviv brought together a cohort of Israeli and Diaspora millennial Jews last week, encouraging them to debate not only the burning issues of the day but broader, philosophical questions about the nature of Israel’s relationship with Jewish communities around the world, particularly the United States, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

Future Jewish leaders: The Israeli participants mostly serve as advisors to politicians or in mid-level positions within government ministries, while the North American participants hold positions within Jewish organizations – Jewish federations, the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Israel Policy Forum and others. Organizers said the goal of the meet-up was two-fold: to get the participants, particularly the Israelis, to think seriously about the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora and to create a connection between the participants who are all on track to hold influential roles in Israeli and American Jewish life in the years to come.

The nature of the relationship: The discussions during the conference were held in accordance with Chatham House Rule, meaning the specifics of the conversations cannot be shared, but they broadly dealt with both specific issues of the day, notably the ongoing debate over the government’s proposed judicial overhaul, and larger questions about the responsibility that Israeli and North American communities have to one another. Throughout the conversations, it was evident that these latter dilemmas were more deeply understood and thought through by the American participants than the Israelis, though this is at least partially due to the nature of their positions in American Jewish organizations, many of which dealt specifically with the Israeli-American Jewry relationship. Many of the Israelis, meanwhile, held posts that were more domestically focused.

How we talk: Tisch Center Director Tracy Frydberg said that going forward she hopes that the participants continue to remain in contact with one another and deepen their ties. More broadly, she said she hopes to develop a better way for Diaspora Jews to communicate with the Israeli government in a productive way. “I think that you have to build that basis in order to really have a conversation, not just on whether I’m for or against the judicial reform, but what is the framework that allows us to communicate,” she said.

Read the full article here.

Cash is king

Effective giving after a disaster raises many questions, offers varied opportunities


“In recent years, it seems as if an endless stream of natural and human-made disasters dominates news cycles. Pernicious hate crimes, mass shootings, the pandemic and war in Ukraine – not to mention devastating floods, earthquakes and wildfires – are all humanitarian disasters that ravage communities,” writes Charlotte Friedman, a program officer in the Center for Designed Philanthropy of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

The urge to help: “In the aftermath of these tragedies, human nature and compassion kick in. We feel the urge to take immediate action and help. We want to offer support to communities in need. But, all too often, we don’t know where to start.”

Donors have many questions: “Many of us ask questions such as: How can I ensure my dollars are used appropriately? When is the best time to give after a disaster? How can I identify reputable organizations responding to a disaster? How can I mobilize my community to help?”

Read the full piece here.


The next frontier of Jewish education: Restraint


“In recent decades, our Jewish communities have been quite effective at giving kids a meaningful relationship with the ‘positive’ elements of Judaism, such as enjoying Shabbat dinner, lighting Hanukkah candles and having a meaningful family Passover seder. While I wholeheartedly support all of this, I believe we are often missing teaching a key developmental value of the Jewish tradition: boundaries,” writes Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, president and dean of Valley Beit Midrash in Scottsdale, Ariz., in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Excesses: “It is no secret that adults in America have long struggled with boundaries: regarding touch and sexuality, eating and drinking, online oversharing and taking work with them everywhere they go. And, as our kids get older, they too will slowly get introduced to these excesses.”

Practicing restraint: “For example, we learn from the Torah not to gossip, not to mistreat our parents, not to cheat in business matters and not to oppress workers. More broadly, though, by learning practices of restraint — such as not eating certain foods or accepting a mandate of rest on Shabbat — we are training ourselves to be less tempted by our baser desires to do whatever we please, and we’re making room for what is truly good in our lives.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Beautiful Jewelry With an Ugly Origin: In The New York Times, Zachary Small reports on the upcoming sale of hundreds of pieces of jewelry by the heir of a German billionaire who made his fortune by buying Jewish-owned businesses during the Holocaust. “The auction house has acknowledged that, in deciding to host the sale, it also had to grapple with the fact that Helmut Horten’s business empire was built atop his purchase of companies from Jews who were pressed to sell by the Nazis. ‘We are aware there is a painful history,’ [Anthea Peers, president of Christie’s Europe, Middle East and Africa] said. ‘We weighed that up against various factors,’ she added, saying that the foundation is ‘a key driver of philanthropic causes’… Several historians and the daughter of a businessman who worked for a Jewish-owned company targeted for acquisition by Helmut Horten during the Nazi era said the philanthropic benefits today are not sufficient to warrant a sales event that has the effect of obscuring the roots of the family’s fortune… After some criticism of the sale surfaced, Christie’s added a mention of Horten’s purchase of Jewish businesses that were ‘sold under duress’ and said it would donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale to Holocaust research and education.” [NYT]

Around the Web

A new study of nonprofit leadership in the New York City metro area found 39% of nonprofit CEOs to be white women, white men to be 29%, Black women to be 10%, Black men to be 7%, Hispanic women to be 5% and Hispanic men to be 3%. Asian/Pacific Islander women represented 4% and Asian/Pacific Islander men 3%. Nonprofit New York, Candid, SeaChange Capital Partners, Thomas Economic Policy and Data Consulting conducted the study with support from Robin Hood…

Yeshiva University and the Mohammed Bin Zayed University for Humanities will launch the first-ever joint conference between an American Jewish university and an Emirati university at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai next week…

AmeriCorps announced the appointment of Danielle Melfi as chief program officer for the federal agency for national service and volunteerism…

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is setting up a new $500 million nonprofit focused on health and climate change…

Rabbi Harold S. Kushner died at 88. Kushner, the author of many best-sellers, including When Bad Things Happen to Good People, served as rabbi of Temple Israel of Natick, Mass., for 24 years…

Pic of the Day

Leigh Vogel/U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Honorees hold up candles at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 30th Anniversary National Tribute Event in April.


Michael Kovac/WireImage

Retired national director of the Anti-Defamation League, now national director emeritus, Abraham Henry Foxman… 

Progressive activist Larry Bensky… Associate executive vice president and general counsel for the World Jewish Congress, Menachem Z. Rosensaft… Assistant professor at Yeshiva University and editor emeritus of Tradition theological journal, Rabbi Shalom Carmy… Deborah Chin… Boston-area actor David Alan Ross… Brigadier-General (reserves) and former chief medical officer of the IDF, he was also a member of the Knesset for 10 years, Aryeh Eldad… Of counsel at D.C.-based Sandler Reiff where he specializes in redistricting law, Jeffrey M. Wice… Former president of the American Jewish Committee, Israel Policy Forum board member, E. Robert Goodkind… Longtime congressman from Colorado until earlier this year, Ed Perlmutter… Founder and CEO of Conduit, Israel’s first billion-dollar internet company, Ronen Shilo… Austrian-Israeli singer-songwriter, Timna Brauer… Real estate entrepreneur, he is a co-founder of the Israeli American Leadership Council (IAC) and supporter of FIDF, Eli Tene… Member of the board of governors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Rina F. Chessin… Member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David R. Karger… Israeli judoka, she was the first Israeli to win an Olympic medal when she won Silver at Barcelona, she is the head of the merchandise division of Paramount Israel, Yael Arad… Majority leader of the Washington State Senate, he is a co-owner of minor league baseball’s Spokane Indians, Andrew Swire “Andy” Billig… Senior attorney in the Newark office of Eckert Seamans, Laura E. Fein… Political columnist at New York magazine, Jonathan Chait… Attorney and co-founder of I Am a Voter, Mandana Rebecca Dayani… Former director of responsible innovation at Meta / Facebook, Zvika Krieger… D.C.-based political reporter, Ben C. Jacobs… Senior video journalist covering investigative and national news for the Washington Post, Jonathan Gerberg… Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, Marina Tauber… Principal at Avisa Partners, Omri Rahmil… Sam Zieve Cohen… Community manager at GrowthSpace, Jenny Feuer