Your Daily Phil: Mourning Jim Crown + ADL chief spars with Meta over antisemitism

Good Tuesday morning!

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt’s appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival, and feature an op-ed from Glenn Northern and Shira Zemel. Also in this newsletter: Larry Fink, Bonnie Marks and Yuli Novak. We’ll start with the death of James Crown in a car accident this weekend.

The Chicago Jewish community is mourning the sudden death of James “Jim” Crown, a towering philanthropic figure in the city who hailed from one of its most prominent families. Crown was killed on Sunday in a single-car crash at the Aspen Motorsports Park where he was celebrating his 70th birthday, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.

Crown, a member of the city’s prominent Crown family, has made major donations over the decades to a wide variety of Jewish causes, municipal causes and Democratic campaigns. He was chairman and CEO of his family business, the investment firm Henry Crown and Company, as well as the director of General Dynamics and a board member of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“The Crown family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Jim Crown,” a representative of the family said in a statement. “The family requests that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”

Lonnie Nasatir, the head of Chicago’s Jewish United Fund, who has worked closely with the entire Crown family for years, told eJP that Crown’s death represented a “great loss” for the Jewish community, both in the city and around the world.

“It’s a loss for the Jewish people. It’s a loss for the [Chicago] Jewish community. And for our city of Chicago. It’s just a great loss because this was a really creative mind who had so much business experience and understood our city and understood our community. It’s just — it’s too soon. It’s too soon,” Nasatir said.

“He had a love for the Jewish people, a love for Israel, and really just wanted to make sure that we in Chicago were taking care of our most vulnerable, both Chicago’s Jews and Chicago writ large,” he said.

At the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival, which is taking place this week, the former president and CEO of the organization, Walter Isaacson, praised Crown as embodying the types of values that are needed in this day and age. “He had a deep sense of values,” said Isaacson, who has written several books about inventors, visionaries and leaders. “When you write about geniuses enough… the problem is not their genius, but their values. Especially as we move into the era of [Artificial Intelligence], the people who [create it] have to have the values that work. If someone were to say to me, ‘How do you define those values?’ You’d say, ‘Jim Crown.’”

Jim was one of seven children of Renee and Lester Crown. “He was the leader of our family both intellectually and emotionally, and he looked out for everybody,” his 98-year-old father, Lester Crown, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday. “He also was a great leader also for the community.”

Read the full story here.

Rocky Mountain Red Lines

Twitter/Jonathan Greenblatt

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt debated with co-panelists, including Meta’s Vice President of Civil Rights and Deputy General Counsel Roy Austin, on stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Monday over Meta’s content moderation policies and antisemitism, reports Marc Rod for eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider.

Daily attacks: Greenblatt recounted the unprompted antisemitism he experiences daily on his social media accounts. “When I tweet about the weather, or when I tweet about my mom, or in a tweet about anything, the vitriol directed at me from right-wing extremists and radical white supremacists and QAnon enthusiasts, and radical people on the left who say ‘free Palestine’ to me, is really stunning,” Greenblatt said. “And it is indicative of the deep dysfunction in these platforms.”

Who be the judge?: Jameel Jaffer, the executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute and Columbia University, said later in the event that he was “nodding my head” with Greenblatt until he listed off “free Palestine.” Jaffer argued that such disagreements are demonstrative of why Facebook should not “be the arbiter of that kind of thing.” “If Facebook doesn’t want to be the arbiter of these decisions, then Facebook should shut itself down,” said Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami. “There’s no reason to keep creating problems and then say, ‘Oh, but who could possibly deal with this problem?’ Well, then stop creating it.” Greenblatt added: “There’s no natural law that preordains that these companies should have so much reach in our lives.”

In theory anyway: Austin noted that Meta has broadly called for regulation in the past, but — when pressed by Jaffer, on what sort of regulation the company would support in practice — Austin was unable to name any specific reforms the company had publicly supported.

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

No zero sum

Rallying the Jewish community for abortion access

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

“This time last year, the overturning of Roe v. Wade was beginning to send reverberations through the United States, with reproductive freedom and abortion access hitting the national headlines. The decision was shocking, but we had been planning for this moment for years. National Council of Jewish Women began discussing this exact scenario twenty years ago, and in 2021, we accelerated our response strategy… And over the past year, as states across the country restricted or banned abortion altogether, we raised more than $1.5 million to help over 10,000 people receive reproductive health care. Along the way, we connected with more than two thousand new donors we might not have otherwise engaged, broadening our philanthropic base,” write Glenn Northern and Shira Zemel, co-directors of the Jews for Abortion Access campaign at the National Council of Jewish Women, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Advanced planning: “So how and why did we leverage the [National Council of Jewish Women] network to raise money for the express purpose of giving it away, while bringing the Jewish community into the work most needed? The process started all the way back in 2020 by talking to our reproductive justice organizational partners. They were clear about the most effective way to show up: financially support abortion care. They told us to give to abortion funds and help people who were struggling to navigate the American health care system and laws that changed from state to state.”

What now?: “So what have we learned from the Jewish Fund for Abortion Access that can inform other crisis responses?… Money matters… We are stronger together… Grassroots efforts drive communal change… Laying the groundwork matters… Fundraising in crisis for another entity doesn’t impact your bottom line.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Skokie in the Foreign Service: In eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider, Gabby Deutch interviews the State Department’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, who is leaving her position at the end of the week. “While representing America as a diplomat, U.S. Foreign Service officer Fritz Berggren operates a racist and antisemitic blog that promotes white nationalism — and like the Jewish community members in Skokie who sought to see the Nazi protest canceled, many Jewish diplomats and their allies want to see Berggren disciplined. ‘It is a painful, painful situation to have one among our number who is willing to voice statements as he has made,’ the State Department’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, said of Berggren. ‘But the law is the law, and freedom of speech — the First Amendment — is what governs all of this.’” [JewishInsider]

Around the Web

Hadassah, along with 31 other Jewish organizations from across the political and denominational spectrum, sent a letter to Congress urging legislators to pass a bipartisan resolution to “increase infertility research, improve treatments and expand access to infertility services”…

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who previously highlighted the need for environment, social and governance (ESG) investment, said at the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this week that the term has since been “weaponized” and he’s now “ashamed” to have been part of the debate…

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will speak on a panel this morning about antisemitism, which will be moderated by Katie Couric, at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Afterward, Emhoff and Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall will hold a roundtable discussion about the White House‘s National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism…

Retreat Jewish announced its second cohort of Jewish retreat center leaders who will learn how to professionalize the field and run better programming over a six-month period. The program is largely funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and Marcus Foundation

The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse Treatment & Research held an event in Tel Aviv last night celebrating the 30-year anniversary of its founding and its treatment of more than 1,200 heroin and painkiller addicts…

The Jewish Electorate Institute‘s national survey of 800 self-identified Jewish voters found that a large majority favored President Joe Biden over potential challenger Donald Trump — 72% to 22% — in a presidential match-up. Most Jewish voters, 72%, also expressed an emotional attachment to Israel, but not toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who garnered a 62% unfavorable rating…

Abbey Fishman, Dr. Phil Harris, Brandon Patterson and Ruta Shah-Gordon joined the board of directors of the Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center of Staten Island earlier this month…

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland presented Bonnie Marks with the 2023 Ruby Bass Challenge Award at a ceremony last week in honor of her philanthropy and service to the community…

Yuli Novak succeeded Hagai El-Ad as executive director of B’Tselem. El-Ad has served in the role for nine years. Novak previously led the Breaking the Silence organization…

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Israeli film star Gal Gadot would receive a star on the Los Angeles neighborhood’s Walk of Fame, making her the first Israeli actor to receive the honor…

Peg Yorkin, a feminist activist and philanthropist, died on Sunday at 96…

Richard Ravitch, a former chairman of the New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and former lieutenant governor of New York, died on Sunday at 89… 

Pic of the Day

Courtesy/NYC Mayor’s Office

New York City Mayor Eric Adams holds his first meeting with his newly formed, 37-member Jewish Advisory Council, which will work to ensure “public safety, quality of life, and education,” for the city’s Jewish communities. The council is chaired by Joel Eisdorfer, a senior advisor to Adams.

“From the top of the Bronx to the bottom of Staten Island, the work and contributions of our Jewish brothers and sisters are felt across all five boroughs,” Adams said in a statement. “With antisemitic crimes up across the nation, our newly-formed Jewish Advisory Council will ensure that Jewish New Yorkers in every community have a seat at the table and have access to the support and resources the city offers.”



Co-founder of Taglit Birthright, the first chairman of the United Jewish Communities and former owner of MLB’s Montreal Expos, Charles Bronfman

Brooklyn resident, Meyer Roth… Former member of both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature, Constance Hess “Connie” Williams… Former commander of the Israeli Navy, head of the Shin Bet and member of Knesset, Amihai “Ami” Ayalon… First-ever woman ordained as a rabbi by HUC-JIR, Sally Jane Priesand… Author of fiction and non-fiction books, she is the founding president of the Mayyim Hayyim mikvah in Newton, Mass., Anita Diamant… New Jersey resident, Kenneth R. Blankfein… Democratic member of the Florida Senate, Lori Berman… Managing director at Osprey Foundation, Louis Boorstin… and his twin brother, senior advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group, Robert O. Boorstin… British historian and award-winning author, he is a great-great-nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore, Simon Sebag Montefiore… Woodland Hills, Calif.-based accountant, Susan M. Feldman… Creator of multiple TV series including “Felicity,” “Alias,” “Lost” and “Fringe,” and director and producer of many films, Jeffrey Jacob (J.J.) Abrams… South Florida resident, Gordon M. Gerstein… Reporter for The New York Times on the climate desk, Lisa Friedman… Member of the Knesset for the United Torah Judaism alliance, Yoel Yaakov Tessler… Senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute, Ilya Shapiro… Israeli judoka, Ehud Vaks… Director of stakeholder advocacy at Ford Motor, Caroline Elisabeth Adler Morales… Executive talent partner at Greylock Partners, Holly Rose Faith… Senior associate and deputy director of research and analytics at The Asia Group, Charles Dunst