Your Daily Phil: New global antisemitism task force + U.S. Jews react to Israeli judicial overhaul
Good Tuesday morning!
In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on a new German initiative to teach Arab countries about the Holocaust, the ways that American Jewish groups have responded to the Israeli government’s passage of a judicial overhaul bill and the dropping acceptance rate for federal nonprofit security grants. We’ll start with the launch of the Anti-Defamation League’s new international initiative to combat antisemitism.
Umbrella organizations representing seven of the largest Jewish communities outside of Israel joined together this week in a new coalition to combat antisemitism: J7, the Large Communities’ Task Force Against Antisemitism, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.
The participating countries are: the United States, represented by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Anti-Defamation League; the United Kingdom, represented by the Board of Deputies of British Jews; France, represented by the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF); Germany, represented by the Central Council of Jews in Germany; Canada, represented by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs; Argentina, represented by the Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas; and Australia, represented by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
The ADL spearheaded the creation of the task force following regular, informal discussions with representatives of these communities about antisemitism and ways to counter it, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told eJP on Monday night, before the J7 was announced.
“Increasingly… we see in liberal democracies all over the Earth intensifying antisemitism, expanding polarization, deepening division. It felt like as we were talking that there were these shared experiences, a similar socio-political context,” Greenblatt said.
The seven countries involved are all Western-style democracies and are all facing similar challenges, he said. “By working together, we strengthen our ability to tackle antisemitism wherever it emerges,” Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said in a statement.
The ADL chief said the goal of the task force is to “share best practices, see what works, and also to coordinate responses more effectively.” These subjects include: policy and advocacy, tech policy, security, extremism and education against antisemitism.
Read the full story here.
German politician launches nonprofit to bring Holocaust awareness to Arab nations
The Abraham Accords have led to warmer ties, increased trade and more robust people-to-people exchanges between Israel and the Arab countries with which it signed the normalization pacts in 2020, as well as more Muslim-Jewish dialogue more broadly. Now, the reach of the Accords is spreading to Germany, where a member of the German Bundestag, inspired by the historic agreements, is launching a new nonprofit aimed at raising Holocaust awareness in the Arab world, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen.
Working toward peace: Armin Laschet, vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, spent last week in New York raising funds for the new organization. The idea for the nonprofit came to Laschet soon after the Abraham Accords were signed in 2020, he recalled. “I decided to found an organization to make [the Abraham Accords] more known in Germany,” he said, adding that currently, “Germany has an institute that works across party lines to inform the public and politicians about what the Abraham Accords are and ways towards peace in the region.”
High hopes: “In Arab states, they never spoke about the Holocaust,” he told eJP, adding that this is starting to change. “[We need] more young people to become empathetic. This is only possible from personal visits, not just by school books, but to actually see a concentration camp, to see what it means murdering 6 million people.” The institute, Laschet explained, will bring teachers from Abraham Accords signatory countries and other Arab nations to Germany “to show them what a catastrophe the Holocaust was in the whole world.” The initiative, he suggested, “could change thinking in Arab societies.”
Read the full story here.
U.S. Jewish groups express concern over Israeli divisions after passage of judicial restraint bill
U.S. Jewish groups expressed disappointment, pain and concern at the Israeli government’s passage of a law limiting judicial powers on Monday without the broad political consensus that American Jewish leaders had advocated, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.
Focus on division: Statements released by large, mainstream American Jewish organizations and comments made by individual leaders and officials have primarily focused on addressing the division seen on Israeli streets in recent months, rather than on the substance of the debate over the legislation passed the day before, which curtails the ability of judges to deem government actions “unreasonable,” or about the government’s proposed judicial overhaul more generally.
Supporting the sides: Left-leaning American Jewish groups, including J Street, the National Council for Jewish Women, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Americans for Peace Now and others, were unequivocal about their opposition to the passage of the “reasonableness” bill and their support for the Israeli protest movement. The Zionist Organization of America appeared to be the sole outlier among members of the Conference of Presidents, hailing the passage of the “reasonableness” bill and encouraging the Israeli government to pass additional legislation.
Read the full story here.
Nonprofit security grant acceptance rate falls to 42%, despite funding increase
The application acceptance rate for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program plummeted to under 42% in 2023, as increased funding provided for the program failed to keep pace with a significant increase in application volume, reports Marc Rod for eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider.
Doing less with more: A total of 5,257 grant applications were submitted for the 2023 funding cycle, with 2,201 approved for funding, according to an individual familiar with the data. In total, $679 million in funds were requested, with a pool of $305 million available for the year. Allocations for the NSGP, which provides federal funding for nonprofits and religious institutions to improve their security, were released on Friday. The acceptance rate dropped 10 percentage points from 52% in 2022, and also came in below the 46% acceptance rate in 2021.
Not enough: Nathan Diament, the executive director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, told JI that OU Advocacy is “grateful” for the allocations, noting that $305 million was a record-high funding level. “But the fact that those funds covered less than half the requests is the best evidence that Congress must fund NSGP at a higher level,” Diament continued. “We need more resources for this program — even in a tight budget environment.”
Read the full story here and sign up for Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff here.
Race for the Prize: In The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Lisa Schohl offers tips for building relationships with grantmakers. “A simple yet effective way to improve your chances of securing a grant is to connect with the foundation before applying, says Lauren Steiner, founder of Grants Plus, a grant-seeking consulting firm. Many fundraisers don’t do this because they’re afraid of getting rejected, she says, but that’s a risk worth taking. ‘All fundraising is a risk of personal rejection, and we just all have to be OK with getting a lot of nos and moving on to the next one,’ she says… After you get a grant, stay in touch with the program officer. Show how the foundation’s support was important to your organization, Steiner says, and make your communication feel personal. ‘You don’t need to spend a lot to keep up a personal rapport with your funders,’ she says. ‘And if you could take even your top 10 funders and do that, you make a huge difference.’” [ChronicleofPhilanthropy]
Never Again is for Everyone: In Just Security, general counsel of the World Jewish Congress, Menachem Z. Rosensaft, describes his recent participation in a memorial ceremony for victims of the Srebrenica genocide. “Earlier this month, I was privileged to lead a delegation of the World Jewish Congress to Bosnia and Herzegovina for a commemoration marking the 28th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. On a personal level, I found this pilgrimage deeply meaningful… as the son of two survivors of the Nazi death and concentration camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and as someone who was born in a Displaced Persons camp… The principal goal of the WJC delegation to Bosnia on July 9-11 was to identify ourselves, both individually and as the organization representing more than 100 Jewish communities across the globe, with the tremendous pain and torment suffered to this day by the Bosniak people.” [JustSecurity]
Around the Web
Randy Magen was named the next dean of Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, effective immediately. Magen replaces Ronnie Glassman, who has served as the interim dean for the past 20 months…
Elbert Ventura was named the next editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Ventura, who previously served as an editor at Vox, is replacing Stacy Palmer, who will become CEO…
The American Anthropological Association passed a resolution barring cooperation with Israeli academic institutions. The move was criticized by a number of Jewish organizations, including the Academic Engagement Network, the AMCHA Initiative and the Deborah Project…
George Soros’ Open Society Foundations reported spending $8.4 million in lobbying from April to June of this year, up from the $1.6 million spent in the first quarter of the year…
The Israeli firm Oddity Tech, the parent company of cosmetics brand Il Makiage, has reached a nearly $3 billion market cap, up from its initial valuation of $2 billion at its IPO last week, making its CEO, Oren Holtzman, a billionaire…
Pic of the Day
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews donated a Magen David Adom Mobile Intensive Care Unit to the Druze village of Mas’ade on the Golan Heights, which is located far from the closest hospital. This is the fourth such MICU ambulance that IFCJ has donated to a predominately Druze village in the Golan.
“The new units will significantly reduce MDA response times to the villages which is certain to translate to life-saving care,” the organization said in a statement.
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