Your Daily Phil: ‘Operation Falcon’ rushes supplies to the Israeli home front

Good Tuesday morning.

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we interview philanthropist Yossie Hollander about combating antisemitism in the United States and report on a new lawsuit against the University of California Berkeley. We feature an opinion piece from Mike Leven about shaping the Jewish future. Also in this newsletter: Michael Moritz, Martin Olliner and Patricia Illingworth. We’ll start with a new logistics effort to bring needed supplies from the U.S. to Israel’s home front.

A major effort is underway to provide Israelis with a supply chain from the U.S. to meet needs on the home front in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks. Dubbed “Operation Falcon,” the initiative is being run by venture capitalist fund Maniv Mobility, Israeli health-tech investing firm TARA Group, the Jewish Agency for Israel and FedEx, which earlier this month began sending kits to Israel with emergency supplies for the civilian home front, including thousands of first aid kits and hundreds of generators. The operation plans to fly 10 planes per week with goods throughout the war, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen.

Michael Granoff, an American-Israeli tech entrepreneur and managing partner of Maniv Mobility, which he established in Tel Aviv in 2015, told eJP that in the immediate aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, “the obvious answer of how to respond was to use our network of transportational logistics to try and make it easier to get Israel things it needs to fight the war.” Maniv Mobility, which also has a New York office, invests in mobility startups across five continents. 

“We tapped our network and found that everybody was itching to do something to help. We used all that goodwill to build what we term a ‘magic carpet’ to facilitate the efficient, inexpensive movement of important emergency supplies to Israel, mostly from the U.S.,” Granoff, who said the Operation Falcon team has been working 19-hour days, continued. 

“I had never worked a Shabbat before in my life,” Meir Dardashti, a principal who joined Maniv Mobility in 2019 and is now working on Operation Falcon around the clock, told eJP. “It’s a different level. I usually work hard but not this hard.”

“We’re creating a plug-and-play experience to get important goods to Israel but that exists on both sides of the Atlantic because part of the problem is here in Israel. To clear customs, you need the right connections here in Israel,” Dardashti said, noting that’s where the Jewish Agency for Israel’s involvement comes in. 

“It is so clear that the target of this special cooperation is precisely aligned with urgent needs,” Yaron Shavit, deputy chair of the executive at the Jewish Agency, who is leading the project on behalf of the agency, told eJP after attending a special Knesset committee hearing on the mobilization of Israeli society in late October. 

“Both the chair of the committee, as well as the wounded mayor of the Eshkol regional council, where 17 of the kibbutzim and moshavim were severely hit, strongly emphasized the importance of strengthening emergency responder teams — and that is exactly what we aim to do,” Shavit said.

Read the full report here.

Q&A

Israeli-American philanthropist wants U.S. Jewry to go to war with, not ‘handle,’ antisemitism

Yossie Hollander. Courtesy/Eran Alergant

Yossie Hollander, an Israeli software entrepreneur and philanthropist now living in California, wants American Jewry to go to war against the groups and individuals responsible for the current wave of antisemitism in the United States. He wants that war to be well-funded, professionally organized and supported by the Israeli government, and he doesn’t think the current communal infrastructure is up to the task.

Earlier this month, eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross spoke with Hollander, who has long donated to Holocaust education causes and other efforts connected to combating antisemitism, about his analysis of the situation in the United States today and what he wants to see going forward.

Judah Ari Gross: What are your proposals in the long term to combat antisemitism in the U.S.?

Yossie Hollander: It’s war. It is war not just against Israel or the Jewish population. It’s a war against the U.S. This is war, and we have not been fighting so far. We’ve been ‘handling’ it. We need resources and we need focus… There’s a lot that needs to be done, but the Jewish people have to start getting organized a little bit more centrally. Not each one doing whatever they want in their own ways. It’s very nice, but it’s not working. 

What we need is we need 10 Jewish billionaires to each put together at least $10 million a year in one big batch with an aggressive agenda and professional management, not federation management. When you hire professionals, you need professionals to manage them. We need to put in $100-$200 million a year. And Israel needs to join the fight as well as a strategic practice.

Read the full interview here.

EXCLUSIVE

Brandeis Center files lawsuit against UC Berkeley for hostile campus environment

American politician Dianne Feinstein, her arms outstretched in celebration, in her office after she was elected mayor of San Francisco, at San Francisco City Hall in San Francisco, California, circa 1978.
Getty Images

Citing claims of a “longstanding, unchecked spread of antisemitism” on University of California, Berkeley’s campus, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law filed a complaint on behalf of Jewish students on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that the campus is a “hotbed of anti-Jewish hostility and harassment,” eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen reports for Jewish Insider.

General disregard: UC Berkeley Jewish students wrote in the complaint that the school does so little to protect Jewish students, it feels as if the school is condoning antisemitism. They added that officials at the university display a “general disregard” for Jewish students. “The concerns of Jewish students are not being taken seriously and incidents that are affecting Jewish students are not being treated the same as incidents that would affect another targeted minority on campus,” said Hannah Schlacter, an MBA student at the school.

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

A COVENANTAL BOND

This isn’t about opening your wallet. This is about opening your heart.

Courtesy/JCC Chicago

“In my 86 years, few events have struck my heart as deeply as the tragedies of 9/11 and Oct. 7,” writes Mike Leven, founder of the Jewish Future Pledge, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Historic moments: “These days, imprinted in our collective memory, remind us of peace’s fragility and the essential need for vigilance. Today’s conflict between Hamas and Israel echoes the adversities our ancestors endured, from exile to the atrocities of the Holocaust. These chapters of endurance are a testament to the Jewish spirit’s resilience. This Giving Tuesday presents an occasion and a clarion call to fortify that spirit.”

Shape the future: “The Pledge is not merely a financial gesture but an educational, advocative and communal rallying point… When we pledge, we affirm: ‘We stand with our heritage, our people and our homeland, no matter the trials.’ It is a commitment to ensure that the next generation understands and values its Jewish heritage… Individual experiences can shape the trajectory of collective efforts. Each pledger, no matter where they come or where they’re going, contributes to a stronger, more resilient Jewish community and a more profound commitment to the security and prosperity of Israel.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

A Needed Boost: In the Associated Press, Thalia Beaty looks into the prospects of Giving Tuesday and overall charitable giving in 2023 in light of last year’s drop in donations. “Supporting nonprofits on GivingTuesday this year could have a bigger impact than usual. Why? Because nonprofits and industry groups say donations so far are down compared with previous years. Many organizations will look to make up the difference on GivingTuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which started as a hashtag in 2012 and has grown into one of the biggest fundraising dates on the calendar. Many nonprofits will run matching campaigns, meaning a supporter has pledged to double or sometimes triple the donation of other, smaller donors.” [AP]

His Heart’s in San Francisco: In Bloomberg, Biz Carson and Sarah McBride profile Jewish billionaire Michael Moritz and his efforts to positively impact the city he’s called home for four decades. “Michael Moritz became a billionaire and a legend in venture capital circles by making early investments in Google, LinkedIn, PayPal and Yahoo during his years as a partner at Sequoia Capital. But his latest projects offer a different type of return: civic. His recent focus has been on investing his time and money in remaking San Francisco, a city that he thinks has lost its way… Like a venture capitalist placing bets on the next billion-dollar startups, he’s funded hundreds of nonprofits and advocacy groups. He’s created a civic engagement group, a political action committee and a media outlet, the San Francisco Standard, to help offset diminishing local coverage. His personal foundation, Crankstart, which doles out hundreds of grants each year, is San Francisco’s largest, with more than $5.1 billion in assets in 2021. Rather than run for office or donate money to have his name put on buildings, Moritz has kept a low profile. But billionaires spending on political causes is an issue that inevitably raises hackles — a dynamic that’s already played out in one of the country’s most progressive places.” [Bloomberg]

Around the Web

Nine Israeli children and two mothers — all from the community of Kibbutz Nir Oz —  were released from Hamas captivity last night. Mossad chief David Barnea is visiting Qatar for talks with CIA Director Bill Burns and top Qatari officials about further hostage releases…

The Associated Press interviewed donors from across the country, offering a variety of answers to the question: Why do you give?… 

A new report by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance found that veterans groups and nonprofit hospitals have overtaken religious organizations as the most trusted charities in the United States…

Martin Olliner, chairman of the Religious Zionists of America, penned an opinion piece in The Jerusalem Post criticizing American Jewry’s leadership and calling for a reckoning…

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Denver are protesting the Jewish National Fund-USA’s Global Conference for Israel, which begins at the city’s Colorado Convention Center on Thursday…

Ryna Workman, the president of New York University School of Law’s student bar association, was voted out of office by the student body after she posted a public missive blaming Israel for the Oct. 7 terror attacks, reiterated her lack of empathy for Israeli victims and torn down posters of Israeli hostages…

Israeli ethicists have found themselves at odds with many of their foreign counterparts over the morality of Israel’s war against Hamas…

The Jewish Agency for Israel has donated NIS 10 million ($2.7 million) to communities on Israel’s northern border that have been affected by Hezbollah’s attacks from Lebanon. The organization made a similar donation to southern Israeli communities at the start of the war…

Patricia Illingworth, a professor of philosophy and business at Northeastern Universityinvestigated the impact of “stunt philanthropy” (think: ice bucket challenge) on the world…

Pic of the Day



Over 50,000 people attend the traditional Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City today, during Chol Hamoed (the intermediary days) of Sukkot.
Merkos 302

Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei and his sister, Karina Milei, pay their respects yesterday at the resting place of Rebbetzin Chaya Muska Schneerson after praying at the resting place of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. In his first international trip since being elected president, Milei flew to New York to pray at the site, known as the Ohel, and show gratitude for the blessings he believes he received there. 

Birthdays

Annie Liebovitz smiles
Getty Images

Former CFO of Citigroup and then president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America, now CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, Sallie Krawcheck… 

Songwriter, arranger and composer, Randy Newman… New Orleans attorney, Joel Loeffelholz… Television producer, Barry M. Meyer… Political consultant and manager of President Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign in 1996, Richard Samuel (Dick) Morris… David Letterman’s musical director, band leader and sidekick from 1982 to 2015, Paul Shaffer… Former solicitor general of the U.S., now a partner at WilmerHale, he has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court over 85 times, Seth Paul Waxman… Los Angeles-based attorney, Steven Jacob Barkin… COO of American Friends of Laniado Hospital in Netanya, Israel, Judy Rapfogel… Former judge on the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals and then Homeland Security secretary in the Bush 43 administration, he is senior of counsel at Covington & Burling, Michael Chertoff… Film and television actor, Judd Nelson… Comedian and former host of “The Daily Show on Comedy Central,” known professionally as Jon Stewart, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz… Chief field-building officer at UpStart Lab, Aliza Mazor… Clearwater, Fla., speech pathologist, Nancy Turkel Laskowitz… CEO of the Israel Policy Forum, David Elliot Halperin… Senior U.S. senator from Colorado, his mother was a Holocaust survivor born in Warsaw in 1938, Michael Bennet… Former CFO of Citigroup and then president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America, now CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, Sallie Krawcheck turns 59… National editor of the Washington PostMatea Gold… Founder and principal at Green Mountain Strategies, Anna Weinstein… Executive director of The Isaiah Projects, David Nekrutman… CEO of Lens Investments, Julie Hammerman… National security advisor to President Joe Biden, Jacob Jeremiah (Jake) Sullivan turns 47… Managing partner and founder of PR firm, EDGE Partners, Jeremy Wimpfheimer… Former congressman from Staten Island, he earlier served in the U.S. Army and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, Max Rose… Rabbi at Congregation KTI in Port Chester, N.Y., Benjamin Goldberg… and his twin brother, Cantor at Westchester Jewish Center, Ethan Goldberg, both turn 34… Singer, songwriter and rapper, Jacob Harris (Jake) Miller… Executive director at Tmura, an Israeli public service venture fund, Baruch Lipner… Jude Rabinowitz…