Your Daily Phil: Russell Berrie Foundation names new CEO + Making choices in storytelling

Good Tuesday morning!

The Russell Berrie Foundation announced on Monday that Idana Goldberg, previously the foundation’s chief program officer, is now its new CEO. Founding CEO Ruth Salzman ended her term last month after 13 years with the New Jersey-based foundation.

“I am honored by the confidence that the foundation’s trustees have placed in me, and I’m thrilled to partner with them during this exciting next chapter of the foundation’s work,” Goldberg said in an announcement on the foundation’s website. “Our foundation has a well-deserved reputation for investing in innovative ideas and inspiring leaders, and for being true partners to our grantees. We have a tremendous opportunity to build on that legacy, amplifying our impact in the years to come.”

The foundation’s president, Angelica Berrie, described Goldberg as “a talented leader who played a critical role in strengthening the foundation’s work” and who “significantly deepened strategic clarity. I’m confident that as CEO she will skillfully lead the foundation to achieve great things and leave a lasting legacy.”

The foundation, created by New Jersey philanthropist and sales entrepreneur Russell Berrie, identifies and invests in areas that reflect Berrie’s passions: advancing diabetes care and research, strengthening Israel through pluralism and regional economic development, building interfaith bridges, improving healthcare and enhancing Jewish communal life in New Jersey.


Beyond the frame, beyond the binary: A gender gap, a report and an untold story


“Sometimes I look at famous paintings and wonder what’s just out of frame. Not just the classic question of who the ‘Mona Lisa’ is smiling at, but what else is on the other side of the room? To paint a picture is to choose: Where do you draw the frame? Something is in — and everything else is out… In the nonprofit world, most of us don’t paint. But we do tell stories, whether in the form of an annual report, an email newsletter, a slide presentation, a fundraising letter or an article like this one. And whenever we tell stories we make choices about what — and who — is inside the frame,” writes Gali Cooks, chief executive officer of Leading Edge, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

What was in and what wasn’t: “In August 2021, Leading Edge released ‘The Gender Gap in Jewish Nonprofit Leadership: An Ecosystem View.’ This report presents an 18-month research process into why cisgender men are still a majority of the field’s top leaders, especially among the organizations with the most resources… Our report focused on five keystones: what they are, how we determined them and how they can help our field move forward toward gender equity in leadership. That’s what we wanted to keep inside the frame, because that seemed to us to be the core message that could drive progress in the field. I made that call, because I wanted everyone with power in our field to be able — and willing — to hear it and act on it… In order to maintain that focus on the keystones, we kept the story simple. Too simple, perhaps. Because my decision erased a slice of the picture.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Rocking the Board: In The New York Times, Peter Eavis looks at the increase in corporate board diversity that followed companies’ pledges to make changes in racial and gender equity after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. “Serving board members have the job of seeking out new directors — and a reason boards are so white and male is that they seek directors who have had experience at the highest levels in corporate America, a group that until the last decade or two has been largely white. Critics of corporate board recruiting also argue that executives tend to prefer recruiting from their own professional and social circles, or on the basis of recommendations from associates and friends.” [NYTimes]

Name It or Deduct It: In “A modest proposal for the future of public philanthropy,” Malcolm Gladwell explores the idea of changing tax laws to pre-empt problems that emerge when institutions wish to remove the names of disgraced donors from the buildings or programs they funded. “You can donate the money and get the corresponding tax deduction. But if you chose to exercise the tax deduction for that gift, you cannot have the building named after you. Or you can donate the money for a new building and put your name on it, but in that case you cannot exercise the charitable tax deduction.” [OhMG]

Fostering Talent: Philanthropy Roundtable interviewed three leaders of nonprofit organizations about the importance of youth entrepreneurship education and the challenges and opportunities on the horizon for aspiring entrepreneurs. “An entrepreneurial or growth mindset helps young people see challenge as an opportunity, not an obstacle,” said Kylie Stupka, president of Empowered. “The development of essential skills like innovation, confidence and collaboration prepares students for their careers and lives. Experience-based, individualized, real-world relevant learning also helps graduates to create and seize opportunities. This type of education generally leads to happier, healthier people, who are more likely to positively contribute to society.” [PhilanthropyRoundtable]

Community Comms

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Word on the Street

The family of casino magnate and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson, who died last year, announced a $40 million donation to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. The donation, for the establishment of a cancer treatment center, was initiated by Adelson prior to his death on Jan. 11, 2021…

Jon Spack has been named executive director of Camp Young Judaea in Amherst, N.H….

The Israel Travel Alliance, a multifaith coalition of immersive Israel education travel programs housed at The Jewish Federations of North America, announced that Tal Gozani will become the organization’s first executive director…

Karen Sallerson, longtime executive director of ImpactIsrael (formerly Friends of Yemin Orde) retired on Dec. 30. She is succeeded by Benjamin Marchette, who assumed the role of CEO after serving over 15 years at AIPAC…

Nir Bar Dea, born near Netanya, has been named co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates. Bar Dea previously served as a speechwriter for then-Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor…

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning established a “Rabbinic Council,” comprised of a group of congregational rabbis from across denominations. The rabbis serve in synagogues that support Melton learning…

Freda Wineman, a French-born survivor of three concentration camps (including Bergen-Belsen) who was active in Holocaust education in the U.K., died at 98…

Pic of the Day

The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, a 21,000-square-foot community center in Cabo San Lucas, on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, officially opened last week. The synagogue serves a Jewish community that includes both expats and visitors. The synagogue building includes classrooms, a mikvah, a sanctuary, a social hall and two kosher restaurants.


Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

English celebrity chef, restaurateur and television star (pictured at left), Rick Stein…  

Founder and president emeritus of the Alliance for Justice, Nan Aron… Retired major general in the IDF, former member of the Knesset for the Likud party and a nephew of Moshe Dayan, Uzi Dayan… Television producer for CBS and co-author of three novels, Karen Mack Goldsmith… CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, Charles N. “Chip” Kahn III… Former member of Knesset for the Meretz party, Zehava Gal-On… Author of The New Yorker‘s satirical “Borowitz Report,” Andy Borowitz… Author of 31 best-selling mystery novels and thrillers, Harlan Coben… Health care editor at PoliticoAdriel Bettelheim… Professor of Jewish history at the University of Munich and American University, Michael Brenner… Founder of AnyDate personalized gifts, ShareSomeFriends and Upstart Ideas, Michael Eglash… Television and film actor, Josh Stamberg… Professor of economics and strategic management at University of California San Diego, Yuval Rottenstreich… SVP in the Austin-based public strategy firm Mercury, he was the first Jewish liaison in the Bush 43 administration, Adam Blair Goldman… American living in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where he serves as head of international relations at Adjacent Possibilities Corp, Daniel Zaretsky… Historian and NYT best-selling author, Joshua Michael Zeitz… Founder of Darshan Yeshiva and spiritual leader of Kehillah Jewish community in Richmond, Va., Patrick Beaulier… Senior broadcast producer at “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” Ben Mayer… Alex Band… SVP at DC-based public affairs firm The Herald Group, Marc Brumer… Strategic advisor for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Samantha Slosberg… Center fielder for MLB’s New York Mets, Kevin Pillar… Director of development at Industrial Media, Emily Tess Katz… Investigative editor at The Washington MonthlyEric James Cortellessa… Associate editor at The Washington MonthlyGabby Birenbaum… Litigation associate in the NYC office of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, Alexander Abraham Langer… Chicagoland’s Judah Gavant..

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