Your Daily Phil: Security culture upgrade needed in Jewish spaces + Moishe House’s end-of-year campaign

Good Thursday morning!

Moishe House concluded its “WE ARE Moishe House” fundraising campaign, announcing that the organization met 118% of its goal by engaging 2,300 unique donors (primarily young adults) to raise nearly $142,000.

The campaign was led by the young adults connected to the worldwide community of residential houses, and funds raised will support Moishe House programs, many of which are built as leadership development initiatives.

The campaign, according to Moishe House, was established “to instill a culture of philanthropy in young adults and emphasize the importance of supporting one’s own causes and community.” The average overall gift was $54 and 65% of gifts were from new donors. Donations came in from 34 countries.


An open letter to American Jewry: We need to be better caretakers for our own security

CST U.K. / eJP Archives

“I write to you as we commemorate the two-year anniversaries this month of some of the most searing incidents inflicted on the American Jewish community in recent years: the attack on a kosher market in Jersey City, N.J., and the stabbing rampage at a rabbi’s private home in Monsey, N.Y. I was on the ground in the immediate aftermath of both nightmares and saw firsthand the consequence of vehement anti-Jewish hatred in America,” writes Evan Bernstein, national director and CEO of The Community Security Service, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Antisemitic threats: “We are in the midst of what seems to be an intractable reality surrounding our safety and security. Despite the disturbing volume of incidents year after year, our community largely enjoys an uninterrupted livelihood that has afforded us an incredible opportunity to practice and celebrate our faith and honor our delivering a stark message: You need to take the risk of antisemitic threats more seriously.”

We need a culture shift: “Regardless of your standing in the community, whether you serve as an usher during Rosh Hashanah in a Reform synagogue in the suburbs, or as the executive director of a city-based Orthodox shul, we implore you to heed our call to help foster a much-needed culture shift around security awareness and preparation. Security is everyone’s responsibility.”

Read the full piece here.


New Year’s Eve all over again

Mira Kireeva on Unsplash

“A few years ago, I had a weird experience. On Dec. 31, I was on a boat with family and friends watching the incredible fireworks display herald in the new year on Sydney Harbor. It was poor planning (and cheaper flights) that had us flying back to the United States early morning on Jan. 1, with a one-night layover in Tahiti. As international date lines would have it, we found ourselves that evening, once again on Dec. 31, ushering in the new year under the palm trees of a French Polynesian beach,” writes David Bryfman, CEO of The Jewish Education Project, in an opinion piece foreJewishPhilanthropy.

An illusion of standing still: “Just like celebrating two New Year’s Eves in one year felt surreal, there is something eerily familiar about ushering in 2022 – as if it were 2021 all over again. The pandemic can give the illusion of a world that largely stood still over the course of the past 21 months. Other than COVID, history might largely forget 2021. But for us living in this moment, our lives have been anything but forgettable. Our lives these days often are guided, even defined, by questions. Along with the obvious ones (‘Are you boosted?’ ‘Outdoors or indoors?’) are other, more enduring questions that people around the globe will again ask as we enter 2022. What remained constant over the last 12 months? What has changed? What is in need of necessary renewal?”

We must strive to do better: “For Jewish education, despite the incredible, awe-inspiring heroics of educators who work tirelessly, another pandemic year has also been a moment to pause, reflect and reset… Or has it?…Many industries have modified their practices over the last 20 months and, because of this, the world will (and should) look different in a post-pandemic world. Yet I suspect that, by and large, Jewish education will return to the way things were as soon as possible. And while I respect the adage, ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it,’ I believe that education, including Jewish education, must always strive to be better.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Foodie Nation: Jewish Insider‘s Ruth Marks Eglash spotlights efforts by Israeli scientists to revolutionize the country’s food scene. “Aimed at addressing the wider global climate crisis and reducing humanity’s carbon footprint, the once-fledgling fields of food science technology (foodtech) and agricultural technology (agritech) are booming in Israel and, experts say, set to grow exponentially in the coming years as the Jewish state tries to position itself as a leader in the space where food and technology meet.” [JI]

Health Check for Jewish Ed: The London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS) and the United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) have convened a group of 75 educational leaders from a range of organizations, schools and youth movements to begin to tackle the challenges that the post-COVID era poses to Jewish education, writes Joanne Greenaway, LSJS’s chief executive, in the Jewish Chronicle. “Covid gave rise to or exacerbated some of these challenges. Others have arisen in recent years across society but require a Jewish response. Have we, for example, found adequate tools to help young people engage proudly and meaningfully with Israel with today’s political backdrop, so vastly different from that of a generation ago? Is Jewish education holistic and relevant enough to speak to young people about their use of social media, the prevalence of mental ill health and contemporary sexual ethics and abuse.” [JC]

Community Comms

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Word on the Street

new report from the U.K.-based Community Security Trust and researchers at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King’s College found a number of the groups studied have “actively and explicitly incited violence against the Jewish community, claiming to aim to bring about a ‘clean world,’ and ‘rid of the plagues of the Jew’’… In a policy reversal, The Jewish Agency has effectively withdrawn its recognition of the Jewish community of Uganda over the issue of conversions… In the latest Jewish Funders Network “What Gives?” philanthropy podcast, Fay Twersky, the president and director of the Atlanta-based Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, discusses the critical role philanthropy played in the LGBTQ rights movement, participatory grantmaking and strengthening grantmaker-grantseeker relationships… Israeli tech M&As and IPOs reached a record $82.4 billion in 2021, a 520% increase from 2020… Aviva Miller has been appointed U.S. director of the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation… Self-described philanthropy wonk Lucy Bernholz shares her annual end-of-year list of philanthropy buzzwords… Mercy Ships, the largest non-governmental hospital ships in the world, received a $50 million legacy gift from Harry and Linda Fath… Norma Kipnis Wilson, co-founder of the Lions of Judah, the women’s philanthropy arm of The Jewish Federations of North America, died at age 93…

Pic of the Day

United Synagogue

U.K. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis with five graduates of the first cohort of an 18-month women’s education program jointly organized by the United Synagogue, Mizrachi UK and Bnei Akiva UK.


Public domain

CBS News journalist since 1972, she has reported for CBS’s “60 Minutes”since 1991, Lesley Stahl… 

Israeli-American pianist and distinguished professor of music at Indiana University, Menahem Pressler… Numismatist specializing in ancient Jewish and Biblical coins and their archeology, David Bruce Hendin… British chemist and research professor at the University of Nottingham, Sir Martyn Poliakoff … Attorney, professor and author, she was the first woman to serve as president of the Harvard Law ReviewSusan Estrich… Partner in the Denver law firm of Springer & Steinberg, Craig Silverman… Novelist, journalist and lecturer, Allen Kurzweil… President and co-founder of The New Agenda, an organization helping women and girls succeed, Amy Siskind… First OMB director in the Obama administration (2009-2010), former CBO director, now CEO of financial advisory at Lazard, Peter R. Orszag… Astrophysicist and professor at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute, he was a winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, Adam Guy Riess… Deputy national director of AIPAC’s synagogue initiative, Rabbi Eric Stark… SVP at CRC Public Relations, Adam Bromberg… Director of operations at BlockFi, Melissa Wisner… Chief of staff for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Matthew Bennett Klapper… Middle East analyst at Christians United For Israel, Kasim Hafeez… Founder of Punchbowl NewsJake Sherman… Actress best known for her role on “Gossip Girl,” Amanda Setton… U.S. Senate correspondent at the National JournalZachary C. Cohen… Consultant at the Ignyte Group, Drew Liquerman

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