Your Daily Phil: Sheryl Sandberg speaks at United Hatzalah gala in Miami + How to evaluate a charity

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was the keynote speaker at the United Hatzalah gala at the JW Marriott Turnberry in Aventura, Florida last night. The event honored Sandberg’s parents, Joel and Adele Sandberg, and Dr. Ari Ciment.

Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution is adding a new exhibit about Colonial-era Jews, a community estimated by historians of between 2,000-3,000 people.

“We want everyone in America to come here and see a piece of themselves in the Revolution,” Mark Turdo, the curator of collections at the museum, told the Jewish Exponent. “It really does belong to everyone.”

The exhibit focuses on Philadelphia merchants Barnard and Michael Gratz, siblings whose descendants would go on to found Gratz College.


Investing in a framework and infrastructure to meet our equity commitments

Repair the World

“As part of Repair the World’s commitment to racial justice and our organizational value of solidarity (achdoot), and in the spirit of annual cycles in Judaism that invite us to recommit and deepen our commitments year after year, Repair has drafted an equity commitment list for the 2021-2022 program year. Repair is in a period of transition and change, and is inspired to steward our organization from a moment to a movement with a continued commitment to racial justice alongside an intersectional equity framework to guide our work,” write Ryan Cohen and Cindy Greenberg, respectively the board’s governance chair and  president/CEO of Repair the World, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Strengthening each other: “As a Jewish service movement, organizations and leadership teams across the country continue to work to make clear and decisive actions toward equity. We lean on our value of strengthening each other, hitchazkut, by publishing our commitments with the intention to call others into this work and inspire Jewish organizations to call for systemic change and continue embedding anti-racism into organizational practices both internally and externally. We know we will make mistakes along the way – and that what we do is not perfect – but we are committed to continuing to learn and advance.”

Read the full piece here.


Every dollar counts: How to evaluate a nonprofit (The 10 questions to ask before making a donation)

eJP Archives

“Donating to charity is an act of faith in the possibility of a better world — that’s why every dollar counts. And with the holiday giving season here, you may be receiving more requests from nonprofits and starting to think about the causes you want to support. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the U.S. is home to more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations. With so many to choose from, how do you decide which ones to support?” writes Gillian Howell, head of client advisory solutions for Foundation Source, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

Your philanthropic personality: “Evaluating a nonprofit to ensure there’s alignment with your mission really depends on the type of funder you are — or want to be. Are you an innovator? An advocate? A change agent? A capacity builder? For example, let’s say you want to contribute to education. There are several ways to go about this, but you want to be sure the steps you take tie back to the defined role you want to play in fulfilling your philanthropic objectives. Do you want to advocate for education change on Capitol Hill? Or build schools in Africa? Those are two very different paths, so before you find the right nonprofit, it’s important to define your philanthropic personality.”

Do you agree with its approach? “How is the nonprofit fulfilling its mission? A group of nonprofits with similar missions, say ending childhood hunger, may approach the same problem from different angles and perspectives. Be sure you agree with the organization’s strategy and tactics for addressing the issues you care about. Do they make sense? Are they based on credible research? Are you comfortable with them? For example, if the nonprofit frequently lobbies state and national legislatures yet you dislike politics, it may not be the right fit for your donation.”

Read the full piece here.

Worthy Reads

Community Care: In a Chronicle of Philanthropy piece published by the Associated Press, Emily Haynes spotlights a giving circle run out of a prison in Pennsylvania coal country that gives incarcerated men an opportunity to contribute to the community. “The men in Lifeline were drawn to the camp’s mission to connect local kids with a range of extracurricular activities in hopes that they’ll discover a new passion to pursue during the school year. They understand that can help change a child’s trajectory and prevent kids from disconnecting from their community or even harming it. David Dawud Lee, a founding member of Lifeline who is serving a life sentence for being on the scene of the shooting death of another young man, knows about disconnection… ‘If we have an opportunity to send a child to camp, to experience something that I never experienced in my lifetime,’ Lee says, “I think that’s a wonderful thing.’” [AP]

Breaking the Mold: Forbes’s Anne Field profiles Diana Heldfond, who created a digital platform to assist children with learning and thinking differences. “Heldfond also remembers acutely what it felt like to be viewed as someone with differences. She points to the experience of being told she was different without having an understanding of what that really meant, as well as being suddenly pulled out of class for an evaluation. ‘It was pretty traumatizing,’ she says. Aside from anything else, the platform, she says, will eliminate the need for any of that.” [Forbes]

Community Comms

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Word on the Street

Israeli ministers voted this morning to add 10 more countries — including the United States — to the list of destinations designated “red” due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the first time the country has been placed on Israel’s no-fly list… 

Philanthropist and owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, has become a Portuguese citizen under Lisbon’s new regulations relating to descendants of Portuguese Jews. Among other philanthropic activities, he has been a benefactor of the Jewish community in Porto, which is said to consist of around 700 Jews from more than 30 countries…

A new study for the U.K.’s Law Family Commission on Civil Society found that the wealthiest people in Britain cut their typical donation to charity by more than a fifth in the years preceding the pandemic, despite enjoying a 10% increase in income over the same period… 

The Open Society Foundations named Laleh Ispahani co-director of Open Society-U.S. … 

Roni Raab has been appointed Southeast regional director for AMIT. Raab, a longtime Jewish day school educator, most recently served as executive director of the Jewish National Fund’s South Florida office…

Jay Spector, longtime CEO of Philadelphia’s JEVS Human Services, will retire in June and be succeeded by Cynthia Figueroa, deputy mayor of the city’s Office of Children and Families… 

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles received a $100 million commitment from the Shapell Guerin Family Foundation and its president, Vera Guerin. The largest lifetime gift in Cedars-Sinai’s 119-year history will establish Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s…

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is providing a $12.25 million grant in support of research into and treatment of stuttering…

Pic of the Day


Israel-based SmartAID is on the ground in Mayfield and Benton, Ky., following the deadly tornadoes that devastated the two small towns earlier this month. Volunteers are working in coordination with their local aid partners installing a coordination center for local responders who are providing medical treatment, access to food, clean water, shelter and communications to the affected communities. The center will include solar energy, smartphone connectivity and Wi-Fi.



Israeli singer Ofir Ben Shitrit

Founder of an online children’s bookstore, Yona Eckstein… Former chair of the executive committee of The Jewish Federations of North America, he also served three terms as president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Michael Gelman… Illusionist and magician, Uri Geller… Television producer and creator of “Law & Order,” “Chicago” and “FBI” franchises, Richard Anthony “Dick” Wolf… Playa Del Rey, Calif. resident, Carol Gene Berk… Owner of the Beverly Hilton Hotel and the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, Beny Alagem… President of the University of Miami since 2015 and former secretary of health of Mexico, Julio Frenk… Bob Lindenbaum… Educational advocate and strategist at the Melmed Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., Ricki Light… Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale, Tamar Szabó Gendler… Psychotherapist and author of the “Dear Therapist” column for The AtlanticLori Gottlieb… Israeli general and current commander of the Israeli Air Force, Amikam Norkin… Executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, Jeremy Burton… Swiss-born British philosopher and author, Alain de Botton… Former tight end for the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, now a senior sales rep for Medtronic, Scott Lawrence Slutzker… Israeli-American television and film writer, Ron Leshem… Actor, producer, screenwriter and comedian, known by his first and middle names, Jonah Hill Feldstein… Development executive at  UJA-Federation of New York, Adam Wolfthal… Denver-based managing director at the Israel on Campus Coalition, Megan Nathan… Humor and fashion writer best known as Man Repeller, Leandra Medine Cohen… 

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