Jewish Funders Network is a community that grows the size and impact of Jewish philanthropy. We connect funders together, empower individual excellence, and catalyze collective action. We work for a vibrant, meaningful, inclusive, interconnected, creative, and compassionate world.
  • Upcoming events

    CHANGE Philanthropy 2019 UNITY Summit: Building & Bridging Power
    Monday, November 18, 2019 at 09:00 AM through November 21, 2019

    Unity Summit 2019

    2019 Unity Summit: Building & Bridging Power will explore strategies for utilizing power to advance philanthropic equity.

    More information on the summit website >>

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    Art for Social Change in Israel: Exclusive Sotheby's Exhibit Preview & Salon
    Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 08:30 AM
    Address provided upon RSVP in New York, NY

    Join other funders for a breakfast salon and a tour of an Israeli art exhibit before it opens to the public!

    Rivka Saker, a longtime advocate of Israeli art and culture and founder of the Sotheby's Israel office, will join Israeli visual artist, Izhar Patkin for a conversation over breakfast on the role of art and culture in the changing political climate around the world.

    This will be an opportunity to discuss the Greenbook: Arts as a Driver for Social Change in Israel and to showcase diverse Israeli voices in art and film.

    The talk will be followed by an exclusive tour of a tour of the Israeli and International Art Auction at Sotheby’s, which will be opening an exhibit and auction to the public on November 21st.

    Rivka Saker  is a longtime advocate of Israeli art and culture. Rivka founded the Sotheby's Israel office in 1982. She has been involved in Judaica sales at Sotheby’s since 1985 and is responsible for establishing sales in Israel and promoting Judaica sales worldwide. Since 1994, she has served as Managing Director of Sotheby's Israel and Senior Director of Sotheby's Europe. In 2004, she founded and chairs Artis, an organization that supports contemporary artists from Israel internationally. 

    Rivka is the Chair of the Board of Artis. She also serves on the Board of Governors of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. She is the Co-Chair of the Israel Museum’s Here and Now Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee and serves on the Boards of the The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; and the Middle Eastern Circle of the Guggenheim Museum. Born in Tel Aviv, Saker has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Haifa in Economics and History of Art. She also earned a Master of Arts degree in Urban Planning from Technion in Haifa.

    Izhar Patkin is a visual artist known for working in narrative form. His work tells stories and deals with reinventing the structure and technique of visual narrative itself. The results are paintings and sculptures in diverse and innovative media, making imaginative use of materials and highly complex visual metaphors. Patkin’s work is included in many permanent collections, including those of The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York: and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; among others. A survey of his work, “The Wandering Veil,” opened in Tel Aviv Museum of Art and The Open Museum in Tefen in 2012 and traveled to Mass MoCA and to Florida. Patkin was born in Israel. He lives and works in New York City.


    Book Club—Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal & Social Change
    Tuesday, December 03, 2019 at 12:00 PM
    Online (Zoom)

    In the first meeting of the JFN Book Club, we'll discuss Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal & Social Change, and we'll be joined by the book's author, David Jaffe.

    Please note: while everyone is encouraged to read the entire book, the discussion will focus chiefly on two chapters: Chapter 4 ("The Power of Choice") and Chapter 7 ("Creative Discomfort").

    About the book:

    Winner, 2016 Jewish Book Council Award for Contemporary Jewish Life & Practice

    An inspiring and accessible guide, drawn from Jewish wisdom, for building the inner qualities necessary to work effectively for social justice.

    The world needs changing—and you’re just the person to do it!  It’s a matter of cultivating the inner resources you already have. If you are serious about working for social justice and change, this book will help you bring your most compassionate, wise, and courageous self to the job.

    Bringing positive social change to any system takes deep self-awareness, caring, determination, and long-term commitment. But polarization, the slow pace of change, and internal conflicts among activists and organizations often leads to burnout and discouragement among the very people needed to make a difference. Changing the World from the Inside Out distills centuries of Jewish wisdom about cultivating and refining the inner life into an accessible program for building the qualities necessary to accomplish sustainable change. Through explorations of deep motivation, inner-drive, and traits like trust and anger, this book engages the reader in a journey of self-development and transformation, demonstrating that sustainable activism is indeed a spiritual practice. Jaffe offers accessible and meaningful guidance for this journey—with exercises, contemplations, and discussion points that can be used individually or in a group.

    About the author:

    David Jaffe is a rabbi, a social worker, and an educational consultant to many major Jewish institutions in North America. He's a nationally recognized leader in the field of Mussar and applied Jewish ethics, and he is a frequent speaker at synagogues and Jewish conferences around the country. He's spent twenty-five years teaching and working in various areas of social justice outreach, including homelessness and interfaith community organizing.

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  • Blog

    Observations and Actions on Overhead: What I Learned from Grandpa Sidney

    As a teenager, my Grandpa Sidney Musher told me his goal as chairman of PEF, an early donor-advised fund (DAF), was to keep the overhead to 1.5%. He accomplished this by utilizing some of the business characteristics of a DAF, which earns income based on funds being held. For the last 25 years, I have worked with investors to maximize ROI on invested capital in private companies. With the benefit of this experience across sectors, including social services, I have come to appreciate the wide range of business models required of both for-profits and nonprofits to meet various societal needs, and how 1.5% is unrealistic for any nonprofit overhead, and probably tight for a DAF these days too.

    Complementing Lisa Eisen and Barry Finestone’s important eJP article about nonprofit overhead, based on the work of The Bridgespan Group and five leading U.S. foundations, I would like to contribute an additional perspective. In “Ending the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle,” the authors provide a range of excellent analyses that one could consider as an activity-based costing approach for nonprofits. The authors dive into the true costs of running a nonprofit compared to the expectations of funders.

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    Why Jews Should Defend Liberal Democracy

    Liberal democracy is in danger.

    From Hungary and Poland to Brazil and Venezuela, democracy is in retreat. Even in solid democracies like Israel and America, cracks are appearing in democratic norms.

    As liberal democracy is increasingly questioned, Jews face the temptation of falling into an old and dangerous Jewish habit: putting our trust in autocratic kings.

    We must not fall for it. Jews, more than anyone else, must stand up for liberal democracy.

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