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

    Book Club—Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures
    Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 12:00 PM
    Online (Zoom)

    In the second meeting of the JFN Book Club, we'll discuss Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures, and we'll be joined by the book's author, Adina Hoffman.

    About the book:

    From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, a vibrant portrait of one of the most accomplished and prolific American screenwriters, by an award-winning biographer and essayist

    He was, according to Pauline Kael, “the greatest American screenwriter.” Jean-Luc Godard called him “a genius” who “invented 80 percent of what is used in Hollywood movies today.” Besides tossing off dozens of now-classic scripts—including Scarface,Twentieth Century, and Notorious—Ben Hecht was known in his day as ace reporter, celebrated playwright, taboo-busting novelist, and the most quick-witted of provocateurs. During World War II, he also emerged as an outspoken crusader for the imperiled Jews of Europe, and later he became a fierce propagandist for pre-1948 Palestine’s Jewish terrorist underground. Whatever the outrage he stirred, this self-declared “child of the century” came to embody much that defined America—especially Jewish America—in his time.
    Hecht's fame has dimmed with the decades, but Adina Hoffman’s vivid portrait brings this charismatic and contradictory figure back to life on the page. Hecht was a renaissance man of dazzling sorts, and Hoffman—critically acclaimed biographer, former film critic, and eloquent commentator on Middle Eastern culture and politics—is uniquely suited to capture him in all his modes.

    About the author:

    Adina Hoffman is an award-winning essayist and biographer. The author of four previous books, including Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City and My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century, she lives in Jerusalem and New Haven.

    JFN 2020 International Conference
    Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 12:00 PM through March 24, 2020

    JFN 2020

    The Jewish Funders Network 2020 International Conference will convene March 22–24, 2020 in Palm Beach, Florida.

    JFN’s annual conference is the premier event in Jewish philanthropy.

    Hundreds of funders and foundation professionals come together to leverage the power of networks and immerse themselves in a vibrant dialogue about the pressing issues. Every conference is a place to connect, reunite, and bond with other Jewish funders, and a time for active learning. Panel discussions and programs feature leading experts in philanthropy illuminating tools and techniques that can make your giving more impactful and meaningful.

    Go to the conference website >>

    Past conference information >>

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    Investment Institute 2020
    Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 04:00 PM through March 26, 2020
    Palm Beach, Florida

    Investment Institute 2020

    JFNA & JFN

    Immediately following JFN 2020 (and in the same venue), join influential stakeholders from Federations and private foundations—representing collectively over $80 billion in Jewish communal philanthropic assets—for informative presentations by top industry professionals, informal peer-to-peer learning, and networking. Enhance your ability to make prudent investment decisions and position your Jewish Federation, community or private foundation as the preeminent steward of endowed funds.

    Info & registration >>

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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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