Scott Berrie: To make change, look farther upstream (Funder Stories)

#2 in a series of Funder Stories videos produced in partnership with ELI Talks. JFN members recorded these personal stories about what giving means in their lives at the JFN 2019 International Conference.

Scott Berrie shares the moving story of his father's legacy, his father's death, and how his family has shifted their philanthropy in order to move from treating symptoms to addressing the entire ecosystem.

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Shula Mozes: Giving is easy; talking about giving is hard. (Funder Stories)

Welcome to the first in a series of Funder Stories videos produced in partnership with ELI Talks. JFN members recorded these personal stories about what giving means in their lives at the JFN 2019 International Conference.

Shula Mozes explains why giving is easy, why talking about giving is more uncomfortable, and why we have to talk about it anyway.

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A Person on Two Missions? Funders as Board Members of Grantee Organizations

By Alicia S. Oberman and Andrés Spokoiny.

Cross-posted with eJewish Philanthropy.

Many people in the Jewish community play two roles at once for the same organization: funder and board member.

What could possibly be problematic, or even noteworthy, about that? The funder and the organization both ostensibly share the desire to do the same kind of good in the world, and they’re joining forces. The dual role allows the funder to provide the organization not only money but also skills, time, effort, and wisdom, helping the organization to do the work.

But what happens when the funder’s interests and the organization’s interests don’t completely align?

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Power, Influence, and the Limits of Maps: A Response to Yehuda Kurtzer

Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy.

In his article, “‘The Establishment’ Has No Clothes: The New Jewish ‘Influence Economy,’” the always brilliant and thoughtful Yehuda Kurtzer raises intriguing points and does the Jewish communal world a great service by calling attention to the fact that the way we too commonly discuss our communal structures is woefully out of date.

I’d like to add a few angles to this conversation about the “economy of power,” without which our understanding of that new reality will be incomplete.

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Arts & Culture for Driving Social Change

Arts and culture are the natural habitat of the human heart and mind. Culture frames, reflects, exposes, enhances, and changes everything about the lives and actions of people and societies, and the arts play a vital role in how cultures evolve.

For funders who want to drive social change, therefore, arts and culture are a powerful and under-appreciated vector.

This video features three leaders engaging deeply with arts and culture to make change for a webinar in which we'll discuss their work in particular and principles of social change through culture in general.

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New Opportunity for Foundation Board Members

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Death of the Middleman: How Jewish Philanthropy is Changing

In a keynote address to the 2019 LIFE & LEGACY/Create a Jewish Legacy Leadership Gathering sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and The Jewish Federations of North America, JFN President & CEO Andrés Spokoiny discusses the "disintermediation of the world": the removal of "middleman" functions in all aspects of life—including philanthropy, where centralized communal giving has been challenged by the rapid growth of independent philanthropy. This trend brings both problems and opportunities.

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Letter from the Ruins of Moshav Mevo Modi'im

Last month, fire completely destroyed the village of Moshav Mevo Modi'im. JFN member Brachie Sprung (Director of the International Office of Jerusalem Partnerships, an initiative spearheaded by the Jerusalem Mayor’s office and the Leichtag Foundation) is a former resident of the village, and after the fire she immediately flew to Israel to participate in relief efforts. Below is a letter she recently shared with her networks, as well as pictures she included.

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Israeli Politics Briefing: The Future of the Rule of Law

When JFN originally scheduled this webinar with Yohanan Plesner, president of the non-partisan Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), it was to discuss news reports about a proposal to effectively remove the Israeli Supreme Court's power to hold the Knesset and ministries accountable to Israeli Basic Law, virtually eliminating the important democratic principle of checks and balances from Israel’s political system. But mere hours before the webinar convened, PM Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition, the Knesset dissolved, and new elections were scheduled for September.

In this video, Plesner provides a comprehensive overview of the Israeli political scene — how we got to this unprecedented situation, what to watch over the coming months, what could change, what probably won't change, and what it all means for the future of the original topic of this webinar: safeguarding the principles of checks and balances, democratic accountability, and the rule of law in Israel.

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How Not to Become a Beer (Shavuot 5779)

A lost tribe, a brand of beer, the history and future of Jewish resilience, and how Shavuot explains it all.

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