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September 22, 2022

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When Believing Is 'Seeing' (Rosh Hashanah 5783)

The Anton-Babinsky Syndrome has puzzled doctors since antiquity. It’s a rare condition in which the patient has lost vision but is convinced, often quite adamantly and despite clear evidence of their blindness, that they are capable of seeing.

Although neurologists Gabriel Anton and Jean Francois Babinsky wrote about the illness (scientifically called “anosognosia”) in the early 20th century, they were not the first ones to notice it. Seneca, for example, tells the story of an enslaved woman who had become blind but argued that she could see, often describing rooms in great imaginary detail. French Renaissance philosopher Montaigne writes about a similar situation involving a nobleman.

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Nominations Open for 2023 Salita ERA and JJ Greenberg Prizes

I'm delighted to announce that nominations are now open for two important awards given by JFN:

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September 15, 2022

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JFN Joins Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition

Jewish Funders Network is proud to announce that we are a founding member of the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition (JCLC). 

Major Jewish organizations are coming together to launch this coalition that recognizes the existential threat and moral urgency of climate change and are committed to taking action.

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Coalition of Major Jewish Groups Convene in New International Initiative to Fight Climate Change

From eJewish Philanthropy (September 15, 2022)

The Jewish Funders Network has worked to make its conferences paperless in order to reduce waste, and will give future attendees the option to buy carbon offsets for their travel.

But its main climate work, said Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu, the group’s executive vice president, is engaging funders around supporting green initiatives. JFN has a Green Funders Forum and will be encouraging its members to join the coalition. Sirbu said younger funders are especially engaged around the issue. “As an organization we are committed to putting environmental, climate-related content front and center in our programming,” she said.

Read the full article by Ben Sales in eJewish Philanthropy.

Learn more about JFN's role in the coalition and watch a video about the coalition here.

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September 8, 2022

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JFN Israel Volunteer Day

More than 50 participants from 15 different families came together last week for a lively JFN Israel members' family volunteer day at the Israeli Center for Guide Dogs.

Throughout the day participants (ranging in age from 4 months to over 70) learned about the Center's work training dogs to help individuals who are visually impaired, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or experiencing other special needs. They also did a simulation exercise to experience what it feels like to be visually impaired and made special chew toys for the puppies.

The gathering was just one of many in-person events through JFN Israel's Center for Family Philanthropy, which also offers a variety of lectures, discussions, affinity groups, and networking opportunities, including a special series for families that are newly wealthy and an upcoming Young Funders Forum program for the High Holidays.

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September 1, 2022

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August 25, 2022

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