'Memento Mori': The Unpleasant Reminder That Makes Us Better People (Yom Kippur 5781)

Rome’s highest honor for its military leaders was the triumph. It was an extravagant and lavish affair in which the triumphator, wearing a crown of laurel and a gold-embroidered purple tunic, and riding a gold-plated four-horse carriage, was paraded through the streets of the city at the head of his army, showing off the captives and the spoils that they brought from the campaign.  

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Nourishing Ourselves for the Year Ahead

Entering the High Holidays isn’t easy right now, more than six months into the upheaval and loss Covid has brought and with our world literally on fire. But having just spent the past few hours with the JFN community, grappling with some of the biggest ideas of our time, I feel a bit more nourished, a bit more ready.

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The Rosh Hashanah-Quantum Connection (Rosh Hashanah 5781)

According to physicist Carlo Rovelli, the most radical discovery of quantum mechanics is this: Things don’t have concrete existence, but instead acquire proper entity only when they interact with other things. Like most concepts in quantum, this is mind-bending. At the most basic level, quantum says, our world is not made of “things” but of relationships.

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Seven Questions We Need to Ask in 5781

“Since the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem”, says the Talmud, “prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children.” In other words, there’s no way of knowing what the future holds. But if I can’t prophesize, I can at least, ask questions. And the questions are more important than the answers, for they can spark important communal conversations.

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Jay and Shira Ruderman: Combining Philanthropy and Advocacy

Episode 14 of "What Gives?" the Jewish philanthropy podcast from Jewish Funders Network.

Guests: Jay and Shira Ruderman, of the Ruderman Family Foundation

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Billionaires: It's Time to Give Until It Hurts

Recently, the Washington Post reviewed the charitable donations of the 50 wealthiest Americans during COVID. What they found was concerning: On average, America’s wealthiest families gave just 0.1% of their net worth. That’s equivalent to the median American family giving $97.30. Hardly a sacrifice.

Read the rest of Andrés' op-ed in the Forward.

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JFN International Conference Update

Since March, when we made the difficult decision to cancel our annual conference, we’ve been responding to the ever-changing realities, particularly giving funders the tools to respond effectively to the growing needs. We’ve also focused on preparing ourselves, and the larger Jewish community, for a variety of scenarios.

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James Loeffler: The Surprising Link Between Human Rights and Nationalism

Episode 13 of What Gives? The Jewish Philanthropy podcast from Jewish Funders Network.

Guest: Professor James Loeffler, Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Virginia and author of "Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the 20th Century." He is also the organizer of "How the Law Treats Hate: Antisemitism and Anti-Discrimination Reconsidered," an online conference on September 10 from 12:15-5:30 p.m. ET.

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Fill Out Our Survey on Jewish Giving During Covid

Please help us map the Jewish community funder response to Covid-19.

Through this research, we are seeking to understand both what is being funded and how it is being funded, including what changes funders are making as a result of the pandemic. Fill out the survey here.

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Jay Sanderson: Producing a Post-Pandemic Jewish Future

Episode 12 of What Gives? The Jewish Philanthropy podcast from Jewish Funders Network.

Guest: Jay Sanderson, President and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Jay Sanderson talks about what he's learned so far from the Covid pandemic, what he's cooking, the time he met David Ben-Gurion — and much more!

 

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