Beyond Welcoming: Engaging Intermarried Couples in Jewish Life

This study explores the lives of 1,128 contemporary young couples, in which at least one member of each couple is Jewish, to understand the role of religion and Jewish identity in their lives and the factors associated with their engagement with Jewish life. Beyond Welcoming is the first large-scale study of the marriages and committed relationships of Gen X and Millennial Jews, and the first to systematically collect data from non-Jewish partners about their backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. The fundamental question guiding this study is, “What programs and policy initiatives would best serve the Jewish community in an era where intermarriage is pervasive and young adults in the United States are distancing themselves from religion and religious institutions?”

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Ami Aronson: My Grandfather's Legacy, My Generation's Mindset

Ami Aronson, Executive Director of the Bernstein Family Foundation, explains the legacy of philanthropy she inherited from her grandfather, and how his passions combine with her next-generation perspectives and priorities to move into the future.

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We Need to Talk: A Review of Public Discourse and Survivor Experiences of Safety, Respect, and Equity in Jewish Workplaces and Communal Spaces

Research report by Dr. Guila Benchimol and Marie Huber

As the #MeToo movement has grown, it has laid bare an inescapable truth: the Jewish community is subject to the same kinds of issues, inequities, and power dynamics that exist in other communities. To deeply understand this truth and the current state of safety, respect, and equity within the Jewish community, the Safety Respect Equity Coalition has conducted extensive research into survivor experiences and public discourse on these issues within the Jewish community. 

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Condensing Our Victimhood (Tisha Be’Av 5779)

One feels as if there has been a conscious attempt to minimize the days of mourning and sadness in the calendar, packing as much grief into Tisha Be’Av as possible.

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Alisa Doctoroff: Learning to see myself as a philanthropist

Alisa Doctoroff, past board president of UJA-Federation of New York, says philanthropy wasn't something she inherited, but it will be part of her legacy.

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Suzanne Dryan Felson: Millennials are desperately looking for meaning

"Older generations often think of Millennials as flighty and flaky. They are not. Millennials often think of Judaism as foreign, archaic, and not meaningful. It is not."

Suzanne Dryan Felson shares her story of delving deeply into the world of Millennial Jews, and explains why Millennials are ready to pick up the torch of Jewish knowledge and tradition, if it is delivered to them differently.

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What We Saw at the US-Mexico Border

By Lisa Friedman, Sharyn Goodson, and Tzivia Schwartz Getzug

On June 2–4, Jewish Funders Network and HIAS brought a delegation of funders and foundation professionals to bear witness to the situation, deepen our knowledge, sharpen our analysis of the issues, and strategize Jewish communal responses. Below, JFN members Lisa Friedman (Founding Director, Lisa and Maury Friedman Foundation) and Sharyn Goodson (Vice President, Philanthropy & Organizational Development, Leichtag Foundation), along with JFN West Coast Director Tzivia Schwartz Getzug, share what they saw.

Many American Jews, awakened to the current refugee crisis and moved to do more, are becoming part of the Jewish response to refugees. HIAS has a Take Action for Asylum Seekers page which gives people different ways to advocate, donate, volunteer, and learn more.

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Now is the Time to Do More to Fight Jewish Poverty

By Jewish Funders Network and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

The number of people living in low-income Jewish households in New York has doubled over the past two decades. And many more Jewish families around the country say they are struggling to make ends meet.

The challenges posed by Jewish poverty are substantial (click here to access an overview of what we know about Jewish poverty in the United States). The question that we have been asking at the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation: what can we do about it?

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In Defense of The Why: Judaism Needs a Mission

Cross-posted to eJewish Philanthropy.

One of the things that make my job at JFN so rich and interesting is the debates, even arguments, that we have within our staff. I love those, because they challenge me, they make me learn, and, above all, I know these arguments are “for the sake of Heaven”—meant not to make a point, but to make a difference.

In that vein, my colleague Seth Chalmer shared with me an article he wrote and asked for my opinion. We both thought that the debate was rich and decided to share it with you. Of course, you are also invited to chime in! 

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Just Jew It: Against Giving Reasons for Living a Jewish Life

Cross-posted to eJewish Philanthropy.

It’s not uncommon, in Jewish communal circles, to hear it claimed that the central question for our profession today is, “Why be Jewish?”

In an age of free choice and self-constructed identities, this argument goes, the Jewish community can no longer count on individuals to affiliate themselves and participate, so individuals must be given compelling reasons for Jewish engagement.

I want to suggest that this is wrong. Giving any answer to the question “Why be Jewish?” is a bad tactic in service of a worse idea.

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