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May 19, 2022

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JFN Israel Turns 13

More than 80 Israeli members attended a special in-person program Sunday in Tel Aviv marking JFN Israel's bar mitzvah (though given that the staff is all-female, bat mitzvah might be the more appropriate term) and saying farewell to Founding Executive Director Maya Natan, who is now CEO of Keshet-DAF, Israel's first-ever vehicle for donor-advised funds, and welcoming new Executive Director Sigal Yaniv Feller.

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Looking To Make Your Grantmaking More Inclusive? Try Participatory Grantmaking.

From eJewish Philanthropy (May 18, 2022)

One of the most famous lines from Pirkei Avot, the compilation of Talmudic wisdom that it’s customary to read at this time of year, is Bar Zoma’s question: “Who is wise? He who learns from all people.”

This teaching is at the heart of participatory grantmaking, an inclusive philanthropic approach that encourages funders to learn from – and in some cases share decision-making power with — the individuals and communities that the funding is designed to benefit.

Read op-ed by JFN Senior Program Director Tamar Frydman in eJP.

Download JFN's "Participatory Grantmaking in the Jewish Community and Beyond."

 

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JFN West Regional Conference Urges Participants to ‘Be the Story’

From eJewish Philanthropy (May 13, 2022)

On arrival at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel earlier this week, there was joyful reunion in the form of cautious hugs, elbow bumps and smiles from mostly maskless participants in the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) West conference, as some 50 philanthropists and fundraising professionals from the western United States gathered for nearly two days of discussion and writing.

“You’re here today because you want to learn, you want to be even more strategic and impactful in your giving, and you want to do it in community with other funders,” JFN West Director Tzivia Schwartz Getzug said in introductory remarks at the event.

Read full article by Esther Kustanowitz in eJewish Philanthropy

Learn more about Be the Story, JFN West's first-ever in-personal regional convening.

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May 12, 2022

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The Story of JFN West's First In-Person Regional Gathering

"Good Stories. New Friends. No Zoom."

That's how one participant summed up JFN West's Be the Story, as part of a final assignment to share a six-word story about the gathering this Monday and Tuesday in Los Angeles.

At Be the Story, JFN West's first-ever in-person regional convening, 50 JFN West members from throughout the JFN West region reconnected with peers, networked with colleagues, and learned new skills.

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May 5, 2022

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Zionism Is Our Positive Psychology

The concept of “learned helplessness,” coined by psychologist Martin Seligman, became the cornerstone of his groundbreaking “positive psychology” theory that now helps millions overcome depression and anxiety.

Seligman observed laboratory animals that were subjected to random, unavoidable mild electric shocks. Understanding that whatever they did, regardless of how hard they tried to escape, they were going to be shocked, these animals cowered in lethargy and apathy, simply waiting for the next blow, convinced that there was nothing they could do to avoid it.

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JFN West Members Do a Deep Dive on Storytelling

Imagine if, in place of the story of Joseph and his brothers, the Torah simply said, "Be nice to your family." Or if, instead of revisiting each year how Abraham almost murdered his son, we just reminded ourselves that God doesn't want us to sacrifice our children.

Whether it's on Netflix, in the library, or shared around the family table, a good story is almost always more compelling and memorable than a list of even the most important facts or instructions. Stories enable us to connect with others and build support for the causes we care about and help us develop a vision and plan for the future. 

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CANVAS Welcomes Inaugural COO

CANVAS, the Jewish arts and culture funding collaborative incubated at JFN, is delighted to welcome its first-ever Chief Operating Officer Sarah Burford, who begins her role this week.

Sarah is a D.C.-based arts professional with a passion for creating an equitable future for the arts. After seven years at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she served artists and cultural organizations nationwide as a Program Specialist in Media Arts, she joins CANVAS with a vision to help us better serve our grantees and elevate the entire Jewish arts and culture community.

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