Did Judaism Wreck the Planet? (Tu Bishvat 5779)

Antisemites think Jews cause everything bad. We’re to blame for capitalism and communism, ethnocentric nationalism and rootless globalism, and more. But I’m disappointed at their lack of creativity, because there’s one thing they haven’t yet accused us of: causing climate change and environmental catastrophe.

And the fact is, they’d have a kernel of a point if they did.

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Mapping LGBTQ Organizations in Israel

By JDC Israel and The Agudah: The Israeli National LGBT Task Force

This first-of-its-kind mapping report was created to give funders the opportunity to structure collaborations that support the LGBTQ field in Israel.

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2018 Year in Review

Dear friends,

Einstein famously — and disconcertingly — said that time is an illusion. But whether or not time may be illusory in terms of theoretical physics, this past Gregorian year of 2018 has been an eventful chunk of time. This just-completed year — for good and for ill — seemed to contain far more than a year's happenings, and yet to pass by in a blink.

For JFN and for our network the year was far from illusory; it was a chance for JFN and our members to make real accomplishments. Some activities were dictated by our own strategic directions, some programs by the evolving needs of our growing membership (1,840+ members at present, from a dozen countries), and some by the rocky realities of the world. Here are some highlights of our year:

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Video: Who Tells Your Story? Archiving Jewish Philanthropy

Jewish foundations and philanthropists have taken on a critical role in Jewish life around the world, developing visions for the future and bringing those visions to life through their giving. We need to preserve the story of this work in funders' own voices — through their own records — so that future generations of Jewish communal leaders and historians will truly understand funders' visions, values, and activities. This task has taken on new urgency in a digital age as keeping and donating your “papers” is no longer such a straightforward task.

Speakers:

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Engaging Generation Impact: Best Practices for Families

The co-authors of Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Philanthropy, Michael Moody and Sharna Goldseker, have developed a practical guide for family philanthropy’s next gen givers: the members of “Generation Impact.”

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Encouraging Giving to Women's & Girls’ Causes: The Role of Social Norms

Encouraging Giving to Women’s & Girls’ Causes: The Role of Social Norms explores how perceptions of others’ behavior influences donors’ giving to women and girls causes—and whether that differs depending on the donor’s gender.

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This You Call a Miracle?

Question: What did the first three-headed clown juggling live baby goats say to the second three-headed clown juggling live baby goats?

Answer: I don’t know, but if I told you, you’d remember.

We tend to remember unusual and surprising things. That’s how our brain is wired; it’s an evolutionary mechanism that helps us notice new threats and opportunities in our surroundings. From ancient times to the present, memory masters have used this principle. In his book Moonwalking with Einstein, Joshua Foer explains how competitive memory champions use strange and unusual images to memorize the order of an entire deck of card in just seconds. The 7 of diamonds alone is just a card, but a 7 of diamonds being held by Einstein as he bounces around in lunar weightlessness is something unforgettable.

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Securing Jewish Communities

A webinar with leaders from the Secure Community Network (SCN), an initiative of JFN member organization Jewish Federations of North America, for a briefing on the state of security in North American Jewish communities.

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Jewish EdTech Central

JFN is proud to launch Jewish EdTech Central, a new Jewish education technology resource for funders who are passionate about advancing Jewish education, and who realize the incredible opportunities afforded by education tech.

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Tikkun Olam One Apartment at a Time: A New Funding Model for Affordable Housing

Cross-posted at eJewish Philanthropy

Public-private partnerships that mix impact investing and grants offer a new model for creating “naturally occurring affordable housing”. A philanthropist and impact real-estate investor explains how.

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