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How Jewish Funders Are Mobilizing to Fight Climate Change

From Inside Philanthropy (April 6, 2022)

Jewish voters care deeply about climate change. In 2020, prior to the United States presidential elections, 80% of Jewish voters told pollsters that climate change was a major concern. In fact, climate change was Jewish voters’ No. 2 issue, just below the coronavirus pandemic. Since vaccines have become available, climate change has replaced COVID-19 as the issue that matters most to them.

That level of concern shows up in Jewish philanthropy, as well. There is a large and growing ecosystem of Jewish donors prioritizing climate change, motivated by a combination of care for their communities, concerns over inequality and suffering, and any number of other core Jewish values. And those involved see it as a critical cause that others should be taking up, one in which Jewish voices have a unique role to play.

This article mentions JFN's Green Funders Forum, quotes JFN Israel Executive Director Sigal Yaniv Feller, and quotes JFN members Marla Stein and Stephen Bronfman.

Read the full article by Simone Ellin in Inside Philanthropy. JFN members get a 25 percent discount on Inside Philanthropy subscriptions. Learn more and get your discount code here.




Amid Rise in Terror, Arab Israeli Minister Says Abraham Accords Can Spark Peace with Palestinians

From Jewish Insider (April 4, 2022)

“The Middle East is like a picture, with Israel and other countries, the Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and Jordanian in the frame, but the picture is not complete without the Palestinians,” said [Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Esawi] Frej, who was in West Palm Beach, Fla., last week to attend the Jewish Funders Network Conference.

Read the full article by Ruth Eglash in Jewish Insider.


Conference Draws More than 500

More than 500 people joined us from all over the world. We launched a special campaign for Jews of Ukraine, introduced a new guide to participatory grantmaking, and raised the discourse on a variety of timely topics, including antisemitism, global threats to democracy, the Abraham Accords, and the war in Ukraine. The packed schedule included workshops, plenaries, speakers, receptions, and dinners  — and many opportunities to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, and plan funding partnerships. In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing photos, videos, and other content from the conference.

If you attended, be sure to fill out the evaluation. If you live in Texas, any of the states to the west of it, or the Canadian West, there's still time to sign up for our next gathering: Be the Story. And save the date for next year's conference March 19-21, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.


How the Big Givers Are Looking at the Post-Pandemic Jewish World

From Jewish Telegraphic Agency (April 3, 2022)

In a good year, the annual conference of the Jewish Funders Network functions like a Jewish Aspen Institute: The Jewish fundraising elite, from private and family foundations that represent about $6 billion in annual philanthropy, gather to discuss the Next Big Ideas in Jewish life and who is going to pay for them.

And if this was hardly a good year, it was the first time in three years that the members were able to gather in person, from Sunday through Tuesday in Palm Beach, Florida. Some 540 people took part; according to JFN’s president and CEO Andrés Spokoiny, about 60% were funders themselves, and 40% professionals representing foundations and other Jewish philanthropies.

Read the full article by Andrew Silow-Carroll on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency


Takeaways From This Year’s Jewish Funders Network Conference

From eJewish Philanthropy (March 30, 2022)

Most attendees at the Jewish Funders Network International Conference, which wrapped up yesterday afternoon in Palm Beach, Fla., appeared to agree on one thing: It was nice to be back in person — to meet at the hotel bar, to have spontaneous brainstorming sessions with colleagues, to see people, as several attendees said, “in three dimensions” — not on Zoom.

Beyond that, attendees told eJewishPhilanthropy that a few trends emerged from the three-day gathering, the organization’s first in-person conference since 2019: Everyone is eager to keep aiding Ukrainian refugees. People also said they want to see more collaboration between foundations and grantees — though it’s unclear how many funders will take up JFN’s call for “participatory grant making,” which would let grantees in on funding decisions.

Read the full article by Ben Sales on eJewish Philanthropy.


Philanthropists Share Ideas, Concerns at Jewish Funders Network Conference

From the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle (March 29, 2022)

For the 500 attendees of the first in-person Jewish Funders Network conference since the pandemic, philanthropy is much more than just writing a check.

It’s collaborative, strategic and data-driven.

Read the full article by Toby Tabachnik in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle


On the Ground at the Jewish Funders Network Conference

From eJewish Philanthropy (March 29, 2022)

Yesterday was the only full day of the Jewish Funders Network conference, which kicked off Sunday afternoon and ends at lunchtime today. And while philanthropy was certainly discussed, it wouldn’t be accurate to describe the day as a niche gathering focused on the praxis and philosophy of allocating money to Jewish organizations.

Sessions throughout the day touched on subjects that wouldn’t have been out of place at any general-interest American Jewish conference. The morning plenary featuring journalists Anne Applebaum and Bret Stephens, moderated by Forward Editor-in-Chief Jodi Rudoren, was about threats to democracy — a conversation that focused mostly on Ukraine and domestic American politics. Only at the end did Rudoren draw the discussion back to what threats to democracy mean to donors.

Read the full article by Ben Sales on eJewish Philanthropy


Awardees at JFN Call for Jewish Funders to Broaden Their Reach

From eJewish Philanthropy (March 29, 2022)

The three people presented with awards at the Jewish Funders Network International Conference all encouraged Jewish philanthropists to expand their giving — and all three had slightly different suggestions for how to do so.

This article reports on highlights from the acceptance speeches delivered at the conference by Tova Katz (JJ Greenberg Memorial Award), Eitan Hersh (Ilia Salita Excellence in Research Award), and Nik Kafka (Charles Bronfman Prize).

Read the full article by Ben Sales on eJewish Philanthropy


Being Decisive in the Face of Uncertainty (2022 Presidential Address)

JFN President and CEO Andrés Spokoiny's presidential address at the JFN 2022 International Conference, delivered in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 27, 2022.

The challenge of our time – said Bertrand Russell – is how to be decisive in the face of uncertainty. Now, I’m by temperament at ease with ambivalence and uncertainty. I generally welcome it, even enjoy it, but having lived through the last couple of years, I feel like the guy having a glass of whiskey on the deck of the Titanic saying, “I know I asked for ice, but this is ridiculous!” But jokes aside, the last couple of years took a toll on my psychological wellbeing.

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Tova Katz of the One8 Foundation Wins 2022 JJ Greenberg Memorial Award

PALM BEACH, Fla., March 28 — Jewish Funders Network today awarded the 2022 JJ Greenberg Memorial Award to Tova Katz of The One8 Foundation at its international conference in Palm Beach, Fla.

Katz is the 19th recipient of the annual award, which honors foundation professionals age 40 and under who are engaged in grantmaking and have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in Jewish philanthropy.

Read more