May 12, 2022Share
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.Read more
May 5, 2022Share
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
It’s Time to Bring Back In-Person Gatherings: Here’s How
From eJewish Philanthropy (May 2, 2022)
“It is so great to be together in person again!”
Last month, at the Jewish Funders Network conference in Palm Beach, Fla., I heard variations of this statement over and over again. After two years of COVID, more than 500 members of our philanthropic community were finally able to meet up in person for a mix of structured programming and informal networking. It was magical!
As one of the first major Jewish organizations to hold a large in-person conference since COVID upended our lives two years ago, we have learned a lot about how to return safely to in-person gatherings at a time when the pandemic has abated, but not disappeared — a situation that may continue for a long time. In-person gatherings require more planning now than they did in pre-COVID times, but at JFN, we strongly believe that it is worth the extra effort. While we will continue to supplement our in-person gatherings with online ones, we are an organization focused on building networks and relationships, which need human, in-person connections in order to grow and thrive. Because this is a new world that presents new challenges, we thought that sharing our experience may be of help for the broader community as more of us seek to regain the magic of “in person.”
Here are 10 lessons learned...
Read the full article by JFN Executive Vice President Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu in eJewish Philanthropy
How Israeli Philanthropy Is Changing in the COVID Era
From eJewish Philanthropy (April 28, 2022)
“There’s a steady rise, slow but stable, in the amount of money donated and the number of donors giving in Israel,” Sigal Yaniv Feller, executive director of the Jewish Funders Network in Israel, told eJP. “More people understand that it’s important to give, and have the ability to give.”
Historically, Israel was a developing nation whose populace had a strong tradition of volunteerism and national service, rather than a culture of financial giving. Israel’s mandatory draft, which conscripts most 18-year-olds for two to three years, continues to reinforce an Israel ethos of giving time and physical energy. As of 2020, Israelis on average donated 1% of their disposable income, as opposed to Americans, who donated 2% on average.
But there are signs that as Israel has become more affluent, and particularly as its tech sector has brought wealth to the country, Israelis are beginning to open their wallets. According to a study commissioned by the government and Tel Aviv University, Israeli philanthropy grew 43% between 2009 and 2015 in total shekels given, and native Israeli philanthropy accounted for more than a third of donations in the country.
Read full article by Linda Gradstein and Ben Sales in eJewish Philanthropy
Felicia Herman: From Jewish History to Jewish Philanthropy
Episode 28 of What Gives? the Jewish philanthropy podcast from Jewish Funders Network.
In Episode 28 of "What Gives?", the Jewish philanthropy podcast, Maimonides Fund COO and Sapir Managing Editor Felicia Herman talks about "geeking out" in Jewish historical archives, the value of Jewish giving circles, the impact of the pandemic on Jewish giving and more.
Resources from the JFN 2022 Conference
More than 500 people joined us from all over the world for the JFN 2022 International Conference in Palm Beach, Fla. 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. The packed schedule included workshops, plenaries, speakers, receptions, and dinners on a wide range of issues — and many opportunities to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, and plan funding partnerships. In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing videos and other content (including PowerPoints from specific workshops) from the conference.
Below are photos, videos, and a variety of resources from the conference, including some resources shared by conference sponsors. Make sure to save the date for the JFN 2022 International Conference, March 19-21, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. To receive updates on the conference and other events, sign up for JFN emails.Read more