Launching a New Tradition for JFN West

With the West Coast doubly battered from both Covid and wildfires this year, the role of philanthropists there is more critical than ever -- so it was energizing and inspiring this week to bring together more than 110 funders for our first-ever JFN West regional conference, called “When The Smoke Clears."

In addition to featuring insights from leading voices in both general and Jewish philanthropy – including Dr. Una Osili (Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy and Associate Dean for Research and International Programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy) and Rachel Levin (President of Fundamental Inc and Executive Director of Righteous Persons Foundation, and co-founder of Reboot) – our sessions and breakout groups gave us a chance to discuss strategies for responding to ongoing crises, including the pandemic, while also prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We also got a chance to try out a new interactive conference platform that enabled us to get to know each other in small-group video chats around a virtual campfire. We’ll be fine-tuning this technology and figuring out new and creative ways to use it at future events, including at our International Conference this March.

Watch conference videos below. And thank you so much to all the speakers, participants, and sponsors who made this event so successful! We’re looking forward to creating more opportunities in the coming year to continue the important conversations we started this week.

The above playlist includes the opening plenary; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Jewish Philanthropy in the West; Strategies for Supporting Jewish Organizations in the New Normal; Panic, Pivot & Transformation: What the Golden Calf Can Teach Us in the Pandemic.