The President's Desk: Andrés Spokoiny

Andrés Spokoiny is President & CEO of Jewish Funders Network. Full bio >>

The Rosh Hashanah-Quantum Connection (Rosh Hashanah 5781)

According to physicist Carlo Rovelli, the most radical discovery of quantum mechanics is this: Things don’t have concrete existence, but instead acquire proper entity only when they interact with other things. Like most concepts in quantum, this is mind-bending. At the most basic level, quantum says, our world is not made of “things” but of relationships.

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Seven Questions We Need to Ask in 5781

“Since the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem”, says the Talmud, “prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children.” In other words, there’s no way of knowing what the future holds. But if I can’t prophesize, I can at least, ask questions. And the questions are more important than the answers, for they can spark important communal conversations.

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Billionaires: It's Time to Give Until It Hurts

Recently, the Washington Post reviewed the charitable donations of the 50 wealthiest Americans during COVID. What they found was concerning: On average, America’s wealthiest families gave just 0.1% of their net worth. That’s equivalent to the median American family giving $97.30. Hardly a sacrifice.

Read the rest of Andrés' op-ed in the Forward.

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To Confront Cancel Culture on Left and Right, Take a Page from the Talmud (Tisha Be'av 5780)

The Talmud, the Jewish people’s greatest work of collective genius, is the direct consequence of the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple that we commemorate on Tisha Be’av.

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Are We Ready for the Spiritual Transformation this Plague Will Unleash?

There’s one critical question many are failing to ask as they scramble to rescue our institutions and shore them up financially: whether the Jewish world is ready for the spiritual transformation this plague is going to unleash.

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What Would Moses Say? Of Nietzsche, Hitler and the Freedom to Hurt Others (Shavuot 5780)

Nietzsche is probably one of the most misunderstood and manipulated philosophers in history. The most pernicious manipulation of him was done, of course, by the Nazis, who turned his inversion of the traditional concept of “natural law” into a justification for genocide.

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On This Covid Yom Ha’atzmaut, Let’s Hit the Reset Button

Many things that worried us tremendously a few months ago seem to have lost their urgency in the age of COVID19. As Bari Weiss noted in a recent New York Times column, “many of the [culture war] battles of the past decade now seem self-indulgent and stagnant; others a waste of time...”

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What We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself (Passover 5780)

Pantaphobia is a very rare medical condition in which the patient feels absolutely no fear. Thanks to a middle-aged American woman known to science as SM-046, who in the mid-‘90s the media dubbed “the woman with no fear” and whose brain scans were examined by doctors, we know that this condition is caused by damage to the amygdala, the section of our brain that regulates primal emotions and instinctual reactions.

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Does the Jewish Community Need a Central COVID Fund? Here's A Better Strategy for Addressing the Crisis

In the current crisis, we are hearing calls in the Jewish media and in leadership conversations to launch an “emergency campaign” creating a “central fund” to “save” the Jewish community system from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

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Coronavirus Is a Test for Funders, and Failing Isn't an Option

JFN President and CEO Andrés Spokoiny's presidential address at the JFN 2020 Virtual Convening, delivered on March 23, 2020.

*URGENT: If you haven't already, please fill out our Coronavirus Survey for Funders as soon as possible!*

Scroll down or click here to watch this speech.

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” said Thomas Paine. And these times are trying ours.

These are times in which our character is being tested; our wisdom; our empathy; our compassion; our selflessness and being tried.

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