The President's Desk: Andrés Spokoiny

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

Things I Learned in Baltimore

eJewish Philanthropy.

Until the JFNA General Assembly, earlier this month in Baltimore, I didn’t know that the famous Exodus ship, the one that brought the world’s attention to the plight of Jewish Holocaust Survivors trying to break the British blockade into the Land of Israel, was built in and fitted in the Baltimore shipyards. The crew was even partially composed of Baltimore Jews.

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Operation Pillar of Cloud

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Hurricane Sandy and Crisis Philanthropy

Following the devastating storm that just hit the North East Coast, our thoughts and prayers go out for all those affected by this unprecedented event.

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Funders and Typists—The Failure Series

For most Argentineans my generation, the name "Pitman Academies" produces a sort of nostalgic smile: a bizarre reminder of a bygone era. Pitman was a technical school that taught secretaries — the term wasn't "assistant" back then — how to type fast and accurately in old mechanical typewriters. 

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What’s the difference between 45,000 and 4,300? Millions.

Israel, a country of fewer than 8 million people has 45,000 registered nonprofit organizations. This ratio, one of the highest proportions in the world, is due in part (of course) to the proverbial “one Jew, two synagogues”, but also in part to duplication and the proliferation of nonprofits that are far from solid – to put it mildly.

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Rosh Hashanah and the Possibilty of Time Travel

The Russian cosmonaut Sergei Adveyev proved Einstein right when he became the first person to travel in time. According to the theory of relativity, traveling into the future is possible and relatively easy: the faster you move, the slower time moves for you. For Adveyev, the 748 days he spent orbiting the Earth nearly 12,000 times took him into the future. By 20 miliseconds. Fine, he's no Michael J. Fox, but still, every year, we need to adjust the clocks in GPS satellites because time for them passes slower than on Earth. The differences are miniscule but discernible, and enough to show Einstein was right.

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$6 Million for Moishe House: The Good News, the Better News and the Caveats

eJewish Philanthropy.

A few months ago, the Jewish Funders Network organized a series of events to discuss the “JDub case,” how as a community we support organizations as they transition from new and exciting to what we call the “mezzanine” stage of funding. JDub was a great organization, producing contemporary Jewish music and art, and it became the poster-child for young adult engagement in the Jewish Community: innovative, cool, grassroots, refreshing. It was the model start-up”, the organization that couldn’t fail.

And yet, it did.

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Funders and Apes: Seven Steps for Constructive Failure

eJewish Philanthropy.

Friday, I wrote a bit about how funders, like all humans, are programmed by millions of years of evolution to hate failure. But our DNA hasn’t kept pace with the changing times. 

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Funders and Apes: Our Troglodyte Approach to Failure

eJewish Philanthropy.

Last year, influenced by the hype around Darwin’s 150th anniversary, I developed an interest in evolutionary theory. I read a few books about it, including the masterful Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, and since then I’ve been kind of obsessed. 

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Video: Networks & The Future of Jewish Philanthropy—Andrés Spokoiny

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