The President's Desk: Andrés Spokoiny

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

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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Our Great Incomplete Journey

Passover is a holidays of journeys. The journey of the Hebrews from Egypt to the Promise Land; the journey from Slavery to Freedom and the ultimate journey: the Jews' road to peoplehood. Somewhere along this momentous journey, a ragtag bunch of slaves become the People of the Book and gave to humanity the eternal ethical and moral values that guide us to this very day.

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Networks and the Future of Jewish Philanthropy

JFN President & CEO Andrés Spokoiny's address to the 2012 Jewish Funders Network International Conference.

A person is walking in the street and passes by a dance hall. The windows of the dance hall are very thick and soundproof, so he can’t hear the music. He only sees people making all sort of strange movements. He walks away, thinking he just saw a bunch of totally crazy people, maybe a mental asylum of some sort.

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Purim, the Beauty of Difference

Purim is arguably one of the merriest holidays of the Jewish calendar. Because of that, perhaps, we don’t often reflect on its deep meaning and its contemporary relevance.

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The Redcoats are Coming – and Hope Out of Boulder

eJewish Philanthropy.

Every school child in America knows that Paul Revere rode through Massachusetts warning the militia that “the Redcoats were coming”. Fewer people know that in the night of April 18th, 1775, other riders were sent with the same goal, among them William Dawes.

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The New 10 Commandments of Strategy: Planning for our Uncertain World

eJewish Philanthropy.

The fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Arab Spring, the travesty of Argentina’s early elimination in the 2010 World Cup and many other defining events of the last two decades all share a simple truth: the best of our expert predictions about the future are, quite often, wrong.

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