JFN in the News

The latest articles in the media about JFN, as well as op-eds published by JFN members and staff. For a list of articles from before December 2020, email JFN Communications Director Julie Wiener at [email protected]

10 Atlanta Funders Have Formed a Collaborative

From eJewish Philanthropy (June 11, 2021)

When the pandemic hit last spring, Lisa Brill and her daughter-in-law both endured many sleepless nights wondering how COVID-19 would affect Atlanta’s Jewish community, and whether they could harness the disruption for the community’s benefit, Brill said.

They reached out to the Atlanta Jewish Foundation (AJF), which is part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and shared their desire to use the pandemic as an opportunity to work with other donors.

“We’ve been in Atlanta since 1979,” said Brill, whose husband Ron Brill co-founded Home Depot with Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank. “This is a dynamic city. We’ve seen the highs and the lows, and we know that things can always get better.”

AJF, in turn, connected with Jewish Funders Network (JFN), of which they are members, said Jori Mendel, AJF’s deputy director. JFN is an education and support organization for family foundations, federations and individuals, and it has developed training and resources to help funders carry out scenario planning that would survey their community’s needs and begin figuring out ways to address them.

The result was a funder collaborative of 10 funders that started in an unusual way, Brill said — there was “no ask.” In addition to the Brills, who initiated the collaborative, participants include the Marcus and Zalik families and donors who range in age from their late 30s to the mid-70s. David Zalik is co-founder and CEO of Atlanta-based fintech company GreenSky.

Read more in eJewish Philanthropy about this unique collaborative powered by JFN.

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The Jews in the Pew: What the 2021 Pew Report Tells Us About Modern Identity

From eJewish Philanthropy (June 4, 2021)

In this piece, JFN President and CEO Andrés Spokoiny offers seven "under the hood" reflections into the Pew Research Center’s recently released “Jewish Americans in 2020” report.

Read the article in eJewish Philanthropy.

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American Funders of Israeli Civil Society Efforts Take Stock After Riots

From eJewish Philanthropy (May 26, 2021)

In this article, eJewish Philanthropy's Helen Chernikoff speaks with leaders of JFN's Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society about how they are responding in the aftermath of rioting in mixed Jewish-Arab towns of Israel. 

 

“There is progress that has been made over the last 20 years,” said Joshua Arnow, co-chair of JFN’s Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society, a 21-member collaborative that includes both individuals like Arnow, foundations such as the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, and the Morningstar Foundation, as well as several local federations. “I’ve been told by people in the Arab community who are in NGO [non-governmental organization] leadership roles that there is a foundation of shared society work that has not crumbled,” Arnow added.

 

In addition to SVF, the article notes the longtime involvement of several JFN members in this sector, including The Russell Berrie Foundation; Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation; One8 Foundation; the Bader Philanthropies; and Crown Family Philanthropies.

Read the full article on eJewish Philanthropy.

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Building Stronger Grantmaker/Grantseeker Relations for a Better Jewish Future

From eJewish Philanthropy (April 27, 2021)

This op-ed co-authored by JFN Director of Peer Engagement Tamar Frydman and UpStart's Aliza Mazor, emphasizes the importance of ensuring that "the level of honesty and mutual support" many funders and nonprofits achieved during the Covid pandemic "continues as we move out of Covid and towards a new reality."

 

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How a Youth Program Is Engaging the Next Generation of Jewish Philanthropy

From Inside Philanthropy (April 22, 2021)

Philanthropist Ricky Shechtel used to wonder who would replace her when she could no longer serve the Jewish community the way she does now.

“I was on all these boards, sitting around all these tables, and I’m in my 40s, I’m in my 50s and I’m thinking, who’s going to be sitting at this table in 20 or 30 years? Who’s going to care about the stuff that we care about?”

Nowadays, Shechtel feels relatively confident that younger Jews will take up the mantle. That’s largely because of the work of organizations like Honeycomb, a program of the Jewish Funders Network, which she co-founded in 2006.

Read full article by Simone Ellin in Inside Philanthropy

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As Passover Begins, a Primer on Jewish Poverty

From eJewish Philanthropy (March 26, 2021)

Just before the pandemic hit, the Jewish Funders Network (JFN), an education and support organization for foundations and individual donors who give at least $25,000 annually in the name of Jewish causes, started a newsletter on Jewish poverty. About 300 people signed up to receive it; now, 740 people do, said Julie Wiener, a JFN spokeswoman. JFN hosts an “affinity group” to facilitate communication and cooperation around the issue of Jewish poverty that consists of foundations, federations, direct service providers, researchers, advocates and media outlets.

Read full article by Helen Chernikoff in eJewish Philanthropy.

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Amid a Lack of Support, This Funding Collaborative Backs Jewish Arts and Culture

From Inside Philanthropy (March 26, 2021)

It’s been almost seven years since the National Foundation for Jewish Culture ceased operations. The closure of NFJC, which had been supporting Jewish artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians and scholars since 1961, signified what many in the creative community were already painfully aware of: Philanthropists were not supporting Jewish arts and culture as they had in the past.

These developments alarmed Lou Cove, a senior advisor to the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and founder of CANVAS, a Jewish Funders Network (JFN) collaborative that aims to create a 21st-century Jewish arts and culture renaissance. CANVAS launched in September 2019 and began making its first grants in March 2020, just as COVID-19 arrived in the United States.

Read the full article by Simone Ellin on the Inside Philanthropy site or download this PDF

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In Beacon Hill, the Golem Rises as ‘A Protector of All People’ for Passover

From The Boston Globe (March 23, 2021)

“Golem v. Golem,” Los Angeles artist Julie Weitz’s photo installation on the façade of the Vilna Shul, the historic synagogue and Jewish cultural center in Beacon Hill, is inspired by Weitz’s own confrontation with modern plagues.

“Golem v. Golem” is the centerpiece of Passover programming presented by the Jewish Arts Collaborative and Asylum Arts (other offerings are available online, in a program called “Reimagine Exodus”). It’s also part of “Dwelling in a Time of Plagues,” a host of Passover projects in nine cities sponsored by the [Jewish Funders Network-powered] funding collaborative CANVAS.

Read the full article by Cate McQuaid in the Boston Globe

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Ilia Salita Award to Recognize Research on Jewish Communities Worldwide

From The Jerusalem Post (March 18, 2021)

The establishment of the Ilia Salita Excellence in Research Award, funded by Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), was announced at the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) 2021 International Conference on Wednesday, March 17. The award celebrates the life and legacy of Ilia Salita z”l, GPG’s former president and CEO, who was a deeply respected and beloved figure in the Jewish philanthropic world.

The announcement was made during the plenary session of the conference by GPG CEO Marina Yudborovsky, JFN President and CEO Andrés Spokoiny, and Josh Salita, Ilia’s eldest son. The award is inspired by Salita’s passion for informed, data-driven philanthropy and his promotion of innovative applied research techniques.

Read full article by Alan Rosenbaum in The Jerusalem Post

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Jeffrey Solomon Puts a New Focus on Teen Giving

From eJewish Philanthropy/Jewish Insider (March 16, 2021)

At this year’s Jewish Funder’s Network (JFN) conference, which began yesterday and runs through Wednesday, he’s promoting the rebranding and expansion of JFN’s youth philanthropy program, from the “Jewish Teen Funder’s Network” to “Honeycomb.” Founded in 2006, the teen network originally helped local organizations run philanthropy groups for young people. In 2017, with the hiring of Wayne Green as executive director, it created a new set of curriculum materials, in addition to training and consulting services for professionals who work with teens across Jewish settings, from federations to synagogues to camps.

Read full article by Helen Chernikoff in eJewish Philanthropy.

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