Z3 Project Presents: Andrés Spokoiny

From Jewish Telegraphic Agency (December 1, 2021)

This Z3 2021 Futures Workshop-sponsored article is a Q&A with JFN President and CEO Andrés Spokoiny. Responding to a question on where funders’ priorities should lie both in the diaspora and in Israel he says:

You won’t have a single answer to that. One of the hallmarks of the philanthropic community today is it’s very atomized. It’s very fragmented. We joke at JFN that we have 2,500 members and 2,500 interests. So I tell you what I think, in my view, should be the focus of the philanthropic community. There should be an emphasis on Jewish content and meaning. The pandemic is going to shine a light on questions of meaning. And this is something that we don’t do in the Jewish community. We invest more in frameworks of identity and not necessarily in content.

Antisemitism is going to be a big priority for funders. That does not mean money will be well spent or that we’re going to be effective in fighting antisemitism. But I think it’s going to be a focus of many funders. What I do hope is the funders understand that fighting antisemitism is much more complicated than they think in the age of social media. The funders will need to really reflect on what works and what doesn’t.

And two more things are going to be important. One is Jewish poverty. In the pandemic, we realize that a lot of Jews are extremely vulnerable. We tend to believe that it was all taken care of, and it is not. And last but not least, I think that there’s going to be a focus on specific social issues in Israel. We’re going to really abandon the notion of giving money “to Israel.” What we’re going to be seeing are partnerships with Israeli funders and with the Israeli government to address specific issues in Israel.

Read the full article on JTA.

The Z3 Futures Workshop is a hybrid event on December 5, with components online and in Palo Alto, Calif. Andres Spokoiny will be one of the speakers there.