Pioneering university group banking on novel ties to state.
At 1:45 a.m. on a recent weeknight, a group of 27 Jewish students gathered in the main auditorium at University of Michigan’s Hillel. Instead of breaking out the beer, they video-conferenced with Nir Elperin, vice president of Arba Finance, a venture capital firm in Tel Aviv.
A split-screen projected on the wall featured a PowerPoint presentation on one side and Elperin on the other, talking in real time about the venture capital and high-tech industry in Israel, as well as various ways in which startups secure funding.
Houston — If our communal organizations were to follow the Torah, in letter and spirit, they would overhaul their fund-raising strategies completely.
Instead of concentrating on the “big givers,” the 10 percent of donors who contribute about 90 percent of the total dollars in Jewish federation campaigns, our pros would focus on maximum participation rather than “major gifts.”