Why Funders Need To Embrace Failure

Opportunity to take risks and learn from them necessary for success, some experts say.
Editor and Publisher

Before there was Birthright Israel, the most successful Jewish communal effort to increase Jewish identity among young people, there was The Israel Experience, a like-minded effort — and acknowledged failure.

Jeffrey Solomon, president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Family Philanthropies, recalls that Charles Bronfman announced the launch of The Israel Experience in 1992, amid great fanfare, at the major annual convention of North American Jewish federations.

Gary Rosenblatt

Birthright Tapping Alums, Parents

New campaign going well despite tough economic climate.
Staff Writer

It’s been hailed widely as a way to keep the younger generation of Jews  in the fold, so to speak. And it’s been panned by some as a thin exercise in Jewish solidarity, long on party atmosphere and short on substance.

Birthright Tapping Alums, Parents

Birthright Mega Event Comes To New York

Mayor Bloomberg, a surprise guest at Birthright Israel’s New York City Mega Event last night (May 4), tried to impress the sell-out audience at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater with his Hebrew, greeting them with “mah nishmah?” (loosely, “what’s up?”).

But he botched it by emphasizing the first rather than the second syllable in “nishmah.”

Birthright Israel Foundation Mega Event in New York City

In the 11 years since its inception over 300,000 young Jewish adults have visited Israel under the auspices of Taglit-Birthright.  The Jewish Week's Aaron Herman offers insights into the program's success.

Ex-Shin Bet Head Wants To Double Birthright Quota

Avi Dichter says program leads to connection to Israel for young people and government should pay more.
Staff Writer

Avi Dichter, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet (internal security service) and a former minister of internal security, is a Knesset member from the Kadima Party. He was one of six Knesset members who spent last week meeting with Jewish leaders here and in Boston to learn about the American Jewish community as part of a new effort launched by the Ruderman Fellows Program and Brandeis University. The Jewish Week caught up with him for a wide-ranging interview touching on everything from diaspora Jewry to the Goldstone report to Israel’s new missile-defense system.

Kadima’s Avi Dichter.

NEFCA 7th Annual Broadway Purim Shpiel

The Jewish Week's Aaron Herman attends the 7th Annual Broadway Purim Shpiel at the Hudson Theater in NYC, benefitting the Birthright Israel Foundation. Hosted by Gilbert Gottfried the night was full of talented artists such ad Nick Adams,Kelli Barrett, Curtis Holbrook,Garrett Long,J.Elaine Marcos,Anne Nathan,Dave Attel,Kevin Earley,Mitchell Jarvis,Patti Murin and Rachel Potter.

Major Boost For Birthright Funding; Tipping Point In Sight

A new landmark in the effort to strengthen Jewish identity and positive connection to Israel among diaspora youth was reached this week with the announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that his government has approved $100 million in funding for Birthright Israel over the next three years.

Israel to Ramp Up Birthright Investment


NEW YORK (JTA) -- Israel's government announced it would more than double its investment in the popular Birthright Israel program.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the announcement Thursday night before 3,000 program participants in Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Communal Ties Lacking for Young Jewish Professionals, Study Shows


NEW ORLEANS, La. (JTA) -- A new survey shows that younger Jewish professionals are less committed to the Jewish collective than their elders.

The results of the survey of about 2,500 self-identified Jewish community professionals were released this week in New Orleans at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

Modern (Orthodox) Romance Hits New York Stage

Special to the Jewish Week

Differences in levels of religious observance between Jewish partners in a relationship often cause tensions and hurt feelings. But in Amy Holson-Schwartz’s new play, “Can I Really Date a Guy Who Wears a Yarmulke?” starting this weekend at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, these differences become the subject of romantic comedy. Directed by Jay Falzone, the play has been described as “Scrubs” meets “How I Met Your Mother,” with a Jewish twist. 

He’s cute but he’s wearing a yarmulke: Playwright Amy Holson-Schwartz.
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