Jewish philanthropy

Mega-Gifts Eluding Jewish Community

04/03/2003 - 19:00
Staff Writer
With government funding to Jewish organizations being slashed and Jewish federation campaigns running either flat or down, a new study has discovered that billions of dollars from the country's biggest Jewish philanthropists are going to universities, health and the arts. And the Jewish community wants to learn why. The study, by the Institute for Jewish & Communal Research, found that only 6 percent of the $5.3 billion in mega-gifts Jews donated to individual institutions between 1995 and 2000 went to Jewish institutions. A mega-gift is $10 million or more.

Shrinking Dollars, Rising Needs

06/19/2003 - 20:00
Staff Writer
"It has been a blessing," the 42-year-old Suffolk County mother of four says of her monthly package of food and sundries from an anonymous group of Jewish nursery school children, their parents and teachers. Noting that she takes home only $579 a month working 30 hours a week as a data processing employee, she adds: "It's very difficult to make ends meet."

Coping With The Trauma

06/03/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
"The children are terrified when they see a person in uniform because they saw what the Serb police did," said Renate Brand of the Kosovar refugees being resettled with relatives here with the help of the Jewish community. The refugees (39 have arrived in the last two weeks) are coming with horrific tales of Serbian atrocities they either witnessed or heard about, according to Brand, supervisor of the Kosovar resettlement program for NYANA, the New York Association for New Americans.

Answering A Cry For Help

03/04/1999 - 19:00
Staff Writer
Gitel D., a college graduate, was living an upper-middle-class life in an apartment on Central Park West. Married to a professional with a doctorate, she did volunteer work for UJA-Federation, joining its Business and Professional Women's Division and sitting on its government relations committee. "Then my life took a detour," she said.

Lifeline To The Lonely

01/21/1999 - 19:00
Staff Writer
For seven years Bertha Laufer, an intelligent, articulate, retired New York City English teacher, lived in a non-Jewish nursing home in the Bronx and would help some of her nurses with their high school equivalency courses. But none of her relatives lived in New York and as the years went by, she became lonelier and lonelier. "She wanted someone to talk to her about books and ideas," recalled Laufer's niece, Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer of Philadelphia. "She could quote Milton and Shakespeare by heart and there was no one for her to talk to."

Opening Eyes

07/18/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
For Martin Bender of Commack, L.I., legally blind from diabetes for the past 15 years, books on tape have been a "life saver." "For a year and a half I was stuck in bed with a bone infection," said Bender, 65. "I have a TV but I don't see colors, only shadows, so TV is a waste. I spent 16 hours a day listening to the tapes. I would have gone crazy without them." The tapes, as well as large-print books and books in Braille, are available from the Jewish Braille Institute of America.

Scrap ‘Pet Projects,’ Philanthropists Urged

03/26/2009 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher
St. Petersburg, Fla. — In a bold address that implicitly criticized his constituents, the president of the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) said this week that in response to the economic crisis, member philanthropists and foundations must change the way they way they do business by consolidating efforts, collaborating with each other and sacrificing pet projects for the greater good of the community.

The Tensions Within Philanthropies

04/16/2009 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher
John Ruskay, the CEO and executive vice president of UJA-Federation of New York, started out as a leader of the havurah movement and critic of the federation system, while Jeffrey Solomon, the president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, was once chief operating officer of UJA-Federation (and was responsible for hiring Ruskay).

Tisha b’Av Appeal For Ethiopians

08/05/2008 - 20:00
Staff Writer
In an unprecedented emergency appeal, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is calling upon its congregants to donate money to help the 8,700 Ethiopians of Jewish descent, or Falash Mura, who are going hungry there now that all food programs have ended.

Machers In Line Of Fire

01/13/2009 - 19:00
Staff Writer
Close calls are becoming a staple of solidarity missions to the south of Israel (witness Mayor Michael Bloomberg ducking into a bomb shelter on a recent trip to Sderot just before a Hamas-launched rocket hit nearby). But a delegation of Jewish federation leaders visiting the south this week got a more complete, and poignant, taste of what life is like for Israelis living in the shadow of the Gaza border.
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