As someone who facilitates over 100 meetings a year (sympathy cards welcome), I have the occasion to ask my clients who work or volunteer in the Jewish non-profit world, “what makes a meeting a Jewish meeting?” The answers rarely vary much: an abundance of food, plenty of passionate disagreement and informal post-meeting meetings that happen in the parking lot after the official meeting has concluded. In other words, as participants in Jewish communal life, we tend to cater to our shared need to eat, argue, and avoid hurting each other’s feelings in public.
A collaborative approach for improving the effectiveness of Jewish philanthropy
The other main Capitol Hill sport these days (after obsessive coverage of the Petraeus scandal) is how the government can avoid the impending Fiscal Cliff. A similarly serious financial challenge lurks in the future of the Jewish Community – namely, how how do we better balance our books and continue to fund and maintain an engaging, vibrant and thriving Jewish community worldwide? We may not be running toward a cliff, but a slide to the bottom of the hill leaves you in the same place.
You have to feel a little sorry for B'nai B'rith International. Just as the group seemed to be carving out a new place for itself in the Jewish communal world, its president, indicted on federal tax fraud charges, has resigned and a shadow has been cast over the venerable group.