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Archive for : Philanthropy

Monday Link Roundup

Hello Repair the World readers – long time no write! I am thrilled to be back editing this site after a few months’ away (while I was filling in for an editor taking maternity leave at Saveur magazine). Thanks so much to Dvora Meyers for keeping the site running so smoothly, and keeping the powerful service-related stories flowing in my absence. I’m looking forward to picking up right where she left off – and to get things started, here is your weekly dose of inspiring bits and bytes from around the service blogosphere.
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Monday Morning Link Roundup

Yesterday was Fathers’ Day, and in honor of the special occasion, here are some inspiring reads and service opportunities, both dad-related and not, from around the blogosphere.


  • (Robyn Stegman) A blogger gushes about the influence her dad has had on her service work, and embarks on a unique fundraising project to say thanks. (You can help out with the fundraising efforts here.)
  • (Take Part) The state of Florida gets one step closer to shedding its title as the only state in the nation with an explicit ban on gay adoption.
  • (JTA) In related news, next week (June 27-29) three Jewishly-focused LGBT advocacy groups will join together in the Bay Area with more than 100 leaders of the Jewish LGBT movement for a first-of-its-kind visioning meeting.
  • (Good) Writer and business-management theoriest Tony Schwartz is fighting back on behalf of the long-lost lunch break. Starting June 23, every Wednesday is Take Back Your Lunch day – join the fight by enjoying your lunch.
  • (How to Change the World) An oldie-but-goodie essay discusses how to change the world by being a mensch.
  • (JTA) Philanthropists Eli and Edyth Broad recently pledged to donate 75% of their personal fortune (which stands at about 5.7 billion) during their lifetime. Read more about the incredible couple here.


  • (JustCoz) A new online platform JustCoz enables non-profits to expand their social media reach by “donating” a tweet a day to the site. Register here to begin spreading the word about the causes your NGO or charity is passionate about on JustCoz. (FYI – Judging by names alone, at least two of the three founders, Yotam Troim and Ronen Raz are members of the tribe.)

Friday Morning Link Roundup

Looking for a dose of inspiration? Check out these stories and get-involved opportunities from around the Jewish and service blogospheres.


  • (jweekly) The Bay Area’s four foundations for Jewish teens raised a staggering $176,000, which will be distributed to 32 international non-profits doing work in sustainable agriculture, health care, and helping underprivileged youth in Israel and Southeast Asia.
  • (Huffington Post) Paul Loeb, author of the wonderful book The Impossible Will Take a Little While, writes an inspiring piece on the importance of engaging in service, even if one is unsure of the outcome.
  • (NY Jewish Week) Over the last decade, “mitzvah projects” have helped bring a meaningful service component to bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. Now the innovative non-profit Storahtelling is revolutionizing the actual service with their Raising the Bar program.
  • (NY Times) The mega-chain, Walmart – which is often criticized for its treatment of workers – is launching an affordable web-based college program for its employees.


  • (Share our Strength) Vote today in the No Kid Hungry Innovation Awards, and help a non-profit doing work around hunger alleviation win $25,000.
  • (FOJNP) Calling all Jewish non-profit people: Register for the Future of the Jewish Non Profit Summit and join other professionals and lay leaders in a one-day (Tuesday, July 27) summit committed to making substantive positive change in the non-profit arena.

Wednesday Link Roundup

Check out these inspiring bits and headlines from around the Jewish service blogosphere. In the post: three links about amazing service work by teenagers, and a not-to-miss pre-Passover read…

  • Remember the Chase Community Giving contest that was all over your Facebook feed a few months ago? Now JChoice, a great social networking site for young Jewish giving, is offering a similar contest to let you vote for your favorite Jewish charity and win a free gift card. Check it out here. [JChoice]
  • Speaking of young Jewish giving, here’s a sweet article about how Tulsa’s teen community (Jewish and not) are pooling their resources to make a powerful philanthropic impact. [Tulsa Kids]
  • On the eco-front, kids in San Francisco are using eco-rap as an empowerment tool. [Sundance Channel]
  • Looking forward to Passover (which starts at the end of the month)? Read Dara Horn’s great book, All Other Nights, that weaves the story of the Exodus together with a tale of slavery in the American South. [My Jewish Learning]

Debate Over the Purpose of Jewish Philanthropy

Should Jewish philanthropy focus more on helping needy Jewish people?

Jack Wertheimer, a history professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, raises this question in an opinion article in Commentary magazine.

“At a time when Jewish communal institutions are failing to attend to the needs of Jews at home and abroad, the hot trend in Jewish philanthropic and organizational circles, incredibly, is to channel ever more of their resources to nonsectarian causes,” he writes.

In particular, he criticizes Repair the World, an organization started last year to encourage young Jews to help others, though not specifically other Jews.

“No one in a position of responsibility in Jewish organizational life has suggested that Jews should be indifferent to the plight of their fellow human beings, and all the evidence suggests that American Jews engage actively in civic and philanthropic activities,” he says. “Why, then, the incessant barrage of exhortations to do more for the world, even as Jewish needs go unmet?”

Jon Rosenberg, chief executive of Repair the World, defends the work on his organization’s blog.

He says the professor “fundamentally misunderstands and mischaracterizes our mission,” saying that the group works closely with Jewish charities and does promote service opportunities to help disadvantaged Jews.

“His broader theme—that service outside the Jewish community is in some way illegitimate, and that we should instead be focusing all of our service inward—sells short a substantial part of Jewish tradition,” Mr. Rosenberg writes.

What do you think of the debate? Should Jewish philanthropic efforts be more focused on helping Jewish communities?