Fashionista Finds Her Fellow Funders

By Rebecca Spence

Published March 23, 2007, issue of March 23, 2007.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jewish philanthropists and Jewish fashion moguls don’t often run in the same circles, but a recent parlay of the tribe’s top donors may have changed all that: Sartorial superstar Donna Karan dipped her toes into the pool of Jewish givers last week when she made an unexpected appearance at the 2007 Jewish Funders Network conference in Atlanta.

A prominent philanthropist in her own right, Karan said she came to the two-day gathering to mix with likeminded people. “In essence, it puts you together with a group of people talking the same language,” said Karan, whose charitable giving in Israel has focused on Spirituality for Kids, an international educational organization that teaches ethical living through Kabbalah. So how did the creator of DKNY end up at JFN? “Synchronicity,” she said. At a recent Kabbalah Centre class in New York, Karan struck up a conversation with the stranger sitting next to her.

Her fellow spiritual seeker turned out to be David J. Blumberg, a San Francisco-based venture capitalist, philanthropist and member of the JFN. In May, Karan will travel to Israel to be honored by the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. So when she heard about the Jewish funders gathering, she said, “I thought it was apropos that I go.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.