Jewish communal institutions often claim that the diverse list of organizations that their funds support prove that they are “big-tent,” non-political actors— but the proof is in actions, not words.
I recognize this response as, at best, a misunderstanding of what it means to be part of the American nonprofit complex, and, at worst, a cowardly lie.
If you asked most people why the year 1969 was important in American life, few would mention that year’s federal Tax Reform Act. But Norman Sugarman’s fingerprints on that document may have had as much of a lasting effect on this country’s history as Neil Armstrong’s feet on the moon.
I had to apologize to my younger self when I agreed to teach a course at the National Havurah Summer Institute a few years ago. My parents were part of a Havurah — a Jewish fellowship group with roots in the hippie era — and although we never attended the institute, my brothers and I spent countless Friday nights, Saturday afternoons and even some summer vacations with my parents’ Havurah friends. Ours was a childhood shaped by their peculiar dances, melodies and culinary habits.