Giving


After Bar Mitzvahs, Teens Keep Giving

By Marissa Brostoff

Rebecca Schwartz was featured in the Forward’s Giving section three years ago, around the time of her bat mitzvah. Back then, she was one of the first to participate in Give a Mitzvah — Do a Mitzvah, a program that helps teenagers use their coming-of-age ceremony to help others.Read More


Virtual Tzedakah Box Collects Real Dollars

By Aaron Greenblatt

For decades, Jews have dropped loose change in those tzedakah boxes found on countertops in Jewish stores and in Hebrew schools. Now, one person is modernizing this charitable act for the 21st century.Read More


Nonprofits Mull Staff Shortages

By Rebecca Spence

After years of working with some of the most promising organizations in the rapidly expanding field of Jewish nonprofits, the staff at one of America’s largest Jewish family foundations noticed a disturbing trend: While dynamic and creative groups were cropping up everywhere, injecting Jewish communal life with renewed passion and commitment, the people needed to keep those very organizations going — the fund-raisers and development professionals — were in noticeably short supply.Read More


Community’s ‘Other Fifth’ Needs Help

By Steve Schwager

In a desolate room on the fifth floor of a rundown Soviet-bloc style apartment building in Kishinev, Moldova, resides Klara Kogan. She is 100 years old, has not left her room in five years and has no living relative on the face of the earth. Yet she holds in her room the key to Jewish existence over the last 2,000 years. I know this, because I recently visited Kogan in her room and saw that very secret key.Read More


Rockers Make Dreams a Reality — For Kids in America and in Africa

By Sarah Kricheff

Lots of kids dream of singing in a rock ’n’ roll band. Not many dream of helping other kids in an impoverished country. Thirteen-year-old Raechel Rosen dreamed of both.Read More


Businessman Donates His Millions To Educational Projects

By Josh Richman

The $25 million gift that Lorry Lokey gave this summer to Technion-Israel Institute of Technology sounds impressive. But it’s even more impressive that Lokey — founder and chairman of Business Wire — makes gifts of similar sizes to educational institutions on a regular basis.Read More


Youth Philanthropy Movement Gains Momentum

By Beth Schwartzapfel

‘Charity is right up my alley,” said Sara Goldstein, who volunteers at a hospital near her home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and teaches Hebrew school at her local synagogue. So when the time came for Goldstein’s bat mitzvah, it was only natural for her to set aside $180 of her gifts to donate to charity. But rather than simply giving it away, Goldstein got a $320 match from a local donor and started her own personal endowment fund.Read More


Designer Strikes Gold for Charities

By Caroline Lagnado

Fashionably dressed, with her shiny graying hair grown long, jewelry designer Joan Hornig seems to have a permanent smile on her face as she flits around her tall glass display case at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It is not unusual for Hornig to engage the high-end department store’s shoppers in conversation while she pitches her ornate creations, whose hefty price tags support charitable causes. On a typical day at Bergdorf’s, Hornig eyes potential customers — well-heeled women who may be involved with philanthropic work themselves or who simply enjoy fine jewelry. In either case, the amiable Hornig is always ready to chat, sharing her spiel about charity with all who will listen.Read More


Funding Fuels Group Homes’ Growth

By Rebecca Spence

Call it a throwback to communal housing in Berkeley in the 1960s. Or a Jewish take on the long-running MTV reality show “The Real World,” where a bunch of strangers in their 20s are housed under one roof. Or something in between.Read More


Nonprofit CEO Focuses on Social Justice

By Jennifer Siegel

As a young labor organizer in the late 1990s, Simon Greer was particularly fond of a certain motto often recited by his boss: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”Read More





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  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
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