As GA meets, Hebrew U examines declining US Jewish philanthropy
Some 19 percent of funding for Israel's third sector - around $1.5 billion annually - comes from American Jewish sources.
By HAVIV RETTIG GURPublished: NOVEMBER 16, 2008 21:48Advertisement
At a Hebrew University parley on Sunday, held in the shadow of the downtown gathering of the General Assembly of North American Jewish federations, experts discussed the steep drop in donations to Israel through the federation system, and its implication for the nonprofit sector.
Some 19 percent of funding for Israel's third sector - around $1.5 billion annually - comes from American Jewish sources, according to Dr. Jeffrey Solomon, president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.
"A large part of Jewish philanthropic money is being directed to concerns unconnected to Israel," said Solomon ahead of the Sunday meeting, "such as support for secular or national causes [in the US] connected to culture, higher education or the arts."
That growing trend, coupled with a still-weak dollar and the need for federations to look inward to their communities in a time of financial crisis, has "created concern about the financial stability of the third sector in Israel and the ability of social programs run by Israeli nonprofits to continue," Solomon said.
To deal with the crisis for Israel's nonprofit sector, organizations must reexamine their financial structure, including reducing dependence on Israeli governmental funding, and their purpose, said Prof. Hillel Schmid, director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at the Hebrew University.
Other speakers Sunday included Arnon Mantver, director general of JDC-Israel, and Mike Prashker, director of Merchavim, The Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel.
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