The latest edition of a guide issued by and for young Jewish philanthropists offers a look at their vision of the Jewish future, and it is one of interfaith marriages, social justice and Jewish culture.
The board members of Slingshot (www.slingshotfund.org), a division of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, released their 2007-08 “Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation” that lists 50 Jewish nonprofit organizations deserving of colleagues’ financial support (www.2164.net). At the same time, at a launch party Tuesday at the Bryant Grill in Manhattan, the board members earmarked the eight nonprofits they plan to help fund in the coming year.
The elite list includes such organizations as interfaithfamily.com, which is geared to Jews who have married outside the faith, JDub Records, which produces innovative Jewish music, and Jewish Funds for Justice, which concentrates on liberal causes.
Those organizations’ concerns “most resonate for the next generation,” young, affluent members of which chose the top eight, said Sharna Goldseker, a Bronfman Philanthropies vice president. Those issues, she says, are most likely to receive the attention and funding in the next few decades of a changing Jewish community.
“There is no silver bullet,” no single issue that connects all eight, Goldseker says. “There is a range of things.”
The other members of the group of eight are Goldenring Woldenberg, Reboot, Storahtelling, Just Vision and Ikar.
Organizations of the larger list, recommended for young Jewish givers, include mostly relatively new, progressive Jewish institutions like the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance and Hazon, or established institutions like the Isabella Freedman camp that has undergone a major reorientation in recent years.
“It’s not the same-old, same-old,” noted Rae Janvey, a consultant for philanthropic leadership development. The 50 names on the main list are creating “new and creative initiatives,” and represent “a forward, thinking approach to Jewish life,” she says.
The list, says Janvey, offers young Jewish philanthropists, who often do not share their parents’ interest in old-line organizations, “an opportunity … to become aware that much is happening” in the American Jewish community.
“As young Jews explore their identities in an evolving society, the responsibility is on us to make sure the programs we offer remain relevant to their changing needs,” said Rachel Brodie, co-founder of Jewish Milestones (on the list of 50), based in Berkeley, Cal., which helps Jews create “meaningful lifecycle events.”