As a millennial and NYU business school graduate, Daniel Bloch Jeydel has unique insight into what his contemporaries’ behavior means for the way major companies do business.
“Companies today want to do well, but they also want to do good,” said Jeydel. “They know that more and more people make purchasing decisions based on values. It’s no longer a choice for them to think about the impact they have. It’s expected.”
Jeydel’s Reform background also helped inform his perspective of doing good: His family and their synagogue, Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue, impressed upon him the value of, as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel would say, praying with his feet. “I also used to study Pirkei Avot [a collection of teachings on ethics in the Mishnah] with my great-grandfather, which further informed my ethos of giving back,” said Jeydel. “I feel a personal responsibility to improve the world in which we live.”
Jeydel took this philosophy with him to his current role as director of brand development at Omaze, a company that connects people to charities and brands that use their reach for good. Omaze offers people the chance to “bid” on unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences — like coffee dates with celebrities, walk-on television roles, and luxury vacations — for as little as $10, with the money and awareness raised directed toward charities across the world. In the past five years, Omaze has raised $100 million to support nearly 200 charities.
“Omaze is unique for many reasons, one of which is that they help people achieve the blessing of giving tzedakah,” said Jeydel, who noted that 65 percent of Omaze prize winners donated less than $100.
Jeydel applied this idea, which he calls “approachable philanthropy,” to Temple Emanu-El, where he serves in various lay leadership roles. “We launched a giving circle there with no barriers for entry,” Jeydel said. “By getting more people to give at any level, you end up with more funds and more people invested in the cause.”
Jeydel also works to inspire a deeper connection to Judaism in his fellow millennials; a recent example is an 800-person rave he organized at his synagogue in partnership with Daybreaker, a company that hosts early-morning dance/yoga/mindfulness events, that Jeydel helped organize.
“I think a lot of my contemporaries don’t need the club scene or the pretense of being something other than what they really are,” he said. “Many yearn for an inclusive environment where they can be better versions of themselves. The synagogue should be a place where they can do that.”
In his blood: Jeydel is both a seventh-generation member of Temple Emanu-El and seventh-generation New Yorker.