The Shmooze

Young Philanthropists Text for UJA-Federation

By Masha Leon

Outside it felt like the Arctic tundra, but on January 23, inside Tribeca’s Capitale, it was hot, hot, hot and festive as some 700 young 20’-30’ish Jewish philanthropists sipped Generositinis — the evening’s signature drink.

They mobbed the sushi bar, and made repeat trips to the decadent “I’ll –start-my- diet-tomorrow”candy table groaning under the weight of mounds of Kit-Kats, Snickers and other cavity-causing goodies.

The evening’s lure was the Instagram. Signs throughout the cavernous space proclaimed: “Capture your generosity!” Any guest who included @ujafeny and #Generosity/2014 on their Instagram photo, had a chance to see him/herself on a big screen and have the photo printed as a keepsake. To augment the party mood, UJA-Federation supplied sunglasses and other fun props.

Karen Leon

Defining the evening as “magical,” Generosity Leadership Board vice chair Jackie Brogadir described the evening as “a great first encounter for many to meet UJA/Federation.” Generosity Leadership Board chair Lee Brodsky, added, “It’s so important to relate to the generation [we’re] trying to target… and UJA does a great job in being relevant.” He explained “events like this are a great entry point to the community. Event chair Benjamin Okin concurred: “Nights like this show what one person can accomplish.”

The Text-to-Pledge — the evening’s dramatic raison d’etre — enabled attendees to text message their gifts and broadcast the results in real time on multiple screens within Capitale’s echoing setting.

It was inspiring to be in the midst of a chatting and texting, sipping and texting, noshing and texting group of future philanthropists involved in helping to create meaningful and lasting changes in the lives of those most in need.

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Interest-Free Loans Improve Quality of Life

By Nathan Jeffay

An American immigrant to Israel received today one of the country’s great honors, the Knesset Speaker’s Prize for Quality of Life.

In 1990, three decades after immigrating to Israel, Hebrew University academic Eliezer Jaffe set about taking the old shtetl idea of a free loan society and building it on a national scale in Israel.

Jaffe, co-chairman of the Hebrew University Centre for the Study of Philanthropy and author of “Giving Wisely: The Israel Guide to Non-profit and Volunteer Organizations,” set up the Israel Free Loan Association, a body that grants interest-free loans to low-income individuals and businesses.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Knesset Speaker's Prize for Quality of Life, Israel Free Loan Association, Eliezer Jaffe, Philanthropy

Design Contest: Rethink the Tzedakah Box

By Renee Ghert-Zand

iStockphoto

Remember that little cardboard or plastic (and if you are even older, metal) tzedakah box that you used to drop coins into at home or at Hebrew school? Well, so does the American Jewish World Service, which is using it as the inspiration for a new design competition to be launched in January.

“Where Do You Give? Reimagining Tzedakah for the 21st Century” is both an icon design contest and an educational program. It involves a blog about tzedakah practice, an interactive educational experience for middle school students and their parents, and two national design competitions — one for adults 18 years old and up, and one for middle school and high school students.

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Spielberg Censored in Lebanon

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

It’s not quite worthy of a Sherlock Holmes story, but the mystery continues: Who censored Steven Spielberg’s name at a movie theater in Lebanon?

In a piece picked up by The Washington Post, the country’s Blog Baladi reported yesterday that the director’s name had been covered up on a poster for his next movie, the kid-friendly “Adventures of Tintin.”

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Steven S[ielberg, Lebanon, Philanthropy, Jack and Jill, Anti-Semitism, Censoship, Adventures of Tintin, Adam Sandler

Send Us Your Nominations!

By Forward Staff

iStockphoto

For our upcoming special section on philanthropy, the Forward will profile American Jews aged 21 and under who are making a difference, locally or globally, with cool new approaches to helping others. We are looking for young people who are having a direct impact on their community in the novel way they are confronting poverty, violence, injustice, discrimination and ignorance. Post your nominations here, or email TopTen@forward.com, and be sure to include your contact information. Then watch for the final list in the November 11 issue of the Forward, and be inspired.

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Young Jews Love To Volunteer, Though Not for Jewish Organizations

By Renee Ghert-Zand

iStockphoto

A just-released study on young Jews and volunteerism reveals that, although young Jews are committed to community service and volunteering, they tend not to associate that interest with their Jewish identities. This is the case despite the fact that commitment to volunteerism increases with a young Jew’s level of religious involvement. The study also found that most service work is locally based, and that Israel is not a focus for young Jews’ volunteer efforts.

The study, called “Volunteering + Values: A Repair the World Report on Jewish Young Adults” was commissioned by the service organization Repair the World and was conducted as a collaborative effort between the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University and Gerstein | Agne Strategic Communications. It used a sample of young Jewish adults, ages 18-35, from among the 300,000 diverse applicants to the Taglit-Birthright Israel program. Some survey respondents were alumni of the program, while others were not. Additional respondents were chosen through Knowledge Networks, which provides a representative sample of the U.S. population using probability-based sampling techniques.

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Kazakh-Israeli Industrialist Avoids 'Sex Yacht' Arrest

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Alexsander Mashkevich has escaped legal action in connection with the Turkish sex yacht incident late last month, according to this JTA article.

According to this article, Turkish authorities followed the yacht for months before boarding it late last month. “Thirteen girls, including two minors, from Russia and Ukraine were detained along with several men from Central Asia.”

One of those men was Mashkevich. The industrialist holds citizenship in both his native Kazakhstan and in Israel.

According to this Israel21c article, he is the fifth-richest Israeli citizen.

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