11 September 2011 - 12 Elul 5771 - י"ב אלול ה' אלפים תשע"א

By Erica Lyons
Managing Editor

Jewish philanthropic organisations, like all philanthropic organisations worldwide, are forced to find ways to weather the storm of the current economic crisis. While numerical goals may fall short, most Jewish organisations seem to be surviving on the core foundation of Jewish values upon which they were created.

Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and one of the Forward's America's Fifty Most Influential American Jews in 2004 addressed these key issues at a United Jewish Appeal (UJA)-Federation of New York event on 17 February 2009.

Professor Sarna cautioned that “this economic collapse is reshaping Jewish life.” But he also reminded that, “Jewish history gives great cause for optimism. We have survived far worse.”

On the comprehensive website, JewishPhilanthropy.com, the creators state, “The face of Jewish philanthropy is changing and only time will tell if we are in the midst of evolution or revolution.”

Perhaps either force would not be a bad thing, for change is required in order for organisations to survive the economic downturn. While corporate profits are down and salaries reduced, the neediest have got needier and many more are joining their ranks.

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