Blog Features

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When I started The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy in August 2007, one of my primary goals was to add my voice to the conversation and act as a conduit for others to add theirs.

Although I am the creator and author of The New Jew, I often invite field experts, nonprofit and blogging professionals, and those with great ideas to join me in sharing their writings with my audience.

Here is some of The New Jew’s featured contributions from the community:

  • Series: The Bronfman Big Idea Series
  • Mini Series (Before & Afters): Sarah Schlesinger on Birthright, Natalie Susman on the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey
  • Interviews: Mark Charndoff on the future of Jewish philanthropy
  • Guest Authors: Avichai Kremer on why orphan diseases should be a Jewish priority; Tsvi Bisk on alternative paradigms for investing in Israel; Chaim Landau on Diaspora donors’ new relationship with Israel giving; Dana Talmi profiles Avraham Admasu, a leader of the Ethiopian Jewish community
  • Carnivals and Collaborations: Nonprofit Carnival of Giving, Blog Action Day


The Bronfman Big Idea Series Herzl

In October 2007, Charles Bronfman announced a partnership with Brandeis University to find the next big idea for Jewish communal innovation. Inviting proposals from around the world, the contest earned 231 admissions.

In order to give breath and a wider audience to these ideas so that we may all take part, I invite you to submit your proposal and ideas for inclusion in this series. The idea sources from the 1929 contest which lead winner Mordechai Kaplan to found Reform Judaism.

Series: 12 current entrants including four of the contest’s five finalists– and counting.

Mini Series (Two Part Series Detailing the Before & After of Travel to Israel)

Sarah Schlesinger on “The Power of Israel, A Birthright Experience”


Sarah Schlesinger writes with excitement and anticipation about her upcoming Birthright trip and how her trip to Israel will shape her ongoing quest for Jewish identity.

Sarah is a professional in the development department of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Jewish Federation of Boston.

[Sarah was not able to do a follow-up. If you are a Birthright alumna/us interested in writing about your experience in Israel, please contact me.]

Natalie Susman on the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey: Adventure in the Negev– BEFORE and AFTER

NatalieCamel JPDO

Natalie Susman writes of her experience on the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey, a travel experience trip hosted by Emunah in order to raise money to support children in need across Israel.

Over the course of her two weeks in Israel, Natalie humorously recounts the trials of low impact desert living, rising with the sun, mountain climbs, and how a little generosity toward children in need can go a long way.


Mark Charendoff on the Future of Jewish Philanthropy MarkCharendoff Mark Charendoff, president of the Jewish Funders Network, offers his opinion on five questions regarding giving Jewishly, youth philanthropy, investing in Israel, giving voice to the minority opinion in the world of Jewish giving, and the future of Jewish philanthropy. The Jewish Funders Network is an international organization of family foundations, public philanthropies, and individual funders dedicated to advancing the quality and growth of Jewish philanthropy. Mark Charendoff is the former Vice President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies where he helped to establish Birthright Israel and the Institute for Informal Jewish Education at Brandeis University.

Guest Authors

Avichai Kremer on “Why Orphan Diseases Should be a Jewish Priority”

AvichaiKremerAvichai Kremer, founder of Prize4Life, Dollar4Life, and co-founder of IsrALS, writes that about ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Although 200,000 Americans suffer from ALS, the disease is so deadly and quick that little money has gone toward its research, marking it as an orphan disease. Not only is there no cure, but there is no effective treatment for current disease sufferers. ALS affects people worldwide, regardless of age, economic status, race, or ethnicity. Avichai argues that orphan diseases like ALS should be a priority for Jewish philanthropy because money is needed for research to help alleviate pain and suffering in people’s lives who are now ignored.

Tsvi Bisk on “What If One Billion Dollars a Year Were Used to Buy Israeli Alternative Energy Technology?” TsviBisk

Tsvi Bisk challenges readers to reexamine the paradigm for giving to and investing in Israel. He suggests the creation of multi-purpose giving initiatives in which people would buy Israeli alternative energy technology and donate it to organizations worldwide, thus investing in Israel’s technology sector, contributing to charity, and earning a tax break for donations to local nonprofits.

Tsvi is the author of The Optimistic Jew: A Positive Vision for the Jewish People in the 21st Century, the director for the Center for Strategic Futurist Thinking, and a contributing author to the Brandeis Big Idea Series, where his proposal is entitled, “Covenant with the Future.”

Chaim Landau on “Sending Money to Israel? What’s Your Return?”

Chaim Landau examines the changing paradigm of Diaspora giving to Israel with the assertion that in the new way of thinking donors are looking for tangible returns on their investment. Chaim profiles Partnership 2000, Meir Panim, and the New Israel Fund as models of this new relationship.

Chaim is the founder of Perspectives Israel whose work has been recognized with  PresenTense Institute and Legacy Heritage Fellowships.

Dana Talmi on “Exodus to Empowerment”

Dana Talmi profiles Avraham Nega Admasu, an engineer by profession who works to empower Ethiopian Jewish youth. This is the story of Avraham’s journey to Israel as a child through Ethiopia and the Sudan and how it informs his identity and perspectives today.

Dana Talmi is the director of the Yahel Social Change Program, which is seeking volunteers for its brand new five month service learning program in the Israeli Ethiopian community.

Connections and Contributions

Nonprofit Carnival of Giving
Blog Action Day (2007, 2009)

6 Responses to Blog Features

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mazal Tov!
    Sidney Kimmel of west palm beach florida donates $500 million to fight cancer.

  2. rokhl says:

    You might want to note that Mordechai Kaplan established the Reconstructionist movement, not Reform.

  3. Tamara says:

    best all time – last one i promise!

  4. I am looking for help in starting a foundation, using my art work and my story, directing support towards Jewish Victims of AIDS via blood transfusion. Because of my personal experience, I am still undergoing the throws of the illness taking its toll on my husband. I need sponsorship and immediate funding. Can someone reach out? G-d bless your readers.

  5. I am still undergoing the throws of the illness taking its toll on my husband.

  6. Martin Shane Goldstein says:

    How about the Jewish population here in the USA that are in desperate need of medical assistance? I am a disabled senor trying to subsist on a net income. There is no dental insurance and my wife and I are in need of major dental care. The clinical assistance available is out of our financial reach.

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