Facebook Cause Contest Encourages Viral Marketing: Donate to ALS Today and Help Prize4Life Win

December 16, 2007

FacebookCauseContest Logo

Facebook Giving Contest: Donate to Prize4Life Today

Remember Avichai Kremer from “Why Orphan Diseases Should be a Jewish Priority”?

His entry was one of my favorites in November because it epitomized what blogging is about for me. I didn’t know about ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease in any more than general terms. Through his guest post and communicating with him further, I got lucky.


  • I met a great person whom I feel fortunate to know
  • I learned more about ALS
  • Avi changed my thinking about why I should care about ALS, educating me on orphan diseases in particular
  • I have a better understanding of ALS in the Jewish community, particularly with IsrALS, whom I have heard about and been much more attuned to since his writing

So here’s the request.

Help Fight ALS Through Facebook, Earn Prize4Life $100,000

There is a Facebook contest for causes in which the cause with the highest number of supporters donating each day wins $1,000. The contest will run for 50 days, and the cause that does the best by the end of that period will be granted $50,000 in prize money from the Case Foundation.

CaseFoundation LogoSo if Prize4Life wins each day, they can technically earn $50,000, and if they win the whole contest, that’s $100,000 more that can go toward medical research for ALS– a significant amount in the world of nonprofits, especially when every advance against ALS means a direct and irrefutable improvement in the quality of someone’s life.

The cause that won on Wednesday had 85 donors. The cause that won Thursday had 35 donors. This is doable. Keep in mind that the contest is based on number of donors, not amount donated. Can you imagine that your $10 donation might be the deciding factor for the day and push the $1,000 prize to Prize4Life?

I encourage you to think of this contest as the 2000 presidential elections in the US– your vote and your actions count. They could be the deciding factor.

Let’s get to it: click here to donate and tell your friends.

Read the rest of this entry »


Assessing the Forward 50: What We Can Learn About Top American Jewish Philanthropists

November 16, 2007


The Foward 50’s annual list of movers and shakers in the American Jewish community is at once interesting, important, and expected. Few surprise entries made the cut, but the list is nonetheless mandatory reading for a Jewish community guide to 2007.

Calling for a New List

Before going on to assess the Forward’s choices, I do have to assert that it is time for a list that moves beyond the traditional bounds of American Jews over 40. Where are the Israelis? Where are the scientists? Where are the young people seeking to make a difference through innovative and daring projects that will forward the thinking of the global Jewish community?

One of my goals in the next year is to bring you these stories– those outside the confines of the United States’ Jewish communal system. We need to broaden our minds to consider the impact of Jews worldwide, not just those influencing the Jewish community.

Investing in Jews Globally

If we truly believe in the advancement of Jews worldwide, we will consider the actions and values of all Jews and not just those within our regimented boundaries. Jewish Israelis are making tremendous leaps and bounds in hi-tech, promoting alternative energies, and green investments.

To exclude progress like theirs because it benefits only Jews and not the Jewish community as a whole weakens our goals and ambitions as a Jewish people.

Providing Examples

While you are thinking about who should be included, take into the consideration of individuals I have mentioned recently, like:


The List: Who Made It and Who Did Not

Six philanthropists made the cut, composing a coveted 12% of the list. They were (in the order listed):

  • Lynn Schusterman
  • Michael Steinhardt
  • Roger Bennett and Sharna Goldseker
  • Robert Aronson
  • Tad Taube

Philanthropic powerhouses Sheldon Adelson, George Soros, Ron Lauder, and Ruth Messinger were present in different categories.

I also want to mention those who readers suggested should be present in the comments section: Jay Schottenstein and Ricky Shechtel.

Let’s examine these choices further.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Orphan Diseases Should Be a Jewish Priority (Guest Author: Avichai Kremer of Prize4Life)

November 6, 2007



When I first learned about Prize4Life, I was unsure if ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) was a Jewish issue. But now I am convinced. Read more to find out why.

Here is a preview.

“ALS can affect anyone without differences in gender, race, geographical location or religious belief. But while it destroys the lives of tens of thousands families every year, modern science cannot offer even a single solution to this deadly disorder. Why? Because the measures our society put in place to cure diseases fail when there is not enough economic profit to be made from treating these diseases.”

In This Post, You Will Read

  • Avichai Kremer on “ALS and Jewish Philanthropy,” why orphan diseases should be a Jewish priority
  • What Prize4Life and Dollar4Life are doing to promote awareness of ALS and encourage research for the cure
  • Who is Avi Kremer and why he is an ALS activist
  • Your role in finding a cure for ALS


ALS and Jewish Philanthropy by Avichai Kremer

The Jewish term “Tikun Olam” means “Mending the World.” Inspired by that concept, 80% of Jewish Philanthropy goes to non-Jewish causes. Indeed, there are many problems in this world and many challenges worth mending, so where should we focus our efforts? I wanted to offer one possible answer where Jewish Philanthropy, while not benefiting Jewish causes per se, still follows Jewish guidelines: orphan diseases.

What is an Orphan Disease?

Orphan diseases are exactly as their name suggests – a group of diseases that have no “mother” or “father” to take care of them. When a disease hits a population that is too small to be economically attractive to develop a treatment for it, that disease is considered orphan.

In the US that threshold is a disease that affects 200,000 Americans. The obvious type of such a disease is a disorder that is so rare that it is considered orphan. The less obvious type of orphan diseases is diseases that are so deadly, so fatal, that the patients die too fast to accumulate a big enough market for drug companies. Such is ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease in the US and MND in the UK).

Every year ALS affects the same number of new patients as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but while MS patients live with the disease for decades, ALS patients die within 3-5 years on average (there are very few patients that beat this deadly statistics although physicist Stephen Hawking has been living with ALS for 40 years now). As a result, MS isn’t considered an orphan disease and indeed drug companies have developed a few effective treatments for it, but ALS patients die too fast and so ALS is orphan disease and there are no effective treatments for patients.

Read the rest of this entry »

Coming This Week from The New Jew

November 4, 2007

Check out what is coming up this week on The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy. Here are some of the highlights.

Sunday: Posted

Monday: Posted


Tuesday: PostedAvichaiKremer


Wednesday: Posted

Coming Soon- Look for Entries On:

  • Jewish social innovation
  • November’s Jewish Film Festivals
  • Update on the strikes in education
  • And much more!

Shavua Tov