Anything but Judaism!

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5 Responses

  1. Michael Feldstein says:

    The lack of mega-gifts is a huge problem, but it goes even deeper than that. According to recent statistics, less than 20% of American Jews give to Jewish institutions, compared to more than 50% in previous generations. From 1995-2000, only 11% of contributions of more than $1,000 by American Jews were targeted to Jewish organizations.

  2. Garnel Ironheart says:

    Unfortunately, a person’s priorities in giving charity are often determined by his upbringing and cultural milieu. If Michael Bloomberg is giving lots of money to general causes, it’s because he sees those as important and worthy of his money, not because he’s davka shunning Jewish causes.
    Jewish organizations also have to shoulder some of the responsibility. In a free market system, the best tear-jerkers get the money. If the local food bank wants a donation, they go out and hustle for it. The UJA, on the other hand, calls you and reminds you that you have to give because you’re Jewish.

  3. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    The phenomenon has been going on for some time. Charles Silverman, in his mostly silly and inaccurate book “A Certain People” noted the decline of Jewish interest in Jewish charities 22 years ago.

  4. Ori says:

    You’ve often written about the inefficiency and ultimate futility of Heterodox Jewish institutions. If that is the case, does it matter if Heterodox Jews give money to secular institutions, or to Heterodox Jewish ones?

    It seems that in the US Jewish community there is a huge emphasis on Tzedakah in the sense of giving money to Jewish institutions. But ultimately what counts isn’t how much people donate, but how much the institutions achieve.

  5. YM says:

    Garnel, the fact that this phenomenon can be explained does not detract from the tragedy and of the situation, as well as the danger it puts us in. Througout Jewish history, whenever Jews assimilate and try to forget their Jewish Identiy, Hashem stirs up anti-semitism, so that we are not able to forget our covenant.

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