>>Tue Jun 29, 2010
"There's no such thing as a free lunch."
That may be true, but there are free 10 day trips to Israel on Birthright. It sometimes feels like Jewish organizations respond to lagging participation in Jewish activities by throwing money at the problem (e.g. me) and I'm not complaining. It's pretty easy to observe Shabbat meals when you receive an $18 reimbursement for each participant through Birthright Next.
Last week at PresenTense Global Institute we heard from some of the Jewish philanthropists and professionals invested in these programs: Alisa Kurshan, Senior Vice President at UJA-Federation of NYC, and Lynn Schusterman and Sandy Cardin of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. I was excited to meet the people that support Birthright and to hear their vision for a Jewish community.
That's why I was surprised when it seemed like everyone, speakers and audience, expressed concern about "entitled Judaism." Yes, Sandy Cardin emphasized that Birthright plants the seeds for future Jewish donors, and Kurshan enthusiastically observed the great demand for the Birthright brand. But questions were raised about the value of a free product. Moreover, Kurshan described how Birthright returnees called the UJA Israel hotline asking how to return to Israel, but were surprised to find they might actually have to pay the second time around. Do younger Jews consider the Jewish brand worth paying for?
There are signs that my generation does not feel the same sense of responsibility to invest in the Jewish community and its institutions, as demonstrated by less communal giving among the younger demographic. Hundreds of thousands of people gave their sweat and money to build the alphabet soup of an organized Jewish community we have today, from the AJC to the ZOA. Will these institutions survive? Should they?
>>Thu Jan 21, 2010
The PT Shabbat Dinner is Back!
Join Us Friday, January 29th at 6:30pm at 64 Emek Refaim, Jerusalem
We will be hosting a community Tu B'Shvat Shabbat dinner at our Jerusalem hub. Catch up with like-minded leaders and innovators, get to know the PT community, and celebrate the birthday of the trees. Dinner will be potluck and dairy. RSVP NOW!
>>Tue Jan 12, 2010
The PresenTense Shabbat dinner is back!
On Friday, January 29th, we will be hosting a community Tu B'Shvat Shabbat dinner (yes, it's Tu B'Shvat too!) at our hub on Emek Refaim. Catch up with like-minded leaders and innovators, learn about our fellows' awesome projects, and celebrate the birthday of the trees. Dinner will be potluck and dairy.
Please RSVP here.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.