Good Wednesday morning!
In today’s Your Daily Phil, we look at a new report on sexual misconduct policies from the SRE Network, and feature an op-ed by IJS’ Rabbi Josh Feigelson on why the institution ran an ad during an NFL game. Also in this newsletter: U.K. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, Israel Experience’s Amos Hermon, Mariam Ahmady and Selena Gomez. We’ll start with the scene at the 25th anniversary gala of NYC’s Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Speaking from the podium last night at the 25th anniversary gala of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York City’s Holocaust museum, Leya Kaufman, the granddaughter of a survivor, recounted how an Instagram user recently told her that she should die in another Holocaust.
“Our generation is tasked with protecting our people from this ever happening again,” Kaufman, 33, told the attendees seated around tables at the museum in Battery Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan. “We must act, again, together with our allies, ensuring education for anyone who falls victim to dangerous propaganda, and investing in security for Jewish life.”
Kaufman’s speech encapsulated the tone of the gala, which was at once a celebration of the institution’s achievements — welcoming 2 million visitors in total since it was founded, including tens of thousands of students annually — and a lament that lethal antisemitism is still present in the world. There were multiple references throughout the night to Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks.
The museum raised $1 million ahead of the gala, which honored the five men who founded the museum, whose planning began in 1982 and which opened 15 years later.
At the gala, the museum announced a few new initiatives — an exhibit for children about the Danish rescue that ferried Jews from Denmark to safety in Sweden; a $20,000 scholarship for at least one graduating high school senior who writes an essay about Jewish life in Europe during the era of the Holocaust; and a program to train undergraduates to teach about the Holocaust to middle and high school students.
“When we started this dinner, 25 years ago, there were a lot more survivors who stood up,” said the museum’s CEO, Jack Kliger, after asking survivors, their children and their grandchildren to rise. “But now, 25 years later, cumulatively more people are standing up than ever before.”
A survey by the Safety Respect Equity Network found that a large chunk of Jewish organizations don’t feel they do a good enough job communicating their reporting and response procedures to staff. And nearly half of respondents said that the people tasked with investigating complaints at their organization are not sufficiently trained, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Ben Sales.
Self-assessment: The survey asked executives or board chairs at the organizations, 107 of which had six or more employees, to rate their organizations on the presence of policies regarding sexual misconduct, fair pay and anti-discrimination; how those policies work; and how and whether they’re communicated to the staff. The respondents gave their organizations two points if they answered “yes” to a question, one point for “somewhat” and zero for “no.”
Pluses and minuses: Nearly all respondents said that they have established policies and reporting and response mechanisms for complaints of discrimination and harassment. The vast majority of organizations say they have multiple channels for filing complaints, and regularly survey their employees regarding the workplace climate. But only 55% say that they regularly communicate reporting and response procedures to their staff. Similar percentages say that their hiring and promotion policies are sufficiently accessible and that they train their employees on the organization’s reporting mechanism.
Training needed: “The person within an organization who’s tasked with looking into complaints around discrimination and harassment — it’s very rare that they actually are trained in that area,” Elana Wien, SRE’s executive director, told eJP. “So it’s unusual for them to receive training at their organization, but it’s also rare for them to have been trained prior to coming to the organization.”
Read the full story here.
“On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 30, with antisemitic remarks from Kanye West still in the media spotlight and tensions around antisemitism swirling before the election, fans watching the National Football League game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams may have seen something unusual. For 30 seconds at the end of the first quarter, after an ad for Dunkin’ Donuts and a promo for ‘The Masked Singer,’ they saw an ad for Judaism. Not just an ad about the presence of antisemitism, but an ad about the depth, power and beauty of Jewish life,” Rabbi Josh Feigelson, president & CEO of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, writes in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.
Faith and football: “We at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality created this ad, and our decision to run it was a big deal for us. Why on earth would IJS, an organization that teaches practices like Jewish mindfulness meditation and contemplative Torah study, run an ad during an NFL game? And what does it have to do with Kanye and antisemitism?”
Not funding the NFL: “Before we answer that, a few important details. First, IJS did not pay the NFL. We paid ReachTV, a minority-owned business with a social responsibility dimension to its mission. Second, the ad appeared exclusively on ReachTV’s network, which is broadcast on 2,700 televisions in 90 airports in the United States.”
Potential, not proselytizing: “So why did we do it? Because our approach to Jewish life can help a lot of people, and because we think many more people need to hear and see what Judaism is and can be for them.”
Read more here.
Round Up for Generosity: Various apps, websites and retail experiences offer the opportunity for customers to round up their purchase to the next dollar, sending that “spare change” to a nonprofit, Chris Foster writes in NonProfitPRO. “New fintech applications are enabling a seamless way for consumers to contribute in their habitual, everyday purchasing action. These are set-it-and-forget-it kinds of methods that make it easy to give. Co-founded by Leena Gupta, Coin Up automatically rounds up each purchase on a debit or credit card and sends that extra amount to the donor-selected nonprofit. ‘We were looking for a way to help everyone become an impactful donor in a small, everyday way,’ Gupta said. ‘I think most people want to be a part of something bigger, and it became our mission to be a catalyst for democratized giving. Plus, we can help nonprofits more effectively engage with their donor base and create recurring revenue with innovative technology.’” [NonProfitPRO]
Interfaith Embrace: Jewish Insider’s Tamara Zieve spoke to U.K. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis about his recent trip to the United Arab Emirates. “‘I have been cultivating connections and relationships within global Muslim leadership over a number of years,’ he said. ‘And certainly the Abraham Accords provided that window of opportunity, not just for me to engage personally with Muslim faith leaders, but well beyond that — to be welcomed very warmly officially to the UAE for the Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace, to participate and be prominently featured in that, plus engagement with the countries’ political leaders and of course having a chance to meet with the growing Jewish communities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.’” [JI]
Jewish Story Partnersannounced that 20 documentary films had received a total of $550,000 in new grants, including two projects about Elie Wiesel — “Elie Wiesel: Soul on Fire,” from Oren Rudavsky and “Becoming Elie Wiesel,” from David Fisher and Michael Berenbaum — as well as “Rabbi,” a documentary by Sandi Simcha Dubowski about Lab/Shul founder Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, the scion of 39 generations of Orthodox rabbis…
Rabbi Sacks Legacy, which aims to preserve and promote the work of the late Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, hired Rabbi Jeremy Bruce as its executive director in North America…
The Yiddish Book Center has chosen 29 libraries to participate in a program that uses translated Yiddish works to spark discussions on issues including immigration, displacement and economic and political upheaval…
Amos Hermon, CEO of Israel Experience, announced that he will step down in the coming months after 13 years in the role…
Mariam Ahmady, an Afghan psychology professor who fled her home country, has been hired by Yeshiva University…
The Ruderman Family Foundation gave actor and singer Selena Gomez its Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion in recognition of her advocacy for mental health…
Birthright Israel and The iCenter welcomed a cohort of Birthright Israel Fellows to San Diego this week for three days of Israel education, training and community building.
Correction: Yesterday’s Pic of the Day was posted courtesy of the JDC.
Stage, film and television actress, Margalit Ruth “Maggie” Gyllenhaal…
Retired justice on the Supreme Court of Canada, Morris Jacob Fish… Director general and founder of TAV College in Montreal, Abraham J. Boyarsky… Milwaukee-based founder and co-managing director of A.B. Data, Ltd, he is the immediate past chair of the Pincus Fund for Jewish Education, Bruce A. Arbit… Manager of HR and operations at IKAR, Susan Brooks… Writer and producer for television and film, Jeff Pinkner… Executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Matt Brooks… SVP of national programs at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, Rabbi Justus Baird… Israeli singer-songwriter, author and travel documentarian, Gilad Segev… Author of several novels, he was the book columnist for the Washington Post until a few months ago, Lavie Tidhar… SVP at The D. E. Shaw Group, Michael A. Levi… 1994 Olympic gold medalist in figure skating, Oksana Baiul… Actress, model, film producer and TV host, Adi Ezroni… VP at Jetro Restaurant Depot, he is a former NFL placekicker and punter, Hayden Scott Epstein… After 15 seasons in the NBA, he became an owner and player for Hapoel Jerusalem and led the team to an Israeli League championship, now an Orthodox Jew and philanthropist, Amar’e Yehoshafat Stoudemire… Director of program strategy and management at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Allison “Allie” Michelle Tenenbaum Shisgal… Snowboarder for the U.S. Olympic team in 2014 and 2022, he competes in the halfpipe, Taylor Gold…
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