Jewish Journal


February 14, 2012

Jewish Identity: Sharpies vs. Parnassim



Parnass or Sharpie

More than 200 groups, from animals rights organizations to political activists, say most of their donated funds vanished after the group that watched over the money stopped operations in the LA Times.

Makes one think about how Madoff got local Jewish charities in the hole recently.

The Forward recently had an penetrating article about the growth of donor-advised-funds in the Jewish and general community, pointing out the dangers of the wealthy “parking” their monies, while getting immediate tax benefits.

A discussion of Jewish communal ethics around the role of charitable stewardship is needed.  Are the decision makers adhering to the general communal well-being values of the “parnass” or are they adhering to the primary values of self-interest, self-dealing and doing-well-by-doing good of the “sharpie.”

Pini Herman, PhD. has served as Asst. Research Professor at the University of Southern California Dept. of Geography,  Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Social Work,  Research Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles following Bruce Phillips, PhD. in that position (I was recently notified that with 40,000 visitors this year the 15 year old study of the LA Jewish populationwas third most downloaded study from Berman Jewish Policy Archives in 2011) and is immediate past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. Currently he is a principal of Phillips and Herman Demographic Research. To email Pini: pini00003@gmail.com To follow Pini on Twitter:

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