When Jews feels connected to their community, money will flow — to Jewish causes and elsewhere. That, in short, is the main finding of a broad new nationwide study of American Jewish philanthropy. Coordinated by Jumpstart, a Los Angeles-based think tank and incubator for innovative Jewish nonprofits, the study, titled “Connected to Give,” asked nearly 3,000 Jews across the United States about their giving habits.
The state of funding innovation in the Jewish community presents encouraging and discouraging realities at the same time.
On May 8, in a very cool space in Culver City, I listened to a hundred very cool people talk about their very cool vision for the Jewish future.
As part of their visit to Los Angeles last week, the outgoing class of Joshua Venture Fellows, all leaders of innovative Jewish organizations that are less than five years old, spent a few hours one evening talking to a group of L.A. Jews.
They say a good mensch is hard to find. Without the Professional Leaders Project (PLP), the Los Angeles Jewish community might never have met mensches like Gabe Halimi and Ari Moss (“L.A.’s Top Ten Mensches,” The Jewish Journal, Dec. 31). Or innovators like Elishia Shokrian Bolour, who launched the Society of Young Philanthropists here in Southern California and is expanding it to Dallas. Now that PLP has announced it will suspend operations, who knows how many prospective mensches will never be discovered?