An auction of the 500-piece Judaica collection owned by philanthropist Michael Steinhardt was the “most valuable auction of Judaica ever held,” Sotheby’s said.
Imagine a world in which every newborn child receives a voucher toward early childhood Jewish education and a free trip to Israel.
That's what philanthropist Michael Steinhardt asked 4,000 delegates to the North American Jewish federation system's General Assembly to consider earlier this month.
The "Newborn Gift" would be part of an overall investment in strengthening Jewish education that Steinhardt is proposing. He told delegates that he was willing to contribute $10 million to the project, which he called the Fund for Our Jewish Future -- on condition that his contribution represent no more than 10 percent of the total fund.
In other words, the former Wall Street tycoon was challenging the audience to raise at least $90 million for Jewish education in the Diaspora.
Alex Dwek, a London-born real-estate developer, sits with a friend in a dimly-lit cafe on New York's fashionable Upper West Side, sipping white wine and chatting up a young lady he's just met. The three of them, all 30-something, fashionably dressed and single, have just emerged from an evening class nearby, where they studied "The Artist's Way: Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self."
On a chilly autumn morning in late October, in a rooftop sukkahatop New York's Abraham Joshua Heschel School, a small group ofrabbis, Hebrew teachers and millionaire investors joined hands tomark what their leader called a "defining point in American Jewishphilanthropy": an $18 million fund to help create new Jewish dayschools around the country, paid for by a "partnership" among a dozenof America's richest Jewish families.