Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


The Old and the New of Jewish Organizations

As someone who is often still lost in the alphabet soup of Jewish organizations – UJC, WZO, AJC, JCRC, WJC, LOL – I share the frustration of those who find the organizations of Jewish communal life difficult to navigate, perhaps even outmoded. These organizations are large enough that they have to engage in huge fundraising efforts just to keep themselves going. And nimble they are not. It is tempting to look to the recent trend of smaller, more innovative, often local start-ups that are mission-driven. They raise and disburse funds around a narrower set of initiatives and programs such as Chicago’s Jewish Council on Urban Affairs or New York’s Avodah Jewish Service Corps.

Yet Rabbi Stern is correct that there is still great need for the “legacy” Jewish organizations. First, they have built a tremendous infrastructure to provide services in both the Jewish and wider communities. Second, they are able to speak effectively as “the Jewish voice” on issues of importance to the Jewish community (although frankly, sometimes I wish there were room for more diverse or nuanced voices on some issues). And finally, they often deliver funds to places they are greatly needed like soup kitchens, shelters, and a whole host of programs that may not be “exciting” enough to attract individual donors but which many in our communities depend upon.

While there will always be a tension between the need for smaller, more responsive organizations and larger, better-funded, and more powerful ones, it is important not to lose sight of the vital work those larger organizations conduct.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(2)
post a comment
Dave

posted March 23, 2007 at 3:37 am


Old and new is right. There are Jewish organisations whose membership resembles a Boca/Deerfield Beach/Palm Beach/Intercoastal condo board. Then there are organisations who are overwhelmingly young. It doesn’t matter if a group is a force for evil or a force for good. If it doesn’t have a youthful membership it won’t be around long. And there are too many Jewish organisations with an elderly membership



report abuse
 

chloe

posted March 27, 2007 at 10:14 am


Jromances.com is a Jewish personals site,By joining, you have given yourself a window to know more Jewish singles and find your best matches. Good luck with you!



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

The Task Is Never Finished
It has been heartwarming to read the warm responses to Rabbi Waxman's post asking Beliefnet to reconsider its decision to cancel Virtual Talmud. Virtual Talmud offered an alternative model for internet communications: civil discourse pursued in postings over a time frame of days (rather than moments

posted 12:31:46pm Apr. 03, 2008 | read full post »

Some Parting Reflections
Well, loyal readers, all good things must come to an end and we’ve been informed that this particular experiment in blogging as a forum for creating wide-ranging discussion on topics of interest to contemporary Jews has run its course. Maybe it’s that blogging doesn’t lend itself so well to t

posted 1:00:29pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

Obama's Lesson and The Jewish Community
There are few times in this blog’s history when I have felt that Rabbi Grossman was one hundred percent correct in her criticisms of my ideas. However, a few weeks ago she called me out for citing a few crack websites on Barak Obama’s advisors. She was right. I never should have cited those web

posted 12:09:08pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

The Future of Race Relations
As a post-baby boomer, it is interesting to me to see how much of today’s conversation about racial relations is still rooted in the 1960s experience and rhetoric of the civil rights struggle, and the disenchantment that followed. Many in the black and Jewish communities look to this period either

posted 4:04:41pm Mar. 25, 2008 | read full post »

Wright and Wrong of Race and Jews
Years ago, as a rabbinical student, I was one of a group of rabbinical students who visited an African American seminary in Atlanta. My fellow rabbinical students and I expected an uplifting weekend of interfaith sharing like we had experienced in visits to other (largely white) seminaries. We were

posted 12:50:11pm Mar. 24, 2008 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.