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2018 Annual Assessment

After 70 Years: Examining US Philanthropy to the American Jewish Community and to Israel

In this Annual Assessment, we look at two issues related to the sources and uses of Jewish wealth for Jewish people purposes. The first is a preliminary data-based examination of the contention that the face of philanthropy in North America is changing so as to confer ever greater control and influence to big donors. This has become a prime focus of concern in contemplating the sustainability of Jewish community institutions under such changed circumstances. While much discussion has centered on how big giving can be retained for Jewish people uses, JPPI’s analysis suggests that at least some of this focus may be misplaced.

We then address how relevant Diaspora philanthropy toward Israel may be 70 years after the founding of the state and especially in light of its profound and sustained economic growth over recent decades. Although the scale of such giving may have diminished in relative terms, it remains significant for selected aspects of Israeli life – and may be even more so from the perspective of maintaining communal bonds across a widening divide.

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