Community Development

What the Dog Saw

What the Dog Saw

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking” (Voltaire) I have often wondered why we often come up with organisation wide responses to situations or issues that arise; we compile a new policy and procedure or we may embark upon another audit when it feels at the back of the mind that there is another solution that is possibly more cost effective that will get to the heart of [...]

Empowered Humility: Leveraging Your Limitations in Philanthropy

Empowered Humility: Leveraging Your Limitations in Philanthropy

Andrés Spokoiny’s Annual Address to the 2016 JFN Conference The rabbis of the Talmud read the story of the creation of the world and struggled to understand why humanity was created last in all creation. They explained it, as they often liked to do, with a paradox. Man’s position in creation should keep him humble, they said, since even the most insignificant of insects was created before him. But the [...]

Newsletters, social media and other ways of engaging

Newsletters, social media and other ways of engaging

The main purpose of this article is for us to reflect on how some Jewish organizations in Europe use their newsletters to communicate to their audience. Jewish organizations use different tools to communicate about their programs. Word of mouth, phone calls, boards, flyers, websites, newsletters, social media, apps, are some of these tools. They are the means to make sure that the information gets to the targeted market. In the [...]

Organisations in the XXI Century*

Organisations in the XXI Century*

Twenty five years ago I came back to Europe (my grandparents escaped from the pogroms in Odessa), from Argentina, with my wife, and we settled down in Barcelona where we had two kids. In a way, I’m still a foreigner and due to my work for JDC, travelling across Europe, sometimes I have the opportunity to see certain situations through the eyes of a newcomer, in other words, through the [...]

How would a European Pew survey look? ‎

How would a European Pew survey look? ‎

In 2013, the publication in the US of the Pew Survey, “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” gave place to numerous and heated debates in the American Jewish world. Optimistic, pessimistic, alarmist and critical reactions succeeded one another in what was virtually the first nation-wide survey after the much-disputed National Jewish Population Survey of 2000-2001. Among its most salient findings, the survey showcased the existence of a non-negligible percentage of Jews [...]

Judaism in Europe is going through a difficult time

Judaism in Europe is going through a difficult time

Judaism in Europe is going through a difficult time and the economic downturn has undoubtedly had a decisive effect on this. Europe’s growth cannot compete with that of China, India, Russia, Brazil, or with any other already established economies such as the United States and Japan. This has led to the birth of populist and intransigent positions. One need not be reminded of Germany in the 1930s which was plunged [...]

Leaders, Individuals, and Kings

Leaders, Individuals, and Kings

There is little descriptive adequacy in terms which gloss and evaluate how individual minds work. Leadership, for the most part, is one of them. I worry about those that see leadership as a trait of an individual mind and not (if at all leadership is explicative of something) as a communal accomplishment organized in a specific set of circumstances (social, political, economic, etc.). Even after postmodern and or critical pirouettes [...]

Interpreting a Place: Is the City a Talmudic Book?

Interpreting a Place: Is the City a Talmudic Book?

Recently, I chanced upon a very interesting program about the power of consciousness. A Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto, photographed the molecular structure of water in a bottle. He established the experiment with the water a few times, each time writing a few different words on the bottle: “I love you,” “I hate you,” “beauty.” The physical structure of the water profoundly changed with the different words: As the words “I [...]

Jewish Purpose for a Europe in Crisis

Jewish Purpose for a Europe in Crisis

Greece on the path to a 3rd painful rescue plan… Over 1,800 migrants dead trying to reach Europe in the first half of 2015 (UNHCR)… Populist Parties on an unprecedented rise, both on the far right and the far left… Over 23 million unemployed people in the EU (Eurostat, May 2015)… Over 6,000 dead since April 2014 in the Ukraine-Russia war over Donbass… “At the European level, (at least) 5,000 [...]

No decision about me, without me

No decision about me, without me

This core statement presented by Janet Leech, the Head of Learning Disabilities at Enfield Council in London at the conclusion of JCC Global’s Amitim– Fellows Special Needs Seminar captures the essence of a groundbreaking experience. Executive directors, senior staff members and volunteers from the Mazal Tov JCC in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, the Shore Front Y in New York and the Eilat Community Centers in Israel gathered in London to learn about [...]

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