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Jewish Organizations

Featured Nonprofit: Jordan River Village, Israel

For the Jordan River Village in Israel it’s is all about the kids – giving them some of their childhood back, enhancing their sense of self-worth.JRV2

The Jordan River Village Mission is critical:

TJRVLogoo enrich the lives of children, suffering from serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions by creating free, fun-filled, memorable, empowering, medically sound and safe camping experiences.

The Village includes state-of-the-art, but unobtrusive, 24 hour medical supervision, comfortable cabins, specially treated swimming pool, dining hall complex, a performing arts theater, sports & recreation center, arts & crafts building, and much, much more.  Children between the ages of 9 and 18 coping with cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, familial dysautonomia, neurological disorders, rheumatic diseases, heart diseases and other life threatening or chronic diseases are able to feel safe and cared for.

No child or family will ever pay to attend the Jordan River Village which is open year-round.

Leading hospitals and voluntary disease-oriented organizations have partnered with the Jordan River Village, recognizing the importance of such a village and its benefit to thousands of children, who suffer in ways most of us will never know. Our experience has shown that seriously ill children thrive, both physically and mentally, in an atmosphere of fun, support, appreciation and satisfaction.

Activities are structured to allow campers to experience success no matter what their disease or disability.  Following their camp experience, the kids react more favorably to medical treatment and address their conditions more positively.

The Government of Israel has officially endorsed the project and is committed to participate financially in the establishment, operation and maintenance of the Village.

Since the commencement of  operation, in August 2011, over 5,800 children enjoyed the facilities of the Jordan River Village.  During this period over 2,800 people have volunteered at the Village, including doctors, nurses, counselors and those who assist with maintenance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit our website or contact Katia Citrin, Director of External Affairs at:

Support United Hatzolah Gush Dan Today


Terror attacks continue in Israel and Hatzola Gush Dan has been on call 24/7. Just yesterday (Monday), Hatzola Gush Dan was called to help after attacks in Rishon Le’Tzion and Netanya. See more details.

To save a life, Hatzola Gush Dan uses ambucycles to get to the scene in 1.5-3 minutes. During a rescue operation in the recent flash floods in Raanana, one of our ambucycles was destroyed.

Amazing Deal on the L.A. Jewish Journal Email List!

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Featured Jewish Non-Profit: Beit Hagalgalim – בית הגלגלים

Beit Hagalgalim – בית הגלגלים


From the House of Wheels website:

“The House of Wheels, which has been operating since 1979, provides a range of services for children and adults with impaired mobility, mainly due to cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.”

“The Association provides solutions to the shortage in extramural activities and lack of social structures that are appropriate for this population. The House of Wheels provides weekend activities, as well as summer camps and activity classes.”

“In addition, the Association operates a job placement project, which assigns the adult participants to jobs on the open market with an appropriate wage. Hundreds of volunteers are active in the Association, young people in their twenties, students and professionals, whose dedication over the years has helped the participants to break through the boundaries of their disability, enriches their world and inspires them.”

“About 400 participants benefit from the five branches across Israel: in Herzlia; Even Sapir near Jerusalem; Bustan Hagalil in the North; and Kibbutz Urim in the Negev. The fifth branch, established in 2008, holds its activities at Kibbutz Kramim in the Negev and is designed for children of the Bedouin sector.”




Donate Online to Beit Hagalgalim:

Inclusive Playgrounds? Israel and Beit Issie Shapiro Leads the Way.

Who in the world is leading the way so that kids with disabilities can play in playgrounds with other kids with and without disabilities? You guessed it… Israel!DSC04839

Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) is an Israeli non-profit that is working to change the negative perceptions society often has of kids with disabilities.

A BIS speaker recently spoke on the issue at the recent UN Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

BIS is setting up inclusive playgrounds around Israel with great success. In fact, “…as a result of the model park project, and with the help of the Commission for Rights of People with Disabilities, Israel requires all new parks to be accessible. Additionally, BIS is helping countries including South Africa, Uruguay, and UK to establish similar parks.”

Beit Issie Shapiro’s English website:

BIS’s NYC Marathon Fundraiser Page:


TribeFest 2012

It’s almost time for TribeFest 2012!

March 25th-27th in Las Vegas, get ready for the Jewish Federation of North America and National Young Leadership’s premier event for socially conscious Jews in their 20’s, 30’s and early 40’s.  That age range even includes me, but not for long 🙂

TribeFest is a way to connect, it’s a call to action, it’s a place to learn and have fun.

Speakers at this year’s event include Mr. Jewish social media himself, William Daroff.  David A. Harris the President and CEO of NJDC.  Lenny Krayzelburg a four time Olympic gold medalist and Rabbi Charlie Schwartz who will speak on the dilemmas of American Jewish engagement with Israel.

Not coincidentally I will be posting an interview I’m currently working on with Rabbi Schwartz as a follow up to this post in the next few days.


TribeFest website:

TribeFest sponsor:


Where Do You Give?

A really neat new tzedakah design contest put on by AJWS. What does tzedakah look like? Where do you give? To whom and why?

Salaries of U.S. Jewish Communal Leaders

The Forward has just published it’s Annual Salary Survey covering 76 top Jewish communal organizations.

Most revealing,  and it’s searchable.

It’s worthwhile to check and see how much of your hard-earned contributions went to pay someone’s inflated salary.

Or not.

You can be the judge.


Charity Navigator Gives…And takes Away

Charity Navigator has a somewhat controversial rating system for charities awarding stars to measure the financial health, viability and transparency of charities.

A new updates rating system has resulted in ratings changes for over half of the 5,500 charities rated. Charity Navigator considers whether the charity is making easily available information regarding its governance practices, ethical practices, financial information, effectiveness and results.

Our friends at e Jewish Philanthropy have just posted a blog lists changes in the ratings of many large Jewish Charities. Here is a list of Jewish organizations that have lost the coveted 4 Star rating (new ratings appear in parentheses following the organization name).

  • Agudath Israel of America (2)
  • Aish New York (3)
  • Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (3)
  • American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center In Jerusalem (3)
  • American Friends of Nishmat (1)
  • American Friends of Shalva (1)
  • American Friends of the Israel Museum (3)
  • American Friends of Yad Eliezer (3)
  • American Israel Education Foundation (3)
  • American Pardes Foundation (3)
  • American Society for Yad Vashem (2)
  • The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore (3)
  • Birthright Israel Foundation (3)
  • Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School of Greater Washington (3)
  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies (3)
  • Fuchs Mizrachi School (2)
  • Gross Schechter Day School (2)
  • Jewish Community of Louisville (3)
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton (3)
  • Jewish Federation of Omaha (3)
  • Jewish National Fund, United States (3)
  • The Negev Foundation (2)
  • Yeshiva University (3)
Better news is that 12 Jewish organizations once  rated lower have now earned the 4 Star rating.
  • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • The Federation, Jewish Communities of Western Connecticut
  • International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
  • Jewish Communal Fund – NY
  • The Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus
  • Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
  • Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta
  • Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
  • Jewish Federation of Orange County
  • Jewish Federation of Rhode Island
  • Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago
  • MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger – CA
For a more details, please consult e Jewish Philanthropy’s article.

List Updates for the Week of June 5th, 2011


– Maccabi USA now has 9,330 names available (down from 12,292).
– The Center for Jewish History list now has 4,487 names available for exchange only (down from 4,799).
– As of today, The Fiends of the 92st Y postal list is off the market.
The 92st St Y is not doing any acquisition mailings at the moment and as such they have decided not to rent or exchange with other mailers at this time.

– The Yad VaShem list is no longer available on rental. The list is now available on exchange only.  Yad Vashem has 19,318 names.  The average donation os $34.  See the full data card here

Names In The News

Sharon Temkin Portnoy has joined the Forward Association, publisher of the Forward newspaper, as Director of Development.
Portnoy joins the Forward from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.  During her tenure with Hadassah, she led efforts in annual and major gift fundraising, capital campaigns and served as Development Director of Young Judaea, the Zionist Youth Movement of Hadassah.
She joined the Jewish non-for-profit world after a successful career with major multinational corporations in government affairs and corporate relations at the federal, state and local levels. She is a native New Yorker who has developed an extensive network of relationships nationwide in both her corporate and development worlds.

Meanwhile, In Beersheva…

Ben-Gurion University researcher Alberto Bilenca, Ph.D., has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Dr. Bilenca has developed a fast, low-cost device to accurately diagnose malaria in the field without having to draw blood.
Dr. Bilenca is a member of BGU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology.
Dr. Bilenca’s project is based on a standard camera cellphone and a red laser pointerthat can noninvasively obtain finger blood perfusion images in less than a second. The device creates images that detect malaria pigment  in the blood.
In contrast to commerciallyavailable malaria tests, this probe will avoid the need for blood collection, therefore maximizing medical safety, patient comfort and test rapidity. 

Malaria causes approximately 1 million deaths per year throughout developing countries.

Salons for the Savvy Organization

Today’s eJewish Philanthropy features an article by Susan Weidman Schneider, one of Lilith Magazines founders, on the concept on Salons.

She writes…Salons, popular among intellectually curious and avant-garde Jewish women from the eighteenth century onward, are re-appearing in the 21st century as an opportunity for thoughtful women to get together to mull over some of the most exciting thinking of the day. Lilith Magazine has created contemporary salons where ideas hatch and are nurtured, places where small groups of women meet for informal discussions. Salon conversations can pull in women of all ages to talk and act on many progressive fronts – reproductive freedoms, diversity in Jewish families, rights for Israeli women, and much more.

Are salons right for your organization? Read the full article here.

Both Lilith Magazine and the National Council of Jewish Women (mentioned in the article) are long-time clients of Negev Direct Marketing and we support their fine work.


Hebrew Free Burial Association in the News

In an article entitled “A century after one of N.Y.’s worst fires, we still struggle with how to bury the poor” the New York Daily News mark’s the 100th anniversary of the infamous Triangle Shirt Factory Fire.

The Hebrew Free Burial Association helped bury 22 of the Triangle factory workers who died in the tragic 1911 fire and they continue to provide free burial services for those without the means today.

Negev Direct proudly manages the HFBA mailing list.

From the article:

“The people (HFBA) serve, like those who lie on Hart Island, scraped by on the outskirts of society – but they will, at least, have the dignity of a marked grave. The 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire gives us pause to consider just how essential free burial remains.”

“Those best able to attest to the importance of workplace safety, modern building codes or, in our case, a free burial society, are no longer with us. As is said in Jewish custom after a death, may their memories truly be for blessing.”

Full article here

Is This Really the Israel You Know? Israel As a House…

Via: Dan Elbaum, AJC regional Director, Chicago, IL.
“Please take a moment to watch this video about AJC’s Project Interchange and the important work we do to bring decision makers from around the world to Israel!”

Salvador Dali, Zionist

Who knew?

In 1968 Dali produced a limited edition set of 25 colored lithographs to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. The title piece of the suite, reproduced here, was also made into a fine art poster.

One of the copies will on display at the Hillel at Emory University in March. Negev Direct is proud to be the exclusive list manager and broker for the Hillel Foundation.

Read a detailed report on the exhibit by our friends at E Jewish Philanthropy.


Mind The Gender Gap

Here’s some rather unpleasant news.

Ace reporter Jane Eisner of The Forward finds that women continue to lag behind men in both representation and compensation in Jewish communal organizations.

The Forward’s second annual survey of 74 major Jewish national organizations found that in the past year, women lost ground in leadership, continued to lag behind men in pay and did not experience the same increases in salary that a majority of the men enjoyed despite these recessionary times.

Overall, Jewish not-for-profit leaders took home more pay in 2009, but here, too, there was a serious gender gap: For men, the median salary increase was 5.82%; for women it was 1.42%. Only six leaders in our survey took no pay increase at all, and three of them were women.

Read the full article here.

Then do something about it.


Stop the Press! Forward Names Surman Associate Publisher

The Forward, America’s most influential Jewish weekly newspaper and website, has appointed Barry S. Surman associate publisher.

In his position, Surman will be responsible for growing both the print and digital revenues of the Forward – including both English- and Yiddish-language newspapers and websites –  while managing and overseeing their business operations.  Prior to joining the Forward, Surman co-founded and led Eye Multimedia LLC, a multimedia startup, and also consulted for a variety of businesses and not-for-profit projects.

Before that, Surman was the vice president of new business and strategic development, and vice president for classified advertising, for the New York Daily News. In those positions he was responsible for strategic partnerships, investment and acquisition activities, as well as leading advertising and classified sales teams.  Surman also held a series of management roles at The New York Times  in sales and marketing, product development and management, and corporate strategy and acquisitions; he worked in – or closely with – business units in multiple media segments, including digital media, newspapers, magazines, radio, and television broadcasting and production.

Earlier in his career, Surman was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and a professional journalist. His writing and photography have appeared in The New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, Congressional Quarterly, Technology Review and other outlets.

“Barry’s work in growing revenues and managing operations at major newspapers makes him a perfect fit for the associate publisher position,” said Samuel Norich, publisher of the Forward. “We are pleased to have his management, sales and operational experience, as the Forward continues to explore new business and editorial opportunities.”
Surman holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Columbia Business School.   He serves on the alumni board of The Tech, MIT’s student newspaper, and the board of directors of the nonprofit organization Upwardly Global.

It Ain’t Always Easy Being Jewish on Campus These Days

Being Jewish on College campuses isn’t just about getting a degree.

As they head back to campus for another year of hitting the books, this years class of Jewish college students face the monumental task of being Jewish and supporting Israel on campuses that may not be as supportive as we would once expect.

Now more than ever in recent history, Jewish college students face a variety of tough and sometimes veiled challenges from both anti-Israel and anti-semitic groups.  Need proof?  For starters, just look at what happenedlast school year on the UCSD campus.

This video by the JTA’s Adam Soclof from the JTA’s The Telegraph Blog is part interview with Hillel’s President Wayne Firestoneas well as a look into some of the challenges facing Hillel students and staff today.

Hillel International’s webiste:

The Global Day of Jewish Learning

What: The Global Day of Jewish Learning

When: 11.7.10

About: “On November 7, 2010, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz will complete his monumental translation and commentary on the Talmud. His mission has been to give Jewish texts and learning back to the Jewish people. To mark this achievement, communities around the world are joining in a Global Day of Jewish Learning.”


In Rabbi Steinsaltz’s words:

“Jewish knowledge belongs to everyone. In this sense, I suppose
that my work on the Talmud has helped to open a new era: taking
the books out of the hands of the few and making them available
and accessible to everyone. Our goal is not so much to “spread”
knowledge, but to give it back to its owners.”

“Even before the Global Day, you may also want to engage in some
of the Big Questions that are part of our communal study, such
as: Does God hear prayer? What is my responsibility to Tzedakah?
What is sex for? When we say “do unto others”…who are the others?”

“I have been commenting on these questions and invite you to join
the Big Questions discussion.”

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