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The Ruderman Summit on Philanthropy, Power and Democracy in the Jewish Community of the 21st Century


Responsive to recent shifts in Jewish engagement and the commitment to Jewish life, it is time to examine how we govern ourselves as a Jewish community in the information age. If not now, when?

The Ruderman Foundation, together with Hebrew College and the Jewish Funders Network held a summit and public conversation on Jewish communal governance for the 21st century on Sunday, April 2, 2017.

The purpose of this summit was to explore and discuss the ways we govern ourselves in the American Jewish community and how changes in recent years may require different structures to respond to the current political and social culture. The event drew community leaders, activists, federation and foundation professionals, and those with an interest in new models of Jewish engagement.

Panelists and Presenters  Included:

Lisa Eisen
Vice President, Charles and Lyn Schusterman Foundation

Allison Fine
Social Media Expert

J.J. Goldberg
Editor-at-Large, Forward

Tiffany Harris
Board of Directors, Moishe House

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer
President & CEO, Mechon Hadar

Idit Klein
Executive Director, Keshet 

Rabbi Daniel Lehmann
President, Hebrew College 

Karyn Cohen Leviton
Director - Jewish Life & Israel, One8 Foundation

Gil Preuss
Executive Vice President, Combined Jewish Philanthopies 

Jay Ruderman
President, Ruderman Family Foundation 

Andrés Spokoiny
President & CEO, Jewish Funders Network 

Dr. Steven Windmueller
Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Communal Service
Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion


Discussion Topics

  • How can the structure and decision making processes of the Jewish community respond to 21st century trends?
  • What roles can Jewish foundations and federations play in engaging more perspectives to effect change?
  • What can we learn from other Jewish communities, non-Jewish communities and American political life that can help the North American Jewish community develop a more responsive and inclusive organizational structure?
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