I don’t post here as often as I’d like, mostly because I spend the lion’s share of my time at MJL trying to make sure we have the resources to accomplish all of the big things we have planned for today and for the future.
Anything that makes it easier to find out what the Jewish funder world is up to is always welcome, which is why I was happy to find out today that the always-informative Jacob Berkman at JTA has launched The Fundermentalist, a new blog covering happenings in Jewish philanthropy.
Today, Jacob fills us in on the disputed origins of Birthright Israel:
Conventional philanthropic wisdom has held that it was some combination of Steinhardt and Bronfman and that essentially Bronfman had the idea to take as many North American young adults as possible to Israel, while Steinhardt came up with the idea to make the trips free â€“ and argued vehemently with Bronfman until Bronfman acquiesced.
Thatâ€™s only about a quarter right, according to Israeli MK Yossi Beilin.
Beilin told the Fundermentalist in unequivocal terms that Birthright, widely accepted as the most significant Jewish philanthropic endeavor of this generation, after sending some 180,000 Jewish kids to Israel over the past eight years for free, was in fact HIS idea.
And while I’m on the topic, if you like what you read on MJL and Mixed Multitudes, why don’t you drop a dollar in our pushka?