Empowered Philanthropy

What can the minyan teach us about tzedakah? Using the minyan and group prayer as a model, Felicia Herman explains the mechanics and benefits of giving circles, a model of philanthropy in which individuals pool their resources and decide collectively how to make the most impact with their resources. Not only do giving circles hold great potential for philanthropic impact, they also reflect the pervasive Jewish value of giving joyfully and with intention, never begrudgingly.

Felicia Herman has been Executive Director of Natan since 2005. Natan empowers givers by engaging them in giving circles inspired by Jewish values through The Natan Fund, a giving circle of emerging philanthropists supporting Jewish and Israeli social innovation, and through Amplifier: The Jewish Giving Circle Movement, a field-builder and resource for Jewish giving circles around the world. Felicia serves on the boards of Bikkurim: An Incubator for New Jewish Ideas and Sefaria. She is a recipient of JFN’s JJ Greenberg Memorial Award, and she holds a Ph.D. in Jewish History from Brandeis University.

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