375 Series
The Samuel Bronfman Foundation Newsletter March 2010
In This Issue
Rabbi Art Green keynotes Tu b'Shevat Seder
Top Federation Leadership Shares Insight at 375 Series
MyJewishLearning.com Announces New Parenting Site!
BYFI serves as ongoing resource
TCI Hosts Largest Jewbilee To Date!
Why Be Jewish?...Engaging the Sacred
A Note From Dana Raucher 

The first few months of 2010 have been a time of collaboration and sustainable growth for The Samuel Bronfman Foundation.  As we enter into a new decade, we see partnership and dialogue as key components for supporting the long-term vitality of the Jewish community.
The Samuel Bronfman Foundation continues to take steps to encourage public discussion on relevant topics within the Jewish community. In January. the Foundation hosted a Tu b'shevat program, which sought to explore the contemporary relationship between responsibility and ecology and how traditional rituals can be re-imagined to foster a sense of global Jewish peoplehood.  This February, the BYFI alumni community supported its diverse cohort of social entrepreneurs to be vocal advocates for their causes and organizations through a day-long professional development training program, facilitated by The Op-Ed Project. And recently, our Program Associate, Benjamin Greene wrote in Jewcy on "Half-Jewish: Starting a Wholesome Conversation."
By encouraging the Jewish community to contemplate broader questions, the Foundation is proud to contribute to a vibrant and sustainable Jewish future. We invite you to read more about some of our initiatives below.
We wish you and your family a joyous and liberating Passover celebration.
Dana Raucher
Rabbi Art Green keynotes Tu b'Shevat Seder
On January 20th, The Samuel Bronfman Foundation hosted a dynamic Tu b'Shevat program featuring a discussion with Rabbi Art Green entitled Ecology as a Sacred Imperative. Art presented his understanding of sacredness in modernity, where we are all charged with taking active responsibility for the environment and the world around us. Following Art's discussion, participants engaged in an interactive Tu b'Shevat seder led by Rabbi Or Rose, Director of Interfaith and Social Justice Programs at Hebrew College and Getzel Davis, a rabbinical student at Hebrew College. The program was attended by a number of rising Jewish leaders and educators, including alumni of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel, leaders of the NY chapter of Access, student leaders from NYU's Bronfman Center, and board members of The Natan Fund. Edgar M. Bronfman, President of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, challenged the attendees to utilize the joy and meaning of Tu b'Shevat to build a sense of peoplehood and collective responsibility.
Top Federation Leadership Shares Insight at 375 Series
Kate, Jerry and Adam
The Samuel Bronfman Foundation's winter 375 Series, which took place on February 17th, provided great insight into the strategic leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America. The event featured Kathy Manning, Chair of The Jewish Federations of North America, in conversation with Jerry Silverman, President and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. The discussion inspired a lively dialogue about Jewish communal priorities and the future role of Jewish institutions, particularly how to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse community of young Jews. You can click here to listen to the full conversation.
MyJewishLearning.com Announces New Parenting Site!
MyJewishLearning.com recently announced plans for a new website aimed at Jewish parents with children 5 and younger. With the support of an ignition grant from UJA Federation of New York's Commission On Jewish Identity and Renewal (COJIR), MyJewshLearning.com will create a national website designed specifically for parents with young Jewish children, which will include local sub-sites for parents in the New York area. The national component will consist of general parenting articles and parenting articles with a Jewish twist. The local sub-sites will include local events for parents, class listings, local discussion groups, and meet-up pages. MJL has brought on Debbie Kolben to lead this exciting initiative. Debbie was previously the city editor of The New York Sun and the managing editor of the Village Voice. She recently returned to the States after receiving an Arthur F. Burns fellowship to report in Germany.
MyJewishLearning.com had record breaking traffic this January, nearly doubling monthly numbers from last year. MyJewishLearning.com's innovative fundraising methodologies were also recently featured on ejewishphilanthropy.com in Daniel Septimus' piece, "The Impact of (Very) Small Donors."
BYFI serves as ongoing resource to alumni community
On March 7th, BYFI hosted a panel in New York City at Central Synagogue on the topic, "Does a Post-Denominational World Call for a Different Kind of Pluralism?" with Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Rabbi Shimon Felix, Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses and Rabbi Michael Paley; the panel was moderated by Wayne Jones, President of the Alumni Advisory Board. The panel explored how post denominationalism has shaped the concept of community for North American Jews, whether this phenomenon is as pronounced in Israel and how this has impacted inter-denominational dialogue and pluralism in a Jewish context.
TCI Hosts Largest Jewbilee To Date!
Over 110 faculty and students from across the country gathered together in Boston for The Curriculum Initiative's annual Jewbilee retreat this January. The retreat's theme "Facing Global Challenges in Pursuit of a Better World," gave students the opportunity to explore their Jewish identity while inspiring them to make a difference within the broader community. Jewbilee hosted many engaging guest speakers, including Pulitzer prize winning journalist James Bandler; Sasha Chanoff, founder of refugee resettlement organization Mapendo International; and Dr. Bernie Steinberg, President and Director of Harvard Hillel.
The Why Be Jewish Gathering:
Engaging the Sacred

The Bronfman Visions Forum's 2010 Why Be Jewish Gathering will host 30 leaders from across spiritual, educational, and cultural sectors. This year's Why Be Jewish Gathering: Engaging the Sacred will seek to explore Judaism's  rich tradition of examining and struggling with the concept and value of sacred experiences, and seek to understand what such conversations might mean for the many today who are asking the question Why Be Jewish?  
 The gathering will be held in New York City, May 10-11, 2010. Stay tuned for a full account of the gathering!
The Samuel Bronfman Foundation
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New York, New York 10152