NEWS

Welcome to The Samuel Bronfman Foundation press room.  Here you’ll find links to recent press releases and media coverage about the foundation and our grantees.

Sign Up for our Newsletter

     
  Foundation News NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

     
  10-17-2013
REFLECTIONS ON THE SAMUEL BRONFMAN FOUNDATION'S SECOND STAGE FUND
The Samuel Bronfman Foundation launched a Second Stage Fund to help enable post start-ups actualize their transition into the next stage of development. We recently announced the grant recipients of the fund, and want to share our initial reflections on this process. As a Foundation that believes in long-term, deep impact philanthropy, we hoped to specifically address the need of supporting mid-level organizations at critical points in their growth trajectories.
click
here

   
  12-04-12
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE SECOND STAGE FUND GRANT RECIPIENTS
In April, The Samuel Bronfman Foundation (SBF) invited post start-up organizations to apply to a new Second Stage Fund. This fund was created to provide general operating support to organizations at critical junctures in their growth trajectories as they move into their second stage of development. Grant recipients Mechon Hadar, Keshet, and Hazon were announced by the Foundation in December. click
here

   
  11-05-12
THE CURRICULUM INITIATIVE RELEASES REPORT ON ITS 16 YEAR HISTORY
The Curriculum Initiative has published Through the Prism: Reflections on The Curriculum Initiative, a chronicle of the organization’s development since its founding. The report details the innovative changes and adaptations TCI made along its way to becoming a leader in multicultural Jewish education.

For the pull press release and a link to Through the Prism: Reflections on The Curriculum Initiative, click
here
   
 


04-17-12
LAUNCH OF THE SECOND STAGE GROWTH FUND
The Samuel Bronfman Foundation has created a grant pool for second stage organizations to apply for general operating funding. Eligible organizations that have already completed, or are engaged in, a strategic planning or visioning process are invited to apply for funding to enable them to actualize their transition into the next stage of development, which could include growth, merger, spin-off or restructuring. For information about applying, click here

April 2012
SPRING 2012 NEWSLETTER
Click here

   
 

Latest News 2012 2011 Archive

     
         
  01-29-14
HIS REAL WEALTH: SERVICE TO HIS PEOPLE
Bronfman, the legendary businessman, philanthropist and activist Jewish communal leader on an international scale, died Dec. 21 at the age of 84. More than 1,500 people, including a wide range of Jewish leaders, filled Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall late Tuesday afternoon to mark the occasion and recall a man that Rabbi Andy Bachman, in a brief invocation, called a “fierce friend and advocate of the Jewish people” who “redeemed captives and revitalized youth,” referring to his championing the cause of Soviet Jewry and launching programs like theBronfman Youth Fellowships and providing major support to Hillel, the Jewish campus group.
Click Here

   
  12-23-13
EDGAR M. BRONFMAN, WHO BROUGHT ELEGANCE AND EXPANSION TO SEAGRAM, DIES AT 84
Edgar M. Bronfman, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who as chairman of the Seagram Company expanded his family’s liquor-based empire and who as president of the World Jewish Congress championed the rights of Jews everywhere, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84.
Click Here


   
  11-25-13
GIVING THANKS TO THE 20th CENTURY MACCABEES ON CHANUKAH
Thanksgiving is the great American holiday, a secular fete originally celebrating the crops we harvested, now celebrating not just the harvest, but also our freedom, our democracy and our way of life. Because of the oddities of the Hebrew calendar, Jews will be celebrating a second holiday on Thanksgiving, as Chanukah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day this year.
Click Here


   
 

08-01-13
BUSINESS AND LIBERAL ARTS
Because of my experience as former CEO of the Seagram Corporation, young business students and aspiring entrepreneurs often seek my advice on the best way to navigate the complex and daunting world of business. As college students begin to think about selecting their majors, they may be influenced by the many reports coming out this time of year that tell them which majors provide the highest post-college earning potential. Last month, PayScale released its 2013-2014 report, lauding math, science and business courses as the most profitable college majors.
Click Here


   
  08-01-13
MJL IS SEEKING ITS NEXT CEO
MyJewishLearning, Inc. (MJL), the premier Jewish media organization, is seeking an innovative, dynamic, and passionate Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will guide MJL's continued growth as the leading online presence in pluralistic Jewish education and engagement. The MJL CEO position presents a unique opportunity for a visionary leader to broaden the horizon of what is possible for the Jewish experience online. Singular in its commitment to enhancing Jewish knowledge and engagement from a trans-denominational perspective, MJL is a remarkable Jewish pluralistic initiative seeking an equally remarkable leader. The ideal candidate will have a broad knowledge of the Jewish world, the ability to attract and leverage financial resources, and a passion for using technology and new media to engage Jews and non-Jews in Jewish learning and conversation. Please click the link below for further information. All applications should be submitted by September 4th.
Click Here

   
  06-28-13
LOOKING BEYOND THE VISIONARIES
A generation ago, philanthropists and foundations launched a concerted effort to bring more creativity and vitality to Jewish life. They funded visionaries who they hoped would inspire a renaissance in Jewish life. Through vehicles such as Bikkurim: An Incubator for New Jewish Ideas, the Joshua Venture Group, the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Bronfman Fellowships, this wave of innovation grew into a flourishing ecosystem of original and inspiring projects and organizations. They responded to the changing needs of the Jewish community and charted a new course for Jewish engagement.
Read More

   
  06-26-13
JEWISH VALUES DICTATE PROTECTING GAY MARRIAGE
In the early 1970s, while I was CEO of the Seagram Company, public dialogue about gay rights was largely nonexistent in corporate America. Social discourse had not yet even evolved into the "don't ask, don't tell" ethos that dominated the following decades. Homosexuality was simply not discussed and therefore, by implication, was shameful.
Read More

   
  06-17-13
TRYING TO REACH OUT TO THE UNAFFILIATED
In her recent piece "The 'Unaffiliated' Danger Within," the Forward's editor, Jane Eisner, cites the growing numbers of Jews who do not engage personally with Jewish communal life. Eisner raises the troubling question of how these numbers will affect the future of American Jewry, implying that the answer is intra-Jewish outreach. Eisner says, "Many non-Orthodox Jews find it difficult and uncomfortable to persuade other Jews… to care deeply about their faith and culture." I agree with her that this kind of outreach is often the most difficult and uncomfortable, but I suspect that this has less to do with the task at hand, and more to do with our lack of preparation for the job. In my personal and professional Jewish life, my belief is that we must educate ourselves before we can reach out to others.
Read More
   
  06-17-13
STUDYING TALMUD WITH EDGAR BRONFMAN
On the second day of my CLIP internship, at The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, I was asked by a supervisor if I'm going to Talmud. Still a bit overwhelmed by a new office, new faces, and new responsibilities, I quickly replied, "Yes! Definitely!" I had heard that the office had a weekly learning discussion but I didn't know much about it, if it was mandatory, or when and where it was. At 3:25 I walked into the conference room and was greeted by Rabbi Andy Bachman of Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Read More
   
 
05-24-13
HONORING SENATOR FRANK LAUTENBERG
Love of country, love of Jewish community and love of Israel. Those have been driving forces for Frank Lautenberg, who is nearing the end of his career in the United States Senate, and they are the qualities that make an upcoming tribute by the Jewish community something I am proud to commemorate.
Read More
   
 
04-25-13
THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT WE DO AND HOW WE DO IT
I founded Hazon as someone who was – and still is – fundamentally an idealist. The word hazon means "vision," and I continue to believe that vision counts for a great deal in changing the world for good. But as each year has gone by I have become steadily more interested in a wide range of organizational issues: a series of internal cultural attributes that have gradually become true of Hazon and that I believe account for some of our success, such as it is, these last thirteen years. As we continue to plan for the future sustainability of the organization, I have outlined a few factors that have helped Hazon advance organizationally.
Read More
   
 
04-18-13
EMBRACING DIVERSITY AS A UNIFYING ELEMENT OF THE JEWISH FUTURE
In my first couple of years as the executive director of Keshet in the early 2000s, this was the response I heard often when I shared what I do for work. The words would be said with a strained smile and the conversation generally would come to an end when I would respond, "Yes, there are quite a lot of us."
Read More
   
 
04-11-13
FROM FOUNDER'S DILEMMA TO FOUNDERS' ADVANTAGE: THE PARTNERSHIP MODEL AS A PATHWAY TO SECOND STAGE GROWTH
When someone asks me for advice these days about launching a Jewish start-up, I always ask first: "Who is your partner?" In my mind, this is much more important than the brilliance of the new idea or even the potential sources of funding. Launching a start-up is daunting, but launching a start-up alone is extraordinarily difficult.
Read More
   
 
03-25-13
TO BE JEWISH IS TO ASK QUESTIONS
The difficulties of leadership vary according to the cause, the personality of the leader and of those who are led. As the Bible shows, and as we know in modern times, Jews are very hard to lead, which can be a good thing. We don't settle on or accept anything easily, but the rigorousness of that process usually ensures a fair outcome. Jews argue, we put people to the test, but then we unite and organize we do so in an unparalleled manner. Still, working in Jewish leadership capacities have been among the most meaningful and exhilarating experiences of my life.
Read More
   
 
03-10-13
JUDAISM MUST EMBRACE ITS DOUBTERS
In abandoning the doubters and their tough questions, we are abandoning the hope that the legacy of our meaningful texts, beautiful rituals and unique view of the world will live on -- not because we didn't embrace religion, but because we didn't embrace doubt. . . Acknowledging a Judaism that embraces doubt, and that such a practice is backed by hundreds of years of Jewish thinking, is one way in which we, like our forefather Abraham, can expand our tent.
Read More
   
 
01-23-13
THE SEARCH PROCESS FOR A NEW EXECUTIVE HELPS FOUNDATION ACHIEVE ITS MISSION.
In her Chronicle of Philanthropy op-ed, Ariel Groveman Weiner outlines the benefits and process of conducting an internally driven executive search process. She reflects on the methods taken toward finding the new co-director for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships. Ariel argues that an executive search can serve as an opportunity to engage all stakeholders of an organization and reaffirm and clarify its guiding principles and values.
Read More
   
 
11/21/2012
A DAY DEVOTED TO GRATITUDE
There aren't many holidays celebrated by more than 300 million people that don't have some religious origin, but Thanksgiving—arguably the most revered American national holiday—claims a unique place in our consciousness.
Thanksgiving, as the two words in the name directly state, is a day we give thanks. I love the idea of a day devoted to gratitude, counting our blessings, spending time with friends and family, and honoring the country in which we are citizens.
Read More
   
 
10/12/2012
JEWISH ACTIVIST 'HATE SPEECH MUST NOT BE ACCEPTED AS CIVIL DISCOURSE'
This week's U.S. District Court ruling forced the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to place ads in the D.C. subway system reading: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." These ostensibly pro-Israel billboards that deem iihadists, and by implication Muslims, as "savages" do not serve the interests of anyone involved, and in fact inflict great harm.
Read More
   
 
10-09-12
WHY CIVIL DISCOURSE IS IMPERATIVE FOR INTER-JEWISH DIALOGUE
The increasingly partisan tone of the upcoming presidential election manifests a powerful cultural trend in which we seek out information that supports the views we already hold. More and more, we live in a society where people can shield themselves from interaction. They hear what it is they want to hear, seek news from sources they know will support their views, and socialize in groups that share their political and cultural beliefs. We tend to find our camps and stick in them—liberal on one side, conservative to the other. This has become particularly problematic for those of us involved in Jewish life.
Read More
   
 
09-15-12
HIGH HOLY DAYS: A TIME OF ETHICAL DIALOGUE WITH THE WORLD AT LARGE
Although the High Holidays especially focus our intentions on repairing damage we have done, I begin every day with a mirror test. When I look at my reflection, I check to see if I'm happy to see my own face. If not, why? Have I hurt someone or made a mistake? I contemplate those questions, and if I have committed some damage, I try to make amends. The mirror test is how I keep myself honest.
Read More
   
 
05-30-12
JEWISH INNOVATION NEEDS NEW PUSH
Over the past year, with examples like the now moribund but once cutting-edge Jewish record company JDub on people's minds, the Jewish community has spent significant time reflecting on how to make these types of innovative startups more sustainable. Funders, in particular, have tried to figure out how to transition them safely on to the "second stage" of their lives as community institutions. And, more fundamentally, a few questions have presented themselves: What are the obligations of original funders once they have reached the end of the initial funding relationship? Where can an organization turn as it enters a stage of growth that requires larger annual budgets and a greater investment in infrastructure? In what ways does an organization need to adapt structurally in order to survive the transition from pioneering startup to stable fixture in the Jewish communal landscape?
Read More
   
 
04-11-12
HOPE, NOT FEAR
We should inspire through hope - showcase all that is good and joyful about Judaism. Help people want to be Jewish because they are proud of their Judaism and all that it means. As examples, he cites programs like Hillel, Birthright Israel and Jewish camping. If only we show people what it really means to be Jewish. If only we aspire to be a light to the nations. If only we take up the mantle of social justice. This is how we get the next generation of Jews to connect - this is how our grandchildren will be Jewish. Enough with the scary stories.
Read More
   
 
03-13-12
DEFINING SUCCESS AT THE SAMUEL BRONFMAN FOUNDATION
For Jewish philanthropy to be truly successful, all involved have to emerge from the grantmaking process with a greater understanding of Jewish knowledge and values that will then empower them to engage with the community more fully and meaningfully. Learning cannot be a supplemental part of our work. If we are to successfully make the mission and direction of our philanthropy fundamentally Jewish, our connection to Jewish knowledge must inform our thinking and undergird the decisions we make on a daily basis.
Read More
   
 
02-12-12
NETWORK-WEAVING WITH BECKY VOORWINDE
You have to have a genuine passion for and interest in other people. It can't be self-serving – that you want to check names off a list or ask people for money or volunteer time. The desire to really know each person and see them succeed has to be the core of the connection; it's authentic and can't be faked. That's why I use "community" interchangeably with "network" in describing BYFI.
Read More
   
 
02-02-12
TU'BSHVAT: CELEBRATING THE BEAUTY THAT SURROUNDS US
In the same way the Passover seder allows us to ask questions about the story of the Jewish people, the Tu B'shvat seder is an opportunity to ask questions about the planet we live on, how we can better protect and cherish it, celebrate nature through singing and learning, and reaffirm green values.
Read More
   
         
   
     
   
   
   
     
   
     
   
     
           
           


© 2011 The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, all rights reserved