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Will the Well Run Dry? The Future of Jewish Giving in America

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Publication Date: January 1979

Publisher(s): National Jewish Conference Center (U.S.)

Author(s): Paul Ritterband; Steven M. Cohen

Funder(s): National Jewish Conference Center (U.S.)

Funder(s): National Jewish Conference Center (U.S.)

Series: Policy Studies '79

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Banking and finance (Philanthropy and nonprofit sector)
Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: American Jews; Philanthropy; Communal Organization

Type: Report

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

How can Jewish philanthropy continue to be as successful in the past, giving changing patterns of American Jewish practice and identification? Jewish giving is found to be more correlated with Jewish behavior, measured by questions such as attendance of a Passover seder, having a mezuzah on the door, fasting on Yom Kippur, reading Jewish periodicals, and so on, than Jewish attitudes, measured by questions such as feelings about giving one’s child a Jewish education or hypothetical reactions to the possibility of one’s child marrying a non-Jew. The evidence clearly shows the necessity for Jewish "moral capital formation." We are living off our capital. As a community, we are milking memories and sentiments. Rational, self-interested philanthropic leadership will invest in Jewish moral capital formation in order to stay in business. The business of Jewish philanthropy is the Jews.