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

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


Publication Date: January 1979

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

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

Research Area: Banking and finance; Culture and religion

Keywords: American Jews; Philanthropy; Communal Organization

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


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.