|Assimilation, Intermarriage May Dry Up Donations to Israel|
The shrinking value of the dollar
is seriously pinching philanthropic organizations, which raise funds
spent in shekels, but this short-term problem pales in comparison to
long-term threats facing the Diaspora that threaten to shrink the number
of Jewish donors in the future.
That concern was voiced at a reception
and lavish kosher buffet dinner at the Beverly Hills mansion of Parviz
and Pouran Nazarian honoring nearly 200 major donors ($100,000 a year
and up) to the Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America, which
raises funds for the development of Israel's Hadassah Medical Organization
and other educational and social projects.
The Nazarians, Jews who left Iran
with the rise of the Muslim regime, are generous donors to Jewish causes,
including Hadassah. They hosted the reception in their tasteful and
luxurious mansion, complete with a private waterfall in the back garden,
antiques, exquisite paintings and sculptures.
The Nazarians were surprised last
year in Israel by their children, who arranged for a celebration of
their 50th wedding anniversary at a four-day party in the Judean Desert
for families and friends, who were housed in Persian-style tents hung
with expensive chandeliers. Pouran was seated on a golden throne.
Led by Hadassah national president
Nancy Falchuk and Hadassah Medical Organization director-general Prof.
Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the guests were told by Baltimore Jewish donor Stewart
Greenebaum that the Diaspora Jewish "voices in the choir"
who praise Israel, donate and solicit donations for Israeli causes from
philanthropists are dangerously decreasing in number. "I don't
know whether when we are no longer here, our children and grandchildren
will take our places" in donating to Jewish charities, Greenebaum
While he did not advocate a halt
of philanthropy by wealthy US Jews to general civic causes, Greenebaum
was concerned that sources were going to dry up. He urged that those
who remain speak to a "larger audience" and solicit donations
from others, including non-Jewish groups who "can be told what
Hadassah does" and persuaded to contribute to these important causes.Date: