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This is one of those “you’ve gotta see it to believe it” speeches. In front of roughly 50 philanthropists, Jewish professionals and members of the media, Michael Steinhardt spoke in deeply critical terms about the rest of Jewish leadership.

This video is a Web bonus feature for this week’s newscast (if you’d rather watch it on TV, it’s also running in full after the credits of the full broadcast version of this week’s newscast on The Jewish Channel).

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12 Comments

  • Right on. I always feel sorry for the elderly ladies and gentlemen that put their hard-earned funds towards what they are made believe will foster cultural progress and see how pseudo elites are having their hobbies, not causes, sponsored.

  • Wait didn’t Steinhardt fund Jewcy? I heard those were some awesome parties at that awesome office space!

        • I thought they were basically just like us with the only difference that they were addressing a less educated and more easily influenced readership.

          I gave my ping pong and foosball tables away. As I’ve said before, I’ll sponsor an airhockey table if that gets us generous funding.

    • Wait didn’t Steinhardt fund Jewcy? I heard those were some awesome parties at that awesome office space!

      You’re missing his point. It’s that fresh and new ideas are needed if real change will come about in the Jewish community. It’s a fair and correct statement. To achieve this, he tells the leadership of the community that we’ve accepted mediocrity and ideas that don’t work for a long time. The results are plain to see and they’re not encouraging.

      I would say that Jewcy was a similar attempt to do something unusual and new. Where they went wrong, perhaps, was that they thought like a typical dot com instead of learning those lessons.

      Let’s not diss that project too much, they weren’t so bad as a funded entity. It was just perhaps a little insane to fund them to the extent they were funded when alternatives such as this site existed.

      What’s weird to me is that Jewlicious already existed and as a platform would have been a shortcut to achieving similar goals. I assume nobody called us.

  • And JewCy was the media partner of J STREET, and gave out free loaner youtube video recorders so that people at J STREET could record their experiences and upload it to JewCY.

    • What I had originally typed was that having no funding has its good sides as it takes real determination and dedication to make something work – and we’re going global, so yeah, there’s real determination and dedication here. None of us have paying our rent depend on writing one more piece that month etc. It’s a volunteers’ task, and it keeps our egos in check as the funding might mislead people to think they’re producing worthwhile pieces of journalism while you’d be hard-pressed to find actual buyers for opinion pieces and at best average-quality report papers.

      Still, the jacuzzi and fancy coffeemaker are still on my wishlist.

  • With all due respect to Mr. Steinhardt, I think it is not fair to blame the existing organized Jewish infrastructure for “failing” as he puts it. Hillel does the best they can–WITH THE RESOURCES THEY HAVE. Birthright Israel NEXT (Michael Steinhardt and other mega-philanthropist’s Birthright follow-up project) has an operating budget of over 11 M a year–and that is for 8 cities in the US. Hillel tries to be on every major North American campus–salaries, programming money and rent to name a few expenses, set the tab at MINIMUM 350K for a small Hillel; you would need over 200 M to reach 300 campuses effectively. If Hillels had the kind of resources (money) that Birthright Israel has, maybe their “best” might be better…??? Maybe what these mega-philanthropists should invest some of their money in is electing to pay for MBAs for young Jews interested in running efficient Jewish organizations. Offer the best of the best an opportunity to put their passion and their ideas to work in a directed goal-oriented strategic model…as Mr. Steinhardt would call it “a business model”… just a thought

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