Do Jewish nonprofits have it tougher?


The New York Jewish Week reports this week that the editor in chief of the Chronicle of Philanthropy thinks Jewish nonprofits might have a tougher time than others as the economy weakens, primarily because they are smaller than others.

The Jewish Week asks:

Is what’s happening among Jewish nonprofits mirroring the situation in the philanthropy world in general, or is it worse?

Stacy Palmer, editor in chief of the The Chronicle of Philanthropy, says she believes things may be worse among Jewish nonprofits than generally in the world of philanthropy.

“It’s going more slowly in the general nonprofit world,” she said. “The big groups [in the general nonprofit world] are raising a little bit less money but are not being forced to make cutbacks. But smaller groups are being squeezed,” she said.

The president of Jewish Funds for Justice, Simon Greer, told the Jewish Week that tough economic times may just separate the wheat from the chaff.

“When the vast majority of Jewish organizations are doing well or holding their own and there are a few that aren’t, you’re probably getting a shaking out of organizations that were already in trouble, and in hard times they’re going to be in more trouble.”

“If your mission is not exactly in line with where people are, it doesn’t take much to push it over the edge,” he says. “UJC was having troubles in economic good times. JTS was starting to have trouble in economic good times. It would be nice to lay the blame on the stock market, but that’s an easy way out. It’s about these organizations.”

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