Jewish charitable groups face declining contributions

Jewish philanthropic groups are antsy about the fall-out from the economic crisis.

All charitable groups must be, especially when there is a growing demand for services on the part of people who are struggling.

Mark Talisman, a leading Jewish activist, has suggested an emergency national summit of Jewish leaders to talk about what’s happening, the Jewish Week reports.

“Our organizations face a potential emergency with donors, who are heavily concentrated in real estate, banking and finance,” he says, noting that kosher food pantries around the country have been out of food for months.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism,  says the government can’t focus all its efforts on saving financial institutions: “What we are doing is communicating about the need not to forget the poor and the vulnerable, not forgetting the individual homeowner while addressing the broader mortgage crisis. But beyond that, there hasn’t been much engagement in the last few days because things are moving very swiftly.”

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.