February 15, 2019

Values and Valuables

Dov Ben-Shimon Federation CEO

More than 60 of our Greater MetroWest snowbirds gathered last week in a beautiful private home in Boca Raton, Florida for a wonderful evening.

Our speaker, Sharna Goldseker, the founder and executive director of 21/64, a nonprofit that serves philanthropic and family enterprises, gave a fascinating presentation on how next-generation donors are changing – and revolutionizing – philanthropy.

What fascinated me most was when she delved into what these next-gen donors and young philanthropists actually are thinking about. “They are driven,” she said, “by values over valuables.” By deep convictions and principles. And whose behaviors do the next-gens say most inform these values? Their parents’ and grandparents’.

So show your children, your grandchildren – don’t just tell them. Model the behaviors you believe in most.

Like a proud parent or grandparent, I’m going to take a moment to kvell over the success of a few of our Federation initiatives designed to model positive Jewish behaviors for our next generations:

  • Thanks to your support, 2,665 kids in Greater MetroWest will soon receive their monthly PJ Library book (free for them!)
  • Hundreds of Greater MetroWest 20-somethings will go on a Birthright Israel trip this year (also free!), also funded by Federation donors like you.
  • Federation initiatives such as NextGen, created specifically to engage young families in our Jewish community, are thriving.
  • And speaking of modeling philanthropy, Iris Teen Tzedakah is a program (you get the theme… made possible by a generous donor) where teens actually get to make philanthropic decisions with real money.
  • G2 is a new program designed especially for grandparents and grandchildren to spark conversations about Jewish identity rooted in their family’s experiences – a cohort from Greater MetroWest and from our partner city Arad in Israel participated in the pilot year.

It’s no secret that involvement is the key to success of great communities. So show up. Roll up your sleeves. Be part of something that reflects your values. Remember, your kids and grandkids are watching.