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Jewish Democrat Foundation Makes It Official

From The Jewish Week‘s Gary Rosenblatt:

Several weeks ago the Nathan Cummings Foundation, a stalwart in the Jewish philanthropic community for 25 years, announced that its new strategic plan calls for focusing on two specific areas: inequality and climate change….

In the past, about 20 percent of those funds were designated to Jewish groups and causes. Among the recent grantees in the area of Jewish social service projects here and in Israel were Repair the World, Hazon, the Jewish Funders Network, American Jewish World Service, the New Israel Fund, Jewish Funds for Justice, and the J Street Education Fund.

These are all lefty Jewish organizations.  All that Cummings is doing is making it official that its leftism is more important than its Judaism.  Or perhaps in its view, the two being identical, this is just narrowing its issue focus.  Rosenblatt, no political conservative, disapproves nonetheless: focus Jewish resources on the Jewish community.

Given that Cummings’s efforts have only helped produce a Jewish community that wonders why it should stay Jewish, I’m inclined to agree with this somewhat harsh comment:

While the issue is indeed serious and the loss of Jewish philanthropy dollars to general causes palpable, nonetheless, in the particular case of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, there is no great loss and perhaps even a win. Their new goals are clearly more worthy than some of their old goals, which, if anything, were oiling what the Pew study has shown to be part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. With its new orientation, Cummings will not become part of the solution, but it will also no longer produce part of the problem.

Update: Ira Stoll at Future of Capitalism points out that:

The Foundation’s president and CEO Lance Lindblom earned $1,181,431 in 2011, according to the charity’s tax form, which included “a deferred compensation payment of $707,250.”

No word on how much he like private jets.

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