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Jewish Philanthropy in Europe: Challenges and Changes - Exploring the Italian case in context


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This paper presents preliminary findings of a work-in-progress on contemporary
European Jewish philanthropy. The purpose of the paper is to show that EuropeanJewish
philanthropy exists and how it is changing. It discusses both donations within
Europe and towards Israel, focusing on the case study of Italy within the broader
European context. As it represents a first attempt to study European- and ItalianJewish
philanthropy, this exploratory work shows how much more research is needed
in the field. An important aspect that emerges from this research and which has a
strong impact on the scope of the paper itself is the absence of real transparency in the
field of fundraising in Italian Jewish institutions, both within Italy and towards Israel.
The paper therefore suggests that it may become part of a more systematic project for
enhancing transparency in Jewish philanthropic organizations to create a more
competitive and clear environment for growth and impact.
After discussing the factors that make European-Jewish philanthropy invisible as
compared to US-Jewish giving, the paper maps out pan-European Jewish agencies
and initiatives and focuses on new trends of European-Jewish giving. One of the most
significant challenges to a study of European-Jewish philanthropy is its heterogeneity,
forcing research to focus on one country at a time. As no research has hereto focused
on Italian-Jewish giving, the paper focuses on the Italian case and presents the results
of the first survey on Italian-Jewish philanthropy focused on both institutions and
private donors. Within the limits of available data, it presents mostly qualitative
findings on trends of donations within Italian-Jewish organizations, on profiles of
Italian-Jewish donors and the changing dynamics of modalities of giving. Findings on
Italy are then compared with UK- and French-Jewish giving—as these represent the
countries with the largest Jewish populations in Western Europe. This comparison
shows how Italian-Jewish philanthropy is at the beginning of processes of change that
are already well underway in other European countries. The paper concludes with
recommendations on directions for further research, in addition to policies of better




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Jewish Philanthropy in Europe: Challenges and Changes - Exploring the Italian case in context

Bibliographic Information

Levi D'Ancona, Luisa Jewish Philanthropy in Europe: Challenges and Changes - Exploring the Italian case in context. European Forum at the Hebrew University - Helmut Kohl Institute for European Studies. 2011:  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-iti19