Building a culture of deference: American Jewish givers, Israelis and control over donations to Israel, 1920–1989

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Abstract

This article tells the story of duelling philosophies over money and power in the philanthropic relationship between American Jews and Israelis during the twentieth century. Its purpose is to provide one case study for how an affluent diaspora community and the leadership of the corresponding ethnic homeland viewed the roles each should play in allocating funds. It details the battle over two conflicting schools of thought for how best to control the nature and flow of American Jewish philanthropy to the Yishuv and early Israeli State. It then describes the extensive steps taken by the eventual winning side to entrench a culture of American deference to Israelis in allocations decision making as the dominant mode of philanthropic partnership in the second half of the twentieth century. The relationship dynamics and tactical measures employed in the battle over allocations discussed in this case provide a framework for analysing other similar homeland-diaspora philanthropic relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-142
Number of pages22
JournalDiaspora Studies
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations

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