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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘investing’

Innovation in Jewish Education – “Investing in the Jewish Future”

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

For years, Jewish education has been searching for a means to inspire, to innovate, and redefine the standard curriculum to engage the next generation of Jews.

Schools across the Jewish spectrum have received constant pressure to re-package and teach classic content in a style that speaks to the students. The fast-pace of today’s technology is forcing educators and the institutions they represent to connect, and to remain relevant.

There are sparks of a burgeoning renaissance in the field of Jewish education. Among the leaders in the groundbreaking initiative are Yeshiva University, who has begun to offer an Experiential Education Certificate to offer Jewish leaders a new set of tools with which to transform teaching material. The premise of the certificate is to encourage the educator to tap into creative, less formal teaching styles that can present the materials in a new light.

The Mayberg Family Foundation is hosting this week (June 1-2) its annual Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC) retreat. In contrast to the slow process of traditional funding, the Mayberg innovation challenge more closely resembles a Jewish education version of a “pitch night.” At the retreat, finalists have 12 minutes to pitch their projects to a panel of judges, (think “Shark Tank”), who have then discuss and question them. All participants and audience members are invited to access all elements of the grant applications in Mayberg’s Guidebook app, opening the process to the public. Winners will receive notice and a $50,000 grant later this month. Manette Mayberg, trustee of the foundation, views their refreshing funding style as “Investing in the Jewish future.”

This year’s Lead Facilitator at the retreat is Aryeh Ben David, an innovator in education, founder of Ayeka and their “Soulful Education” method. The Soulful Education methodology works with existing schools’ educators and curriculum, but with a new approach to both that changes the emphasis of Judaic Studies from amassing knowledge to processing information for personal transformation and growth.

The argument made is that the innovation needed in Jewish Education is to replace the traditional information accumulation model with one that uses Jewish wisdom as a means to personalization and internalization for teacher and students alike.

The organization’s has recently received grants for the coming school year from The Avichai Foundation, Lippman-Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, and The Kohelet Foundation for a “start up” program that will provide training, mentoring and ongoing work with 18 faculty members from three Day Schools for an extensive 10-month training period.

“Ayeka isn’t changing the what or the who so much, but rather the how. Jewish educators are being presented with an opportunity to transform the way we reach Jewish learners, not just through conveying information, but by having the students personalize their learning and bring it into their lives.” Ayeka sees its paradigm shifting, unapologetically open approach as a necessary step for improving Jewish education.

While Mayberg places the responsibility on the schools to work and change from within, some more grassroot, independent projects are approaching Jewish education from the perspective of an outsider or consultant.

Shinui is a network of six organizations focused on innovation in the “part time” education sector, such as Sunday school, JCCs, adult education classes and more. While they are not dealing with full time day school, they are challenging boundaries in the non-orthodox world. Collaboration based, they are using platforms of engagement to effect 6 different geographical areas, from Houston to San Francisco.

Kevah, a self-described DIY project, invests in a ground-up educational group. To start a new chapter, a local host convenes a group of learners interested in a certain topic, and then Kevah provides them with an educator, administrative platform, and a curriculum which matches their style. It is up to the group to continue their learning. Their method banks on group dynamics and commitment to make learning a source of enrichment rather than a chore.

When seeking answers to the need for innovation in traditional learning, pioneers are finding communities and learners most responsive when they educate and inspire the personal and spiritual connections each individual forms with Judaism. Recognizing the imperative of continuing Jewish life, they are pushing into the world of the informal and spiritual realms, emphasizing fresh approaches in an effort to disrupt the status quo and keep the Jewish future bright.

Ayeka training retreat in Glencove, NY (

Ayeka training retreat in Glencove, NY (

Rachel Moore

Analysis: Sheldon Adelson Investing in Trump Presidency with Netanyahu ‘Incident’ in Mind

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Last December, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying, “Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims. The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.”

It was a proper statement, expressing all the best sentiments regarding respectful interfaith relations, but its timing made it a potential disaster for the Israeli leader’s future relationship with the White House, should Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump win in November.

Back in 2013, Donald Trump announced his endorsement of Netanyahu for prime minister of Israel. It’s not clear why Bibi needed that show of support, but there it was. “I think he would have been a great president of the United States,” Trump said at the time. Now, the Netanyahu circle expected, Trump would expect to be rewarded in kind, with an endorsement from Netanyahu before the start of the primaries, which would have gone a long way to attract the pro-Israel vote.

It’s not even certain that Netanyahu was entirely against endorsing Trump, or at least giving the candidate a useful, very friendly photo-op. The meeting had been arranged two weeks earlier, according to the PM’s office, and Trump disclosed his plans to visit Israel in a Twitter post: “Prior to the end of the year, I will be traveling to Israel. I am very much looking forward to it.”

But then the Jerusalem Post reported that Trump wanted to visit the Temple Mount, and that “the campaign was looking into the logistics of visiting the site.” Talk about starting WW3. One can only imagine the Arab reaction had the US presidential candidate who promised to oust Muslims who tried to set foot in his country come to spread his message in the eternal city.

This is why Netanyahu felt compelled to reject Trump’s views openly, and to continue to state, in the same release, that the PM had decided this time around “on a uniform policy to agree to meet with all presidential candidates from either party” who visit Israel, but “this policy does not represent an endorsement of any candidate or his or her views, rather, it is an expression of the importance that Prime Minister Netanyahu attributes to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.”

In the context of the clandestine yet at the same time hyper-publicized relationship between Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Benjamin Netanyahu, that unavoidable error of December 9, 2015, where the modern-day ruler of Judea snubbed the modern-day Roman Emperor-to-be, had to be mended. Anyone who has followed the Trump campaign so far know that the candidate does not forgive slights, ever, and that being rejected publicly by “his friend” Netanyahu, as he had defined their relationship had to sting, and that there would be hell to pay.

And so Netanyahu’s patron Adelson has taken on himself the mission of mending the rift between the PM and the candidate. Adelson had initially passed on Trump in favor of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Texas Governor Rick Perry. It’s doubtful that Trump’s flashy public style appealed to Adelson, whose demeanor is reserved and secretive. But one week after the Netanyahu rejection note, Adelson asked for a meeting with Trump. At that stage of the race Adelson did not endorse Trump, but came out of the meeting telling reporters he found Trump to be “very charming.”

A few hours later, Trump issued the statement Adelson had been waiting to hear: “Sheldon knows that nobody will be more loyal to Israel than Donald Trump.”

Since then, Trump has stuck by his very positive views about Israel, and even endorsed continued settlement construction. Granted, he would have done it regardless of his meeting with Adelson. It is paramount for Trump to position himself as a greater friend of the Jewish State than his presumptive opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton. But general sentiment and access to the White House for the Israeli PM are two very different things, as Netanyahu has learned so painfully during the Obama Administration.

Now, with the primary campaign all but over, Adelson told Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more than $100 million to his campaign. Adelson has also appointed himself Trump’s envoy to wealthy and influential Republican Jews, and this week sent fifty of them an email soliciting their support for the candidate. The Republican Jewish Coalition is not in Trump’s pocket. It is much more concerned with shielding Republican candidates in blue states from the Trump toxins than it is with endorsing the winning candidate. So Sheldon has his work cut out for him.

Meanwhile, as Trump has announced that he abandoned his plan to fund his campaign with his own money in favor of soliciting $1 billion from donors, Adelson would be a pivotal gain for him, on his way to reaching Jewish billionaires like hedge fund head Paul Singer. Singer is easily as pro-Israel as Adelson.

Of course, Adelson’s choice would have naturally been Trump, but it is doubtful their relationship would have been forged as it has done without Adelson’s concerns for Netanyahu’s political future.

JNi.Media

Are Commodities Really Hot Stuff?

Monday, May 13th, 2013

In the first half of this week’s podcast, Doug meets Jim Rogers, the author of Street Smarts – Adventures on the Road and in the Markets. Jim is also an author, investment expert, and financial commentator who has appeared in various publications, including Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, and more. Jim tells Doug about investing in commodities and why it is advantageous to invest in what you know. Find out more by listening to this interesting podcast.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Stop Losing Money as an Emotional Investor

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

One of the reasons why many investors fail in their investments is because they are driven by their emotions. This problem is studied by academics who specialize in an area known as behavioral finance.

People make decisions for all sorts of reasons, but when you make an investment decision based on emotion, not fact, you stand to lose your head, heart, and pocketbook.

For example, sometimes investors hear some positive news about a certain stock and they rush to buy it simply because they feel good about it. They haven’t necessarily researched its individual merits, or checked it against their financial plan to see if it fits with their overall investment goals. They just make a sudden investment decision.

Have you ever done that?

Many investors are driven by fear or excitement, and in both cases their surging adrenaline may help them in a “fight or flight” situation, but not with their investment portfolio.

If an investor is too fearful, he could end up either selling a stock needlessly or not developing his investment potential enough. But sometimes investors don’t have enough fear and they become the victims of Ponzi schemes and other scams.

I recently spoke with Professor Meir Statman, author of What Investors Really Want, on the Goldstein on Gelt show, and I asked him why he thought people let their emotions get the better of them. He replied, “People follow their intuition, and their intuition says that they can tell the difference between honest people and dishonest ones. Dishonest people take advantage of precisely that.” (Click here to hear more of what Professor Statman has to say.)

In the ideal world, investors have the time and resources to take a step back from their emotions and properly research financial moves. But in the real world, who has the time, financial background, or desire to educate themselves properly before making rational investment decisions?

What’s the solution for avoiding the pitfalls of emotional investing?

Find an effective and reliable financial planner. A financial planner has the knowledge and background necessary for researching and assessing various investments and finding out which ones are the most appropriate for you and your financial goals. For this reason, it’s worthwhile taking the time and calling your financial planner today.

Having an objective certified professional oversee your investments is the best way to prevent yourself from falling into the trap of emotional investing.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Data Mining, Predictive Analysis, the Future and You

Monday, April 15th, 2013

On the first part of this week’s Goldstein on Gelt show, meet Eric Siegel, author of Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die. Eric tells Doug about data mining and predictive analysis. What do these terms mean, and how accurate are they in determining people’s behavior? Find out how data mining affects marketing and customer profiling, as well as daily life, by listening to this week’s show.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

The Future of the World Economy (Podcast)

Monday, March 11th, 2013

What will the world’s economy be like in 10 years’ time? On this week’s Goldstein on Gelt podcast, Doug interviews Nobel Prize winner Professor Christopher A. Sims. Professor Sims explains his award-winning theories, for which he received the Nobel Prize for economics in 2011 with Thomas Sargent, and shares his predictions for the world’s economic future. Find out more about Professor Sims’ fascinating economic theories by listening to his interview in Part 1 of the Goldstein on Geltshow.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

The Economist Who Helped Warren Buffet Get Rich

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Meet Joe Carlen, who has written an intriguing biography of Benjamin Graham, the economist who influenced Warren Buffet, Irving Kahn, and other famous financial figures. Carlen, author of The Einstein of Money, and a business consultant himself, speaks to Doug on this week’s episode of the Goldstein on Geltshow about Benjamin Graham and his philosophy. How do Graham’’s theories affect investors and the financial world today? Find out by listening to this fascinating interview.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/goldstein-on-gelt/the-economist-who-helped-warren-buffet-get-rich/2013/02/18/

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