According to a letter distributed last week to members of the Jewish Funders Network—a 20-year-old organization devoted to helping private philanthropies invest in Jewish causes—the group’s head, Mark Charendoff, will be stepping down at the end of the year. As it happens, Charendoff just wrote an op-ed for The Jewish Week arguing for term limits in Jewish communal institutions, the main thrust being that anyone gets burned out if they stay in one place too long. How long is too long? About eight to ten years, he said.
Well, it’s been nine years since Charendoff was hired away from the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies—where he helped establish the Birthright Israel program—to help professionalize the JFN, which had grown in an ad hoc fashion as more and more wealthy Jews decided they wanted to bypass established avenues of communal giving in favor of setting up their own foundations and programs. And, given that Charendoff is still not quite 50, it’s perfectly reasonable to imagine that he’d have designs on shaking up one of the big, established community organizations—though, according to JFN chair Murray Galinson, Charendoff hasn’t yet figured out just what his next move will be. (Messages left for Charendoff and Galinson were not immediately returned.)
Meantime, the JFN has until December 31 to find a replacement; there will be no shortage of candidates.
Allison Hoffman is a senior editor at Tablet Magazine. Her Twitter feed is @allisont_dc.