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Home » Events » 2024 Louis Bunis Memorial Lecture: Power to Which People? American Jewish Philanthropy & American Democracy
Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - 11:10 am EDT
Power to Which People? American Jewish Philanthropy & American Democracy with Lila Corwin Berman on Wednesday, MArch 13 @ 11:10 a.m. EDT

From legacy organizations to the next hot project, American Jewish communal life operates according to the rules of  American philanthropy. But do those rules advance the ideas of democracy, within and beyond American Jewish institutions?  This talk explores how the practices of American Jewish  philanthropy may contribute to the democratic value of giving  diverse voices access to civic power, while diminishing that very same value. Far from a contradiction, I argue that these two faces reveal the contradiction of American democracy itself, with its investment in ceding power to the people and yet its myriad means of constraining that power.

About our speaker:

Lila Corwin Berman holds the Murray Friedman Chair of American Jewish History at Temple University, where she directs the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History. Her most recent book, The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex: The History of a Multibillion-Dollar Institution, has been awarded the 2021 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians and the Saul Viener Book Prize from the American Jewish Historical Society. Her articles have appeared in several scholarly publications, including the American Historical Review, Journal of American History, and AJS Review, and she has written guest columns for the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. She is currently writing a book called “American Jewish Citizenship: An Untold History.”

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