Lila Corwin Berman is Professor of History at Temple University. She holds the Murray Friedman Chair of American Jewish History and directs the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History. Berman received her B.A. from Amherst College and her Ph.D. from Yale. She is currently writing a book titled “The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex: The Historical Formation of a Multi-Billion Dollar Institution” (under contract with Princeton University Press). She is author of Metropolitan Jews: Politics, Race, and Religion in Postwar Detroit (University of Chicago, 2015), for which she received support from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, and Speaking of Jews: Rabbis, Intellectuals, and the Creation of an American Public Identity (California, 2009), a finalist for the Jewish Book Council’s Sami Rohr Prize. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including the American Historical Review, Journal of American History, and Jewish Social Studies, as well as many edited volumes.
December 15th, 2020 | Season 1 | 45 mins 52 secs
Endowments and donor-advised funds: They may sound like boring financial terms, but they're actually part of a fascinating history of philanthropy in the Jewish community. They reflect the ways in which individuals and organizations use financial resources to impact the Jewish community and democratic society writ large. For half a decade, Lila Corwin Berman has been raising eyebrows, and sparking conversation, with her writings about wealth and charitable giving, Jewish communities, and democracy. In this interview with Berman, we explore the origins of both endowments and donor-advised funds, and examine how they have shaped communal decision-making.