Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fundraising when Israel is at war

My recent project, A United Jewish Appeal?, was all about the role of Israel in Jewish fundraising in Toronto. Given that Israel is now at war, I have been wondering how the current conflict will affect this year's fundraising campaigns.

A recent post on Jewlicious has offered a taste of how the conflict is already affecting fundraising, albeit largely in the United States. Many large Jewish organizations are using the conflict to add urgency to their regular campaigns, while others (such as B'nai B'rith) have set up dedicated emergency funds.

The most dramatic fundraising effort in Toronto Jewish history came in the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when the Toronto United Jewish Appeal managed to raise over $26 million in its 1974 campaign. The circumstances were different from the current conflict, however. In 1973, Israel was caught off-guard and was fighting for survival. In 2014, Israel's superior military power and Iron Dome mean that its casualties are substantially lower than those in Gaza and fighting has been outside Israel's borders. Nevertheless, the fighting has generated great interest in Toronto and it will be interesting to see what effect the conflict will have on this year's UJA.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Three Tools for the Web-Savvy Historian

I pride myself in being somewhat of a neo-Luddite when it comes to history. I take notes on paper and tend to print anything I want to read. However, the internet has made a wealth of new knowledge and information available to a much broader audience. As such, more and more research is done online as databases (and especially keyword searching) take much of the traditional drudge work out of research.

That said, the internet is also very fragile and information is constantly disappearing, being moved, or simply updated. This makes it much harder to accurately cite from a web source. In Chicago referencing, the "Accessed on" requirement for web sources helps, but it simply states that the information was available on that date. This very useful article on shows you how to better preserve web content, cite it more reliably and find information which has disappeared. Definitely worth a read: Three Tools for the Web-Savvy Historian: Memento, Zotero, and WebCite