21st Century Tikkun Olam a/k/a 21CTO

The Alliance and the initiatives it has created and/or funded reflect some of the best aspects of the centuries old tradition of “Tikkun Olam.”  Loosely translated, the words mean “repairing the world.”  Each generation is responsible for grappling with the world’s most pressing issues in an effort to enhance the overall global condition.  As we repeatedly observe, there is no time to waste in addressing the world’s challenges.

Building upon the work done in 2011, the Alliance’s initial year of funding initiatives, the Alliance and its program partner Reut Institute have launched the two organizations’ program for 21st Century Tikkum Olam, a/k/a “21CTO”.  The details of the implementation plan are still being developed, but the overall structure of the program is available in the Executive Summary.   The program was developed following interviews with experts in a variety of fields, all of whom generously provided guidance and observations that resulted in the current effort.  A roundtable discussion about the program with Jewish professional and lay leaders was written up in  the May 30, 2012 issue of the New York Jewish Weekly.

21CTO seeks to harness Israeli expertise in critical areas such as neo-natal health and infant mortality, de-desertification and food and water security, and entrepreneurship and couple it with efforts by Israel and diaspora Jews to improve the lives of a significant number of the world’s disadvantaged within a decade.

21st Century Tikkun Olam themed mini-conference was held within the 2012 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America which met  November 11 –  November 13 in Baltimore, MD.  More details are available in the mini-conference booklet and in an article about the miniconference that appeared in the “GA Daily”.

Sponsored by the Toronto Jewish Federation, as well as the Alliance and its Founder, Leonard Kaplan, many young adults attended as a result of a specific grant  provided by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network in celebration of 25 years of igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create change.  The mini-conference explored some of the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of this initiative, and began the realization of its ambition to positively impact 250,000,000 of the world’s most underprivileged within a decade.

The program consisted of three discussions”— a Global Discussion, the Israel Discussion, and the American-Jewish discussion.  Panelists for these sessions included:

A second program focused on whether the goal of tikkun olam is creating a meaningful volunteer experience, or maximizing impact on beneficiaries.  Moderated by the Alliance’s own David Brand,  panelists included:

The third program of the mini-conference asked whether the Jewish world can leverage Israeli expertise in the developing world.  Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, opened this session with introductory comments, and panelists  included:

The mini-conference closed with a call to action by Avraham Infeld and Gidi Grinstein.

Read AFGG Blog Posts re 21CTO



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Proud to announce our newest partner


Leonard Kaplan’s creation of the Alliance for Global Good was the expression of his passionate philanthropy.  It’s also the logical outgrowth of all that came before it.  Together with his wife and philanthropic partner Tobee, and through a family foundation later renamed TOLEO, they gave unselfishly of resources and time to improve their community and the world for more than twenty-five years.

Tobee & Leonard Kaplan

Tobee & Leonard Kaplan

The Alliance’s focus on five areas of giving—health, education, environment, poverty, and world relations—is mirrored in Leonard’s past.  He has made major gifts to Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer and Heart Centers, to the Lineberger Cancer Center at UNC Chapel Hill, to the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Moses Cone Hospital, and had a leadership position at the Greensboro Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.  In 2004, Leonard and Tobee built the new building for the Women’s Resource Center in Greensboro. He created scholarships for residents of Guilford County to attend North Carolina colleges and universities, and was a founding donor of Elon University Law School.  Critically, in partnership with the Kellogg Foundation, Leonard helped create the Center for Organizational Leadership, a philanthropic studies program (which was one of first nationally to educate non-profit executives).

“Everyone wants to leave something to their grandchildren.”

“The money won’t matter if the world they live in is so far gone,” Kaplan says. “The opportunity now is to take some of what might become their inheritance, and use it soon to make the world a better place.”

Addressing poverty, Leonard made possible the building of two houses for Habitat for Humanity, and by providing food for hungry people both close to home in Greensboro, and as far abroad as the former Soviet Union.   The Kaplans were staunch supporters of Trickle Up, which provides grant financing to women in the developing world who want to start their own microenterprise.

Leonard gave not only of his wealth, but also of his time and expertise, taking on leadership positions in many organizations and campaigns such as the Greater Greensboro United Way DeToqueville Society, and as a Core Member of ACTION Greensboro, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education, revitalization of downtown Greensboro, and leveraging economic development.

Active in their community of faith, the Kaplans built a new building for the Greensboro Jewish Federation, and for the Hillel youth organization at U.N.C., Chapel Hill.  He served on the board of the Jewish Foundation of Greensboro, and on that of the national Hillel organization, and was a founder of Camp Ramah Darom.

Viewing giving as a responsibility of affluence, Leonard led by example, and encouraged others to do the same.  He created Wealth & Giving, an educational program designed to inspire the largest wealth holders in this country to be more generous.  The Alliance continues that work by promoting and providing donors with opportunities for effective and efficient giving.

Read more about the Five Guiding Principles.