Common Coin: American Jewish Philanthropy and the Public Good
How have Jews crafted their relationship to American civic life through money, even as talk of Jews and money remains incredibly taboo? This lecture explores how American Jews over the twentieth century have divested of their private earnings in the name of the public good, while also investing themselves in using private earnings to shape the public good. By looking at American Jewish philanthropy, we learn about the shifting lines of public and private and of democracy and capitalism in the United States.
Lila Corwin Berman holds the Murray Friedman Chair of American Jewish History and directs the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, both at Temple University. Her current research examines the history of Jewish citizenship in the United States. Her most recent book is The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex: The History of a Multibillion Dollar Institution (Princeton University Press, 2020). Corwin Berman received her PhD from Yale University. She serves as the chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society and is a fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research. She is also a co-founder of the Jewish Philanthropy Research Initiative.
The Doll Lecture on Religion and Money was established in 2007 by Henry C. Doll ’58 and his family. It reflects the family’s longstanding interest in the subject of philanthropy and its relationship with religion.