It is time for Israel to be more self-sufficient, says Baroness Rothschild.
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The world renowned Rothschild family’s Baroness Ariane de Rothschild has some advice for Israel for its future economic success. The Baroness feels that Israel is too dependent on foreign largess in the form of grants and should begin to learn how to live without such support, which it can do thanks to its “startup nation.”
Baroness Rothschild made these comments while attending the Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild 2014 Conference in Herziliya last week, held in honor of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation’s 50th year.
There the Baroness met with a group of young Israelis where she discussed the need for new types of philanthropies that will better be able to sustain themselves in the long run. She said, “I think what is interesting in Israel is that it is a country which is, and will always, be strongly supported by the Jews’ Diaspora, but the grants given by the Diaspora are diminishing in a very quickly, ”
In an interview, she told Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth Hebrew daily newspaper, “As Jews abroad struggle with their questions: Are we Jews? Are we Zionists? Are we both? The eternal questions that we have had for so many years. So naturally the Diaspora are questioning the way they want to support Israel through philanthropy.”
“Philanthropy worldwide has been changing. You will see, especially with the younger generation (of benefactors), they give less grants just for the sake of grant giving, and have a more active role in grant-making. Which is personally what I think is much more interesting.”
She made similar comments when she gave an opening address to the conference: “Sustainable means you can fend for yourself, so you can’t always be grant-dependent. Resilience means being open to change and tackling the challenges [that Israel] faces.”
“We need to be looking beyond the grant, how do you engage with let’s say the Weizmann Institute … to make sure it goes back into the system in a productive way. The highest form of giving is giving others the means to give. The startup nation must become the leading social startup nation.”
This is a variation of the “teach a man to fish, ” rather than simply give him a fish philosophy.
She concluded by saying, “My goal is to give you the means to stand on your own and create the circle by which you will then continue to give. It’s really about bringing the best tools from business and law to make philanthropy a professional process. It is very interesting to see how you work with different actors in the field taking pure market tools and employing them into philanthropy, how do you do good in a smarter way, in a business and proactive way.”
Ariane de Rothschild was born Ariane Langner in 1965 in San Salvador. The wife of Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, she has been the vice-president of Edmond de Rothschild Holding SA since 1999. The Baroness is also in charge of non-financial activities of the Edmond de Rothschild Group and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.
The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Development Corporation is the operational arm of the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation, whose goal is to establish a unique community that combines quality of life and safeguarding the environment with advanced industry and tourism.
Established by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, the organization actually runs the day to day affairs of the Israeli city of Caesarea, instead of an elected municipal government. At the end of the 1950s, the family granted 7, 400 acres of land that it owned in the city to the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation.