In Memoriam: Elizabeth Levi
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Posted by: Robin Wehrlin
Elizabeth passed away on Thursday, October 4. Her memorial service was held on Sunday in New Jersey.
Many of you will remember Elizabeth from ISTR and ARNOVA conferences. She was a PhD student at the New School, presented her work on several conference occasions. and participated in the ISTR PhD Seminar in Stockholm (2016).
Elizabeth’s academic work focused on the logic and impact of elite philanthropy and philanthropic foundations. In her dissertation, she studied the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues, a coalition of North American Jewish foundations and organizations working in support of the Arab population in Israel (a unique arrangement in the intricate Middle Eastern realities). This was a high-profile elite coalition of organizations and influencers who bonded over an important issue but with notably little impact, financially or socially.
Elizabeth’s interviews with members of the task force and actors in the Israeli Arab sector revealed that the coalition's primary activities have been, in her words, 'to expand and reinforce its network, educate its network, and provide access to and information about NGOs that have a preferred status as potential partners with coalition members' rather than seeking to address the root poverty, education and health problems of the Arab population in Israel. Unfortunately, she was unable to complete her written dissertation.
Many ISTR and ARNOVA members enjoyed spending time with her. Her passion for civil society and for justice everywhere, especially in Israel/Palestine was appreciated. Elizabeth was also a long-term nonprofit professional and consultant working for many years in various nonprofits and foundations in the Jewish community. She did very important work, and she will truly be missed.
In their announcement of the death, her daughters wrote: In lieu of flowers, Elizabeth asked that people so inclined make contributions in her memory to Building with Israelis and Palestinians, an emerging NGO made up of a community of Jews, Muslims, Christians and other people of faith around the world who are focused on tangible projects that increase quality of life and increase trust.