World Briefs: Jewish LGBTQ Donor Network Names New Executive Director and more

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Jewish LGBTQ Donor Network Names New Executive Director
The Jewish LGBTQ Donor Network announced that it named Neil Spears as its new executive director.

(Courtesy of the Jewish LGBTQ Donor Network)

The agency provides philanthropic support, mentoring and other services to organizations, foundations and individuals to advance and support the global Jewish LGBTQ community.

Members have the opportunity to engage in leadership and advancement in education, networking and giving.

Spears most recently served as executive director of the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center. He is a Schusterman Senior Fellow, an alumnus of Leading Edge’s CEO Onboarding Program, a recipient of JQ International’s Inspiration Award and serves on the board of JQ International, a nonprofit that promotes community, education and support services for LGBTQ Jews.

He is also a regular participant at SVARA’s Queer Talmud Camp.

“Neil is the ideal candidate to maximize the already considerable impact of the Jewish LGBTQ Donor Network,” said founder Stuart Kurlander of Washington, D.C., who is a member of the ownership group of Mid-Atlantic Media, publisher of the Jewish Exponent, “to drive grant-making opportunities and to significantly grow partnerships with well-established philanthropists that will meaningfully impact the lives of LGBTQ Jews and enhance their roles in the broader Jewish community.”

Judge Slashes Charlottesville Penalties by 90%
The judge in the civil case brought against the organizers of the 2017 white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va., that resulted in the death of a protester, has slashed the penalties awarded to the victims, reported JTA.

Victims in the case, brought by two Jewish attorneys who have made it their mission to hit neo-Nazis in their bank accounts, are entitled to $2.35 million, not the $26 million that a jury awarded, Judge Norman Moon ruled on Jan. 3.

Moon’s ruling was expected because he hewed to a Virginia law that caps punitive damages at $350,000, reported The Washington Post. The jury in the case, which wrapped up in November 2021, had awarded $24 million in punitive damages.

Moon left in place $2 million in compensatory damages meant to replace lost wages and other expenses associated with being a victim, bringing the total owed to the victims to $2.35 million.

Romanian City Council Votes Down Plan to Remove Bust of Pro-Nazi Government Official
Watchdogs in Romania slammed an administrative unit of Bucharest’s city council for refusing to dismantle a bust honoring Mircea Vulcanescu, who served as a finance minister in the country’s pro-Nazi government during World War II, reported JTA.

On Dec. 28, Sector 2 of the city council voted down a resolution to remove the monument from Saint Stefan park in the Romanian capital. The resolution, which attracted national attention, was initiated by a local councilor from the center-right National Liberal Party and failed to be adopted as a majority of councilors abstained.

Parliament member Antonio Andrusceac of the far-right and nationalist Alliance for the Union of Romanians Party was present at the vote and accused the Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania — a public institution that has long championed the removal of monuments honoring Nazi figures and collaborators — of “rewriting Romanian history and demolishing the cult of its heroes and martyrs.”

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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