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Foundation Focus SUMMER 2020

Our Foundation Family Responds to Pandemic with Generosity & Connection

During challenging times, we have again and again seen our Foundation Family come together to support the people and organizations who need help most. Our giving community has responded to the current COVID-19 pandemic with kindness, compassion and generosity.

From the very beginning of the crisis, Foundation staff has been working diligently to support our community partners and educate our fundholders about impactful ways to help. We’ve met regularly with representatives from communal agencies and synagogues to offer guidance, make funding connections, and assist with applications for small business loans.

One of the many benefits of having a fund at the Foundation is access to philanthropic education and resources. Over the past few months, Foundation fundholders have received a variety of information about how to help organizations in both the Jewish and general communities. Support from JCF fundholders has been outstanding. Hundreds of thousands of dollars (and counting) have been granted to support those most affected by the crisis.

In May, we held our first virtual Connecting Our Giving Community experience on the topic of “Creative Ideas for Responding to the Pandemic.” Hosts Gail and Gary Weinberg led a lively and engaging discussion about ways we can all connect with and help others while staying safe. The event generated a list of dozens of volunteer opportunities and ideas about simple ways to safely connect with friends, family members, and neighbors.

For more information about current community needs and ways to connect, visit jcfkc.org/coronavirusrelief.

Serving Your Needs, Safely

Dear Friends,

With the health and safety of the community, our Board and our staff in mind, we have been operating remotely since the third week of March. Although we haven’t been physically present at our office on Campus, we have been conducting all our usual business with the help of technology. Phone calls, teleconferences, emails and some old-fashioned snail mail have facilitated a seamless transition. One-on-one meetings with fundholders, grant-making committees, J-LEAD, Board committees and even staff meetings have been taking place on their regular schedules, albeit virtually. Our weekly grant distributions continue, expedited by a significant shift to electric fund transfer which means that the charitable organizations you care about are getting their money even more quickly than before COVID-19.

The response to the COVID-19 emergency from JCF Funds has been remarkable – nearly $700,000 to 85 different organizations across the country.

Lots of non-COVID activity continues to go on at the Foundation as well. New funds of all kinds have been opened, new contributions, new future gifts arranged, and new B’nai Tzedek members have been welcomed. Plus, we have been designing a brand new donor recognition area on the Campus that will provide all kinds of information about our Foundation and the many ways people partner with us. We plan to have this exciting project completed later this year and look forward to being able to share it with you when we can be together again.

We have begun to think very carefully about when and how we might return to our Campus office and although we don’t have a date to share with you quite yet, be assured that when we do, we will have taken the health, safety and well-being of all of us in mind. Until that time, please remember that we are available to connect with you in a variety of ways – you choose the one that you feel most comfortable with – whether it be to visit about your charitable giving or just to chat. We’re here for you. So, until we meet again...be well!

Alice Jacks Achtenberg, President, and Lauren Mattleman Hoopes, Executive Director

Join the B’nai Tzedek Youth Council!

The Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 B’nai Tzedek Youth Council. Applications are due Friday, August 28 and may be found here.

The Youth Council meets monthly to learn about local community needs, engage other teens in philanthropic giving, and plan the annual B’nai Tzedek Shuk. Meetings will be held remotely until further notice. Sophomore Annie Fingersh is looking forward to a second year on the Youth Council. She says, “Other teens would love being on council because it is an amazing way to help and give back to our community. It is such a fun way to meet other teens interested in philanthropy and helping others.”

For more information, please contact Beatrice Fine at (913) 327-4618 or bfine@jcfkc.org.

J-LEAD Grants $19,000 for Covid Relief

J-LEAD, the Jewish Community Foundation’s young adult giving circle, recently allocated $19,000 to support urgent community needs resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. J-LEAD members met virtually through Zoom to hear presentations from grant applicants and then made the collective decision to award the following grants:

  • Village Shalom - Victory Disinfectant Sprayer
  • Jewish Family Services - Key Products for the Food Pantry
  • Torah Learning Center - Kosher Meals on Wheels
  • KU Hillel - Wellness Initiative
  • Jewish Federation - Coronavirus Relief Fund
  • Jewish Vocational Service - Global Gardens Staff

Lindsay Fineman, J-LEAD Chair, said, “It was wonderful to be able to come together with other young adults to support some of the most pressing needs of our community resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s process felt especially meaningful and gratifying.”

In addition to grant making, J-LEAD meets several times a year for educational programs, volunteer opportunities and social events. If you would like more information about J-LEAD, contact Josh Stein at (913) 327-8121 or jstein@jcfkc.org, or visit jcfkc.org/jlead.

Talking Estate Plans with Josh Stein

During these unusual times, as in normal times, one thing that we at the Foundation have particularly enjoyed is helping donors contemplate and eventually implement their charitable plans. Many people have used this time to review their estate plans and to give some thought to their philanthropic priorities. Being able to embark on the process of drafting a meaningful and personal plan with our donors is extremely fulfilling. People are often intrigued by the creative approaches that others have used and the ability to plan for uncertain realities of what the philanthropic needs will be in the future after they are gone. Some are excited by the ability to engage their children or other successors to oversee their charitable funds, others enjoy the ability to name specific charitable beneficiaries and appreciate the ability to make changes throughout their lifetimes, and others to name areas of need to be served by their funds with contingencies to account for changing circumstances. Most donors employ a mix of the various approaches and the ability to leverage the knowledge, experience and trust of the Foundation team.

The Foundation works with donors of all financial capacities and philanthropic experience and many plans are not funded during the donor’s lifetime. Each plan is as unique as the donor that creates it, and we consistently hear that donors find the process itself deeply rewarding. People enjoy the experience of determining those causes and organizations that matter most, and considering how to address their primary charitable priorities.

As community member Robin Onikul said, “Working with the Jewish Community Foundation is a wonderful way to take control of all my giving now and in the future. It is convenient, practical, and allows me a way to leave a legacy so that those who oversee my fund after I’m gone can preserve my philanthropic intentions.”

All great plans start with a simple and open-ended conversation and we would love to have one with you to help find ways to maximize your impact now and into the future. Please reach out and check one more thing off your to-do list, you will be so glad you did. I may be reached at jstein@jcfkc.org or by calling (913) 327-8121.

Grow Your Impact with a Gift of Stock

While many Jewish Community Foundation fundholders have historically replenished their funds or opened new funds at the end of the year, consider whether a contribution of appreciated stock at this time may enable you to lock-in gains while providing resources for future charitable giving. For more information, contact Kevin Taylor at ktaylor@jcfkc.org or (913) 327-8134.

“We were talking with our financial planner about making a contribution to our JCF Donor Advised Fund earlier this year. We usually donate appreciated assets from our investment accounts to avoid capital gains tax exposure. Earlier in the year when the markets contracted, we delayed making a donation. Now with some of the markets having mostly recovered, we’re rethinking our decision. With appreciated assets, this could be an attractive time to make a donation to a Donor Advised Fund.” - Stewart Koesten

New Funds

Donor Advised Funds

  • Taras Eugene Bileski Memorial Fund
  • Carl Family Fund
  • Brad Cohn Donor Advised Fund
  • Thomas & Pamela Glickman Family Fund
  • Paul & Stacy Kotelov Donor Advised Fund
  • Eli Weisfeld Donor Advised Fund

Restricted Funds

  • Davidner Family Priya Endowment Fund
  • Sol Koenigsberg Memorial Campus Fund
  • Lore & Mel Mallin HBHA Scholarship Fund