Celebrating Silver Linings Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City | 2020 Annual Report

Celebrating Silver Linings

Dear Friends,

This has been a year like no other. Few could have imagined where we would be when we celebrated the Foundation’s 60th anniversary in last year’s Annual Report. For many, if not most of us, we have experienced, and are still experiencing, a once in a lifetime crisis. It would be easy to become overwhelmed by the sense of loss. And yet...

Instead of dwelling on what we’ve lost, we’ve marshaled our resources, re-doubled our commitment to our community and to one another, and found silver linings among the clouds. This time has taught us many valuable lessons - gratitude, fragility tempered with wisdom and resilience, and the enduring importance of community for our collective survival. We are all in this together.

The Foundation has been a strong and steady guiding force through this trial. In 2020, we reached an all-time high in asset value and distributed more than $28.6 million to non-profits throughout the country, including $936,000 for direct COVID-19-related assistance. We found new ways to connect with generous givers – reaching well beyond our region – and helped numerous charitable organizations navigate the difficult financial conditions that the pandemic created. Because of your support and with the help of committed Board and staff members, the Foundation served a critical role in making sure community needs were met and core functions continued without significant interruption.

Thank you for your continued confidence in us and may we all look forward to a bright and healthy future together!

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

Foundation Leadership

JCF brings together members of the community who volunteer their time and talents by serving on its Board of Trustees, which oversees the activities of the Foundation.

Continuum of Giving Programs

B'nai Tzedek

The B’nai Tzedek program introduces B’nai Mitzvah-age youth to charitable giving by allowing them to open their own philanthropic funds at the Foundation. Teens and their families make a minimum donation of $125 to open a fund and the Foundation contributes $375, for a total fund balance of at least $500. Every year participants may grant 10% of their fund balance to a Jewish organization of their choice. For greater engagement, teens may join the B’nai Tzedek Youth Council, a cadre that meets once a month to discuss philanthropic issues and plan the B’nai Tzedek Shuk, the Foundation’s annual youth philanthropy fair.


“The B’nai Tzedek Youth Council worked hard this year, creating a virtual event, online meetings, and delivering invites. Although it was difficult, I had fun hanging out with my friends, and giving people an opportunity to donate to good causes. It was both challenging and fun, so I can’t wait to do it again next year!”

- Ben Fine

Continuum of Giving Programs


J-LEAD is the Foundation’s giving circle for young adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s. J-LEAD makes grants from funds collected by its members ($500 charitable contribution for membership) as well as matching funds from the Jewish Community Foundation’s Community Legacy Fund and other generous Foundation donors. J-LEAD members make a significant impact on the community by pooling resources and making collective decisions about how to allocate funds in the most effective manner. J-LEAD members also come together to volunteer at many of the projects they fund.


“Countless individuals and organizations within Greater Kansas City were (and continue to be) impacted by the negative implications of the pandemic. Through quick action, the J-LEAD program pivoted to a virtual format this year. We maximized the impact of our contributions by supporting organizations that had critical needs during the pandemic. While our members were not able to meet in person this year (as we normally do), we were able to adapt during these unprecedented times and fulfill the mission of our great program and the mitzvah of tzedakah.”

- Kris Zeid

Continuum of Giving Programs

Create a Jewish Legacy

Create a Jewish Legacy (CJL) is the Foundation’s effort to help secure the long-term future of community programs and institutions through an emphasis on planned giving. Goals of the program include securing planned gift commitments, building and maintaining strong relationships between donors and organizations, developing leaders, and building public awareness of planned giving.

Through the generous support of the Sam and Lucy Gould Fund (which was created through a planned gift itself), the Create a Jewish Legacy initiative has been bringing together professionals, lay leaders and clergy from synagogues and agencies for collaborative learning and to share best practices. A playful nod to Sam’s career in the parking lot industry, the Parking Lot Lunch series in particular has presented numerous industry experts since its inception in 2017. The virtual nature of the series in 2020 allowed the Foundation to host national author, mentor and speaker Rabbi Daniel Cohen from Stamford, CT. With his humor, wisdom and insight, Rabbi Cohen offered a unique perspective and experience regarding legacy. His presentation, At the Heart of What Matters: Helping Others Fulfill Their Legacy, shared a valuable message on the purpose-driven work of planned gift development.


“When the pandemic hit, I started calling my 84-year-old aunt in Austin, TX once a week. This hour-long ritual has become extremely important to both of us, as we share current news and stories about her childhood in Marfa, TX and mine in Southern California. We have both agreed we will continue even after the pandemic is over!”

- Martha Gershun

Our Funds: Community Legacy Funds

The Community Legacy Fund is comprised of permanent endowments from which grants are awarded to Jewish communal agencies whose applications are reviewed and evaluated by the JCF Grants Committee and Board of Trustees.

Our Funds: Supporting Foundations

Supporting Foundations promote philanthropy and multigenerational giving while enjoying the benefits of public charity status, avoiding the excise taxes, restrictions and spending requirements imposed on private foundations.

2020 Distributions from Supporting Foundations

10 Supporting Foundations | $3,473,808 Distributed | 203 Grants & Distributions to 132 Unique Organizations

Our Funds: Donor Advised Funds

Donor Advised Funds are personal charitable giving accounts that enable donors to give smarter and maximize their charitable impact. Established with contributions of $5,000 or more ($2,500 for those under age 35), a Donor Advised Fund allows donors to recommend grants to any qualified charitable organization at any time. Donors may name successor advisors in order to encourage future generations to continue their traditions of giving.


“I didn’t think my 17+ year-old dog was going to make it through the spring, but since I was home with her almost all of the time since mid-March, we were able to have many more months of quality time together.”

- Linda Lyon

2020 Distributions from Donor Advised Funds

435 Donor Advised Funds | $12,562,253 Distributed | 4,753 Grants & Distributions to 1,181 Unique Organizations


“A positive thing to come out of this year has been the opportunity to slow life down a little and appreciate little things. Walks outside, connecting with family and friends more often. The reboot was needed to prioritize our lives again.”

- Jeff Mallin

Our Funds: Restricted Funds

Restricted Funds give donors and their families the opportunity to make contributions that reflect their unique charitable interests, honor loved ones or express their desire to leave a legacy to the community. These funds may be restricted for a particular project, organization/congregation, or field of interest.

Community is Our Middle Name: Our Partners

Legacy Gifts

We honor the planned gift commitments of these and other generous donors who wish to remain anonymous. These gifts help ensure the sustainability of our Kansas City Jewish community - a promise that our future will be bright for generations to come.


“JCF has been a great resource for us as we reviewed and revised our charitable giving plans. Their expertise and knowledge helped clarify the work done by our attorney and helped us formulate our long-term plan. We are confident that JCF will fulfill our wishes and continue to support community institutions important to us.”

- Rachel Krantz & Edward Goldstein

In Memoriam

We remember with appreciation the members of our Foundation Family who we lost in 2020. We were indeed blessed by their love of community and generous spirit.


2020 Distributions From All Funds

$28,604,767 Distributed | 5,633 Grants & Distributions to 1,181 Unique Organizations

Total Asset History

Menorah Heritage Foundation

The Menorah Heritage Foundation (MHF) was founded in April 2016 as the result of a merger between the Jewish Heritage Foundation Supporting Organization and the Menorah Legacy Foundation. Both predecessor foundations were created from the roots of Menorah Hospital. The Menorah Heritage Foundation is a supporting organization of the Jewish Community Foundation. Today MHF remains deeply committed to Menorah Hospital’s tradition of healing and compassionate service and a mission to support health and well-being in our Kansas City community. Jewish tradition holds that every act of goodness contributes to the ultimate repair of the world (tikkun olam), and that feeding the hungry, healing the sick and comforting the bereaved are building blocks for redemption. This tradition guides MHF’s work as a community funder.

Menorah Heritage Foundation’s grantmaking is guided by the following principles: perpetuating the Jewish community; addressing critical and severe greater Kansas City and Jewish community needs; anticipating and adapting to changing needs; and investing in transformational change.

The Menorah Heritage Foundation maintains four distinct annual grant making cycles which fund both proactive, transformational strategies and safety net needs: Healthy for Life, Jewish Community, Unrestricted Operating Support and Aging in Community. Since 1994, the Menorah Heritage Foundation and its predecessors have distributed nearly $70,000,000 to organizations in our community, with about two-thirds of funds going to Jewish agencies and programs.

MHF grants of over $2,300,000 in 2020 supported over 75 different organizations, including: Ad Hoc Group Against Crime; ArtsTech; Calvary Community Outreach; Child Abuse and Prevention Association; Cross-Lines Community Outreach; Don Bosco Centers; El Centro; Food Equality Initiative; Grandview Assistance Program; Guadalupe Centers; High Aspirations; Hope Faith; Jewish Family Services; Jewish Vocational Service; KC Mothers in Charge; Northland Neighborhoods; Rebuilding Together; Sheffield Place; Shawnee Community Services; and Village Shalom.

For more information on Menorah Heritage Foundation please visit www.mhfkc.org

This annual report was made possible in part by a generous contribution from Strategic Investment Group. Strategic Investment Group is the Jewish Community Foundation’s Outsourced Chief Investment Officer.