60 Years of Excellence in Impact Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City | 2019 Annual Report

Celebrating a Milestone with Meaning

In 2019, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City celebrated its 60th Anniversary: 60 Years of Excellence in Impact. The Foundation was established 60 years ago “to ensure that our community would continue to be served, regardless of economic conditions or changing needs.” Since its founding, it has evolved and grown into an organization that serves as the focal point for planned giving and endowments and family philanthropy in the Jewish community of Kansas City, and as a model for Jewish community foundations throughout North America.

Today, the Foundation acts as a catalyst and a pathway for building a stronger Jewish community and, ultimately, a better world. It is a wonderful fusion of individuals, families, agencies and synagogues who share common values and a common purpose. The commitment, leadership, energy and resources of the Jewish Community Foundation, its members and partners, have created something special, something unique, something that is more than the sum of its parts. That something special is what we have become together.

This year and every year, thanks to all of you for making the Foundation the thriving community leader that it is, and for your commitment to create a better world. As we move forward into the future together, we renew our commitment to provide creative and caring service to you, your families, and charitable organizations and to continue our tradition of excellence.

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. 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.

“B’nai Tzedek has given me a way to give back to causes that I believe in and it has helped me give the resources I have for the betterment of others.”


Continuum of Giving Programs


J-LEAD is a giving circle that 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. By joining together and pooling resources, J-LEAD members are able to achieve a greater impact than any one member could alone.

"Being a part of J-LEAD has been a really wonderful, eye-opening experience! Not only has it reconnected me with old friends and given me an outlet to meet new ones, it has helped introduce my husband and me to many of the incredible programs/initiatives that are happening within our local Jewish community! As part of this giving circle, we hear from non-profit organizations about where our group funding could make the biggest difference and we know that, by pooling our charitable contributions, we can make a greater impact than we could individually.”


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.

The Foundation hosted its biennial Legacy Giving Day event on September 12, 2019, sponsored in part by the Sam & Lucy Gould JCF Program Fund. The event is a key component of the Create a Jewish Legacy program and included complimentary educational sessions on gift planning for various constituencies, including development professionals, lay leaders, and professional advisors.

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.

Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Community Legacy Fund Grant Recipient

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.

2019 Distributions from Supporting Foundations

9 Supporting Foundations | $3,233,612 Distributed | 218 Grants & Distributions to 133 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.

“Tzedakah is an important part of our family’s life. Having a Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation has enabled us to support the organizations we care about in a more convenient, streamlined way.”


2019 Distributions from Donor Advised Funds

425 Donor Advised Funds | $17,892,983 Distributed | 4,219 Grants & Distributions to 1,006 Unique Organizations

“Our family has been involved in several organizations in our Jewish community. Through our fund at the Jewish Community Foundation, we will be able to continue our support of those organizations in perpetuity and help ensure the success of our community for generations to come.”


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

The following organizations have selected the Jewish Community Foundation as the trusted steward of their charitable resources.

B’nai B’rith


Congregation Beth Shalom

Congregation Beth Torah

Congregation BIAV

Congregation Ohev Sholom

Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

Jewish Community Campus

Jewish Community Center (The J)

Jewish Community Relations Bureau/ American Jewish Committee

Jewish Family Services

Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City

Jewish Vocational Service

Kehilath Israel Synagogue

KU Hillel

Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation

Midwest Center for Holocaust Education

New Reform Temple

Sheffield Cemetery

Temple Beth Sholom, Topeka

The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah

Village Shalom

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.

“The guidance and assistance of the professional staff of the Foundation have been invaluable to us, and we are most grateful for their participation in shepherding us through the intricacies of planned giving.”


In Memoriam

We remember with appreciation the members of our Foundation Family who we lost in 2019. We were indeed blessed by their love of community and generous spirit.

2019 Distributions from All Funds

$31,699,734 Distributed | 5,159 Grants & Distributions to 1,115 Unique Organizations

Total Asset History

Menorah Heritage Foundation

The Menorah Heritage Foundation (MHF), a supporting organization of the Jewish Community Foundation, 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. Today Menorah Heritage Foundation remains deeply committed to Menorah Hospital’s tradition of healing and compassionate service and 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.

MHF’s grantmaking is guided by the following guiding 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, General Community Core and Older Adult. Since 1994, the Menorah Heritage Foundation and its predecessors have distributed nearly $67,000,000 to organizations in our community, with about two-thirds of funds going to Jewish agencies and programs.

MHF grants in 2019 supported over 90 programs at 78 different organizations including After the Harvest, Artists Helping the Homeless, Calvary Community Outreach Network, Center of Grace, Cultivate Kansas City, El Centro, Giving the Basics, the Heritage Center at The J, High Aspirations, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Jewish Community Campus, Jewish Family Services, Jewish Vocational Service, Kanbe’s Markets, KC Mothers in Charge, KU Hillel, Metro Lutheran Ministry, Northland Neighborhoods, Phoenix Family Housing, Platte Senior Services, the Rabbinical Association of Greater KC, Reconciliation Services, the Sasone Program of Jewish Federation, Sleepyhead Beds, Sunflower House, TribeKC, Turning Point: Center for Hope and Healing, and Village Shalom.

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.