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
Continuum of Giving Programs
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.
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.”
- LINDSAY FINEMAN
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 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.”
- CINDY & FRED BODKER
Community is Our Middle Name
The following organizations have selected the Jewish Community Foundation as the trusted steward of their charitable resources.
Congregation Beth Shalom
Congregation Beth Torah
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
Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation
Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
New Reform Temple
Temple Beth Sholom, Topeka
The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah
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.