Spotlight on Family Philanthropy
Thanksgiving is a time when many reflect on their blessings and consider how they can share their good fortunes with others. For three families, Thanksgiving is the time when they connect with each other and focus their attention on giving their charitable dollars jointly. The Jewish Community Foundation staff provides expertise and guidance to these families and helps facilitate meaningful grant discussions. Because of the pandemic, these meetings took place via video conferencing this year.
Twenty years ago, Babs and Bill Lowenstein created the Sunday Night Fun Fund to engage their grandchildren and other relatives in a philanthropic exercise. Babs and Bill decided that 80% of the grants from this fund should support local Jewish organizations, and the rest may be granted to the general community. Traditionally held the Sunday after Thanksgiving, this year there were 25 next- generation participants from seven different families. “It makes me happy to see that the cousins are interested in nonprofit organizations and giving to charity,” says Babs. “It is a nice way to keep them in contact with each other when they aren’t living in the same city anymore.”
In 2014, Shirley White created the Lewis and Shirley White Grandchildren Fund from which her many grandchildren may grant. The White grandchildren meet annually the day after Thanksgiving to make grants which are restricted to the Kansas City Jewish community. The group works together to make decisions about which organizations and causes to support.
In 2019, Susan and Scott Krigel set aside charitable dollars for their children and their spouses to grant collectively. Susan describes her goal, stating “We wanted to create a process that enables our children and their spouses to carry forward our values of supporting human dignity and working towards tikkun olam. Josh and Bea have helped us shape and implement a structure which meets our goal.” One particularly meaningful thing about the Krigel family is that one sibling and his wife live in Chicago. For the Krigel family, the only funding guideline is that some grant dollars go to both Chicago and Kansas City.
For all three families, giving opportunities are curated by the Jewish Community Foundation so the grants reflect the interests and passions of each family. Susan Krigel further commented, “The grants they make are slightly different than what we had expected, but one of the reasons we designed the process this way was so that the donations reflect our children’s values, which represent the evolution of the community’s needs.” This year, particular emphasis was given to safety-net services and providing support to organizations that try to address social justice and fight systemic racism and discrimination.
Grants from these three funds supported the following organizations:
Local: BlaqoutKC; The Grooming Project; Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy; The J; Jewish Family Services; Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City; Jewish Vocational Service; KC Tenants; National Council of Jewish Women; Reconciliation Services; Rightfully Sewn; and University of Kansas Hillel
Chicago: Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School; Brave Space Alliance; Jewish Council on Urban Affairs; Jewish Family and Children Services; and Pilsen Neighbors Community Council
For more information about how the Foundation can assist your family in giving, contact Beatrice Fine at (913) 327-4618 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Our New Trustees
Fay Balk “I believe the Foundation is a great resource both for donors and recipients. Their focus on education is something I am very impressed by and have seen first-hand how it can help out non-profits in the community. Also, as a donor, they are really easy to work with — they make it simple for you throughout the setting up, planning and giving process. I hope I can bring experience and expertise to the Foundation, helping it continue to evolve, grow and make impact in the community.”
Michael Liss “The Foundation makes giving easier and is the first entry point of charitable giving decisions for many young Jews in the community, introducing them to the positive power of giving. As a trustee, I will contribute long-term thinking to Investment Committee discussions, so the Foundation’s assets under management continue to grow, increasing the giving power of the Foundation’s fundholders.”
Learning Together Virtually
While we yearn for the chance to reconnect and learn together in-person, the Foundation remains committed to providing educational opportunities to our community. As we enter 2021, we are proud to announce two exciting programs. On January 31, the Foundation’s J-LEAD group hosted a virtual event for young adults to explore paths to a successful financial future. A panel of professional advisors walked the participants through tax, financial and estate planning techniques, all with an emphasis on how to support important causes through smarter giving strategies.
In mid-February the Foundation will host a “Parking Lot Lunch” for Jewish agencies and synagogue leaders to explore strategies for successful planned gift fundraising in the current environment using virtual tools. Renowned non-profit consultant Amy Eisenstein will join us via Zoom to impart her wisdom and research. The Parking Lot Lunch series is part of the Foundation’s Create a Jewish Legacy initiative and is sponsored by the Sam and Lucy Gould JCF Program Fund. For more information on either of these educational programs, contact Josh Stein at (913) 327-8121 or email@example.com.