Foundation Focus: Summer 2016

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Jewish Community Foundation Co-Presents the Inaugural Truman and Israel Lecture

 
On Monday, May 9th more than 600 people gathered at the Kansas City Public Library on the Plaza for the Inaugural Truman and Israel Lecture. The lecture, co-presented by the Jewish Community Foundation and the Truman Library Institute, featured a keynote presentation by Ambassador Dennis Ross. 
 
The lecture was the first in a series created by the two organizations to examine President Truman’s decision to recognize the State of Israel in 1948 and reflect upon the outstanding impact the decision has had on world history.
 
The president of the JCF Board of Trustees, Irvin V. Belzer, welcomed attendees and thanked the many professionals, volunteers and sponsors whose dedicated efforts helped bring the program to life.
 
Clifton Truman Daniel, honorary chairman of the Truman Library Institute and President Truman’s eldest grandson, said that the president considered the diplomatic recognition of Israel to be one of his proudest moments. Daniel also introduced a special video message from Shimon Peres, former prime minister and president of Israel.
 
Ambassador Ross, a scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Middle East policy, spoke about the motivations behind Truman’s decision to recognize the State of Israel in 1948. Ross pointed out that although all of Truman’s national security advisers were against recognition, a basic sense of justice led Truman to his decision. Truman was moved by the plight of European refugees who wanted to go to Palestine after WWII. Ross explained that Truman’s “focus is on the humanitarian side of this.” 
 
Ross also shared common misconceptions held in the U.S. about Middle East policy. “In every administration, from Truman until today, you’ve had three basic assumptions that have endured,” Ross said. “After Israel was declared, the key assumption was if you distance from Israel, you’ll benefit with the Arabs. The corollary assumption was if you cooperate with Israel, you’re going to lose with the Arabs, and the third assumption which becomes an enduring one, is if you want to transform the American position in the region and you want to transform the region itself, you have to solve the Palestinian issue.” Ross provided examples of how these assumptions have impacted the foreign policy of every presidential administration since 1948.  
 
After the lecture, Ross took audience questions and signed copies of his latest book, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama.
 
In addition to the lecture series, JCF and the Truman Library Institute have collaborated on the White House Decision Center, a nationally recognized hands-on history lab where participants step into the roles of President Truman and his advisors, work with formerly classified primary source documents, and tackle some of history’s greatest challenges, such as Truman’s recognition of Israel.
 
The lecture was made possible through the generous support of JCF’s Community Legacy Fund, with additional funding from Stanley J.  Bushman and Ann Canfield, The Sosland Family, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – Cathy and Michael A. Schultz.
 
 
 
 
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Exciting Summer Projects at JCF

 
Dear Friends,
 
With the “dog” days” of summer upon us, now’s a good time to pour yourself a glass of iced tea and get caught up on what’s happening at the Jewish Community Foundation. Here are some highlights:
 
Many of you were able to attend the inaugural Truman and Israel Lecture, co-sponsored by the Foundation and the Truman Library Institute. The event was tremendously successful with 230 guests at the reception for friends of the Foundation and the Truman Library, and almost 400 additional guests at the lecture. Ambassador Ross was a masterful and engaging speaker and gave new insight into President Truman’s historic decision to give Israel immediate recognition in May of 1948.
 
Both the Board and staff of the Foundation, along with valuable input from community stakeholders, have been engaged in the critical process of planning the strategic direction of the Foundation. This process, which is nearing completion after many months, will result in a plan which will serve as the guide for our programs, policies and priorities for the next several years.
 
Speaking of planning, the Foundation is looking forward to our first-ever community-wide celebration of planned giving to be held on September 15, 2016, at the Museum at Prairiefire.  Any member of the community who has made a planned giving arrangement to one or more of our agencies and synagogues will be invited to attend. Details about this event are included in this issue. We hope to see many of you there.
 
The merger between the Jewish Heritage Foundation and the Menorah Legacy Foundation has been completed. The “new” organization remains a supporting foundation of the JCF with the new name, Menorah Heritage Foundation. This summer, our offices will be expanding in our current location on the Campus to accommodate Menorah Heritage’s existing personnel.  Please continue to visit us while we are under construction!
 
Enjoy the rest of the summer,
Irvin V. Belzer, President, and Lauren Mattleman Hoopes, Executive Director
 
 
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Younger Donors Make an Impact

 
J-LEAD (Jewish Leadership Education Action and Development), the Foundation’s young adult giving circle, recently granted $26,000 to community organizations. “We hope that beyond the dollars that are awarded to our deserving organizations, the skills our members acquire during the grants process will have a lasting impact on charitable organizations in our community,” says Annie Wishna, J-LEAD Chair. For more information, contact Josh Stein at (913) 327-8121.
 
Nearly 100 teens, parents and grandparents attended the annual B’nai Tzedek Shuk on March 3. The B’nai Tzedek program allows Bar and Bat Mitzvah-age youth to open charitable giving accounts at JCF and once a year, donate 10% of their balance to a Jewish charity, locally or in Israel. At the Shuk, fundholders have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from Jewish charities and learn about the needs of the community. Nearly $4,000 in grants were awarded at this year’s event. For more information, contact Beatrice Fine at (913) 327-4618.
 
 
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Ensuring a Bright Future Through the Create a Jewish Legacy Initiative

 
As we have shared in past newsletters, these are very exciting times as we continue the transition from the incredible success of the Bushman Community Endowment Program (BCE), which ran from 2007-2015, to our ongoing Create a Jewish Legacy Initiative (CJL). The BCE Program was successful beyond our greatest hopes with more than $40 million in current gifts and future commitments from nearly 450 households in our community.
 
One of the goals of CJL is to continue our in-depth planned giving education for community agencies and synagogues. JCF recently hosted a series of six weekly webinars on topics ranging from planned giving basics to tax law and financial planning concepts. The webinars were very well received by the attendees. “The webinar sessions explained why planned giving is so important to long term financial growth and how to help potential donors find the right vehicle to make a gift,” says Cindy Bodker, Development Director of The J. “While some of the strategies are fairly complex, knowing that the Foundation is here to support our agencies in navigating the process is very reassuring.” 
 
Another major focus of CJL is helping agencies and synagogues provide the highest level of stewardship to existing donors. As part of this effort, JCF is hosting a community-wide event on Thursday evening, September 15 called Foundation for Our Future. The event will celebrate our collective success to-date and honor those who have made planned giving arrangements in support of a community agency or synagogue. If we are not aware of your planned gift commitment, we cannot personally thank you, so please be in touch to be sure we are aware of your intentions. Speaking of leaving a legacy, the event is being generously underwritten by the Sam and Lucy Gould JCF Program Fund. 
 
Planned gifts of any size make a significant impact on our community, providing critical support year in and year out. One particular gift that will make a dramatic difference is Christa Louis’s endowment which just made its first annual distribution of more than $375,000 spread among seven community organizations. Christa’s generosity and foresight have provided essential stability to these organizations, ensuring that they may continue serving our community for years to come.
 
To create your own Jewish legacy, contact Josh Stein at 913-327-8121 for a confidential conversation.
 
 
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Meet the New Menorah Heritage Foundation

 
Effective April 1, 2016, the Menorah Legacy Foundation and the Jewish Heritage Foundation merged to create the Menorah Heritage Foundation. The new foundation will remain a supporting organization of the Jewish Community Foundation and will share JCF’s office space on the Jewish Community Campus.
 
Both the Jewish Heritage Foundation and the Menorah Legacy Foundation grew out of sales of Menorah Medical Center, first to Health Midwest and then when Health Midwest was bought by HCA. The new entity remains deeply committed to the hospital’s tradition of healing and compassionate service. This natural synergy will allow the Menorah Heritage Foundation to continue to support both the Jewish and general communities for an even greater impact. The Menorah Heritage Foundation will carry on the missions of both prior foundations, with a primary focus on promoting health and well-being in the Kansas City Jewish community and beyond. 
 
Frank Sterneck currently serves as president of Menorah Heritage Foundation; beginning in 2017,  President-Elect Howard Wizig will take over the role. Andrew Kaplan is the organization’s executive vice president. Rita Cortes, prior executive director of the Jewish Heritage Foundation, serves the same role in the Menorah Heritage Foundation. For questions about Menorah Heritage Foundation, contact Rita Cortes at 913-981-8866.
 
 
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Foundation Notables

  • Join the B'nai Tzedek Youth Council, a cadre of teens that meet monthly and engage their peers in philanthropy. Application
  • Please excuse our mess this summer as we paint our office and make room for the new Menorah Heritage Foundation.
  • JCF is in the process of developing a new strategic plan for 2017-2019. The plan will help us refine our mission, develop goals for the future, and best focus our energy and resources.
 
 
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New Funds

 
Donor Advised Funds:
Dana Bettinger Fund
Neil D. Karbank Foundation
Aaron & Jessica Kroll Donor Advised Fund
 
Future Funds:
David R. Goodman PACE Fund
 
Restricted Funds:
Community Security Operations Fund
Sam and Lucy Gould JCF Office Suite Enhancement Fund
Sam and Lucy Gould JCF Program Fund
Morgan Family Fund for The Jewish Federation
Shuchart Foundation for Mental Health Awareness
The Threshold Fund: Supporting the Needs of Unpaid Caregivers
Various funds of the former Menorah Legacy Foundation
 

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Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City   |   5801 West 115th Street, Suite 104   |   Overland Park, Kansas 66211   |   913.327.8245   |   info@jcfkc.org

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City and our website, www.jcfkc.org, serve as a resource to help donors achieve their charitable and planned giving goals. We do not provide legal, tax, investment or other professional advice. For such advice, please contact your attorney or other professional advisor.

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