Legacy Magazine Fall 2021

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LEG CY

FALL 2021

Why a Community Foundation?


LEG CY Welcome to Legacy magazine — a thoughtful look at issues facing the modern philanthropist. We hope you find it engaging and informative as you consider your charitable planning. Please contact our giving experts at development@jewishfoundationla.org for strategic philanthropic advising.

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FEATURE STORY Why a Community Foundation? by Natella Royzman

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CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR DONORS Meet Dorit & Harry Nelson

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GAINING PERSPECTIVE

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DONOR INSIGHTS

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MEET OUR EXPERTS

Q&A with Foundation Trustee Jeffrey Loeb

Donor Advised Funds

Introducing Naomi Strongin

Join the conversation at

It’s admirable to give charity. It’s more effective when you add trusted good advice.

About The Jewish Community Foundation Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. In 2020, The Foundation and its donors distributed $116 million to 2,700 nonprofits. Over the past 12 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion to thousands of organizations across a diverse spectrum. Visit jewishfoundationla.org


REFLECTIONS From the President & CEO

Light at the End of the Tunnel Something I had been looking forward to finally happened. Recently, I had the pleasure of returning to The Foundation’s office for a day of work — under strict social distancing and health protocols — for the first time since the pandemic began, and it felt wonderful. After 19 months of working remotely along with our entire staff, I was finally back in a place so familiar. It was very reassuring. It made me reflect on all that has transpired over the past 19 months. In March of 2020, we ventured into the great unknown, and no one could have imagined what was coming next. There was fear, trepidation, confusion, worry — and very turbulent times ahead. What gave me confidence that The Foundation would persevere through the uncertainty was the professionalism of our staff. Although suddenly working remotely indefinitely seemed daunting, I knew that it would bring out the best in our highly talented team. After more than one-and-a-half years of this journey — and after awarding $12 million in Foundation grants for pandemic-related relief locally

From what I have observed, DAFs helped give people a sense of normalcy during the turmoil.”

and in Israel — that confidence has been borne out. Our staff did a remarkable job under the most challenging circumstances — and we’re not out of the woods just yet. Another source of comfort during these turbulent times was the fact that hundreds of Foundation donors gave so generously for pandemic relief through their Donor Advised Funds (DAFs). From what I have observed, DAFs helped give people a sense of normalcy during the turmoil. They allowed our family of donors to easily lend critical support throughout the pandemic. And they gave donors a sense of purpose amid chaos. As you read about the growing popularity of DAFs in this Legacy, remember they offer reassurance when the world feels in disarray. As we prepare to celebrate Chanukah, I think that just like the Maccabees rededicated the ancient Temple after it was defiled and rekindled the lights of the menorah, we at The Foundation are rededicating ourselves to our mission of tikkun olam. We’re starting to come together cautiously in our office with a renewed sense of unity, and we can now more clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel. May the lights of the Chanukah candles shine brightly in your home, and may you experience a new spirit of togetherness, enabling you to appreciate the good in your lives.

Marvin I. Schotland President & CEO Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles jewishfoundationla.org 3


FEATURE STORY

by

Natella Royzman Vice President, Charitable Gift Planning

Why a Community Foundation? When I arrived at the Jewish Community Foundation in 2017 to work in the Development Department, I knew I had landed someplace special. It hit me immediately: In my prior job as a bankruptcy and business litigation attorney, my work was highly transactional. The focus was always “How can I get (or keep) something from somebody?” At The Foundation, it was a different paradigm altogether; now people called me to ask, “How do I give something to somebody?” I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Four years later, I’m even happier than I was before. I was reflecting on this recently as I thought about how to respond to an inquiry I had received from a potential Foundation donor who wanted to understand the difference between The Foundation and other Donor Advised Fund sponsor organizations he was researching. The answer fills me with pride. Although all organizations that have a Donor Advised Fund program must legally be a public charity, the other organizations this donor was considering are the charitable arms of profit-seeking businesses. They would not exist if they didn’t generate significant business for the financial institutions they are connected to by way of investment management, administrative, and recordkeeping services.

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When you open a fund at The Foundation, you start a relationship — one based on common values, shared goals, and a mutual commitment to our community.”

The Jewish Community Foundation came into existence long before any of the many commercial Donor Advised Fund sponsors that exist today. Our mission and philosophy have always had everything to do with strengthening our community and nothing to do with generating profits. The amount of energy and expertise that goes into each of our grant cycles is tremendous, and the cumulative influence on our local community over the years is profound. A portion of the fees we collect

at The Foundation address local needs through our institutional grantmaking. Everyone who has a fund at The Foundation can be proud to take part in making all this possible. I think what it boils down to is this: When you open a fund at The Foundation, you start a relationship — one based on common values, shared goals, and a mutual commitment to our community. That relationship comes with other benefits, including the kind of personal attention better associated with a bygone era in which integrity and service meant something. For example, as a Foundation donor, you can consult with our team of experts about your giving

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FEATURE STORY

to help identify your passions and focus on one specific interest area or several. Whether you’re passionate about Jewish education in Los Angeles, housing for the homeless, or special needs in Israel — to name just a few — we can connect you with outstanding nonprofits addressing your concerns, all on a complimentary basis. Our deep experience addressing the issues and challenges facing our local community and Israel serves as the basis for our institutional grantmaking and the philanthropic guidance we provide to our donors. The Foundation is a family. It’s what’s kept us going for nearly 70 years and what I believe will advance our progress for another seven decades and well beyond. We are living through challenging times, and if the past nearly two years of illness and isolation have taught us

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anything, it is that we are all interdependent. We need each other, and we can achieve more together. Since the outset of the pandemic, The Foundation has committed more than $12 million in grants for COVID-19 relief. Those grants are not only in addition to our donors’ individual charitable endeavors, but also because of them — made possible by the fees that exist for the very purpose of extending our collective philanthropic reach. Even during these difficult days, I love what I do. Giving back is an act of hope, of envisioning the world we would like to create. My work at The Foundation affords me the opportunity and blessing to be with people at their very best while they contemplate ways to improve our society. The Foundation is here to help you lay the groundwork for a meaningful and enduring legacy.

If the past nearly two years of illness and isolation have taught us anything, it is that we are all interdependent. We need each other, and we can achieve more together.”


Partnering with The Foundation More than 1,300 Angelenos and their families, as well as nonprofit institutions, place their trust in us to manage their charitable assets. Some of the reasons they turn to The Foundation include: Deep understanding of Jewish and general community nonprofits. Our ongoing interaction with various nonprofit agencies and program providers offers a deep reservoir of knowledge on where the best work is being done to improve the community. Collaborative approach to solving pressing social issues. We work cooperatively with other funders and segments of the community, which can provide leverage in addressing our most complex social challenges. Engage multiple generations in thoughtful, effective philanthropy. Among our many resources is the Center for Designed Philanthropy, which partners with donors and their families to develop effective intergenerational giving strategies. Broad range of products affords flexible charitable solutions. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. We can work with you and your professional advisors to develop the charitable-giving vehicles to fit your needs, including Donor Advised Funds, endowments, and family support foundations.

Stewardship and accountability. The Foundation affords donors peace of mind — from ease of administration, to access of information 24/7, to sound investment management of charitable assets. Your ability to contribute a range of charitable gifts. As a public charity, The Foundation accepts contributions of cash, securities, IRA distributions, real estate, limited liability companies and other assets, making it easy to fund your philanthropy. Favorable tax treatment. Contributions to a fund established with us afford donors deductions for income and estate tax purposes to the maximum extent permitted under current tax laws. Donations of appreciated assets are not subject to capital gains taxes and an income tax deduction is permissible on the full, fair-market-value of the gift. Scan here to learn about opening a Donor Advised Fund with us.

Stability and permanence. Here today and for tomorrow, The Foundation administers nearly 350 charitable endowments on behalf of donors, ensuring their bequests are faithfully implemented beyond their lifetimes in perpetuity.

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CONVERSATIONS With Our Donors

Our hearts are pulled in so many directions because there are so many needs. We do our best to meet as many as possible.”

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MEET

DORIT & HARRY NELSON:

Sparking Joy through Tzedakah It’s not every philanthropist who can speak fluently about the link between davening (praying) and donating, but for Dorit and Harry Nelson, the language comes with ease. “During the Ma’ariv (evening) prayer service, we chant, ‘Ki hem chayenu, v’orech yamenu: These are the lives and length of our days,’” Harry says. “Participating in Jewish life is how we spend our time, and that includes giving back to, and strengthening, community.” The Nelsons take that responsibility seriously, partnering with the Jewish Community Foundation to put their charitable dollars to work. During a recent interview, the couple held forth on why teaming up with The Foundation makes sense — and how tzedakah can help spark meaning and joy.

Hearts Together, Miles Apart Though they grew up in different parts of the country, Dorit and Harry were raised with similar values: a focus on Jewish continuity and an emphasis on social justice. “It was just part of the thread of who we were,” recalls Dorit, who spent her formative years attending Jewish day school in the San Fernando Valley. Harry, the son and grandson of rabbis with roots in suburban Detroit, agrees. “In our house, my mom and dad were passionate about our responsibility to the Jewish community and our obligation to help take care of people across our city and beyond,” he says.

Their shared background sparked an immediate connection. Introduced by Harry’s sister, who was Dorit’s roommate while she was completing a master’s degree in public health at the University of Michigan, the pair eventually married and relocated to Los Angeles to raise their four children, currently ages 14–20. Their oldest child, Ami, is serving as a lone soldier in the Israel Defense Forces.

An Ally for Good Today, Harry, a thriving health-care lawyer, and Dorit, a successful health-care consultant, continue the tradition of giving that was modeled for them by their families. “Our hearts are pulled in so many directions because there are so many needs,” Dorit says. “We do our best to meet as many as possible.” Doing that can be a heavy lift, but their Donor Advised Fund at The Foundation dramatically lightens the load. The Nelsons set up their fund in 2010 and were immediately offered an abundance of critical resources.

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CONVERSATIONS With Our Donors

Dorit & Harry Nelson at home in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood.

“The Foundation is great, not only because it puts worthy organizations on our radar but also because it helps us to think strategically about our giving,” Harry says. “There’s tremendous depth to the structure it provides, enabling us to look at things in a broader context and to envision the kind of long-term impact we can have.”

Pitching a Big Tent Harry and Dorit are active members of B’nai David-Judea Congregation and identify as Modern Orthodox, but their philanthropic endeavors extend well beyond the Orthodox and religious Zionist communities. “Some of our giving aligns with our immediate community, but we are also moved to support a broader set of passions,” Dorit says. Dorit & Harry Nelson on vacation in Lake Tahoe.

Harry frames it another way, with a chuckle. “We can sometimes relate to the German religious philosopher and Israel Prize winner Akiba Ernst Simon, who said that the people he davens with, he can’t talk to, and the people he talks to, he can’t daven with. For us, it translates to taking more of a big tent approach.” This tendency toward inclusion is evident in the type of nonprofits the Nelsons support. Through their Donor Advised Fund, they assist organizations ranging from Kahal Chasidim, a Hasidic learning center, to Eshel, a group working to create a place in the Orthodox community for Orthodox lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Among their other interests are

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“ The Nelson family celebrating at home: Harry, Aiden (16), Noa (19), Ami (20, Israeli lone soldier), Dorit, Leila (14).

Some of our giving aligns with our immediate community, but we are also moved to support a broader set of passions.”

working to expand access to addiction and mental health treatment and to advance interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Jews. As a leader on LA’s health-care law landscape, Harry sees parallels between his professional and philanthropic pursuits. “In my legal practice, I work extensively around health-care innovation — bringing technologies and therapies to market that haven’t been available before,” he says. “Similarly, Dorit and I believe in contributing to organizations that are willing to explore issues in a different way, shedding new light on potential solutions to deeply entrenched challenges.”

Dorit notes that The Foundation is a core collaborator when it comes to effecting sustainable change. “It listens to our goals, shows us a number of paths for getting there, and then empowers us to make it happen,” she says. “The Foundation gives us important tools for building a better world.”

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GAINING PERSPECTIVE by

Jeffrey Loeb Foundation trustee and family wealth consultant, Loeb & Loeb LLP

Q&A with Foundation Trustee Jeffrey Loeb One secret to maximizing the power of a charitable investment is finding out where experts in the field turn for savvy financial advice. Noted estate planning attorney and member of our Board of Trustees Jeffrey Loeb relies on The Foundation, leveraging its resources and track record of success with strategic philanthropy. Through their Donor Advised Fund, Jeffrey and his wife, Janet, look to The Foundation for insight on making a lasting difference in Los Angeles and beyond.

About Jeffrey Loeb Jeffrey Loeb is a partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP. He practices in the areas of estate planning and trust and estate administration, representing many high net worth individuals and families. Mr. Loeb focuses on helping clients develop a plan for the orderly transfer of assets during life or upon death, emphasizing the preservation of family wealth through the minimization of federal gift and estate taxes.

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We recently sat down with Jeffrey to talk about his partnership with the organization and his family’s focus on building a philanthropic legacy. THE FOUNDATION: You have a unique view of The Foundation as both a trustee and donor. What do you see as the value of having a Donor Advised Fund with us? JEFFREY LOEB: For Janet and me, it was, in part, a practical decision: The Foundation makes giving so easy. Once everything is set up online, we advise about the donations we would like it to make from our Donor Advised Fund, and then it makes sure the recipient is a tax-exempt organization that meets its broad criteria for the receipt of donations. From there, The Foundation takes care of making the disbursement to the recipient and, if we have requested it, having it made in honor,


memory, or recognition of someone. It’s a big benefit for us because we make many smaller gifts each year, so instead of having to research and keep track of everything (like how and where to give), The Foundation offers us a one-stop shop. I think there’s another compelling reason to open a Donor Advised Fund here as well. Part of the fee The Foundation charges for its work is ultimately used, along with other resources, to make meaningful grants in our community and in Israel. So the funds we contribute through our DAF go even further, helping more people and fostering a culture of sustainable community support. THE FOUNDATION: What are your main areas of philanthropic interest? JL: We give to a broad range of causes, but generally speaking, we like to support organizations engaged in medical research, the arts, educational institutions, environmental organizations, humanitarian causes, and Jewish agencies. THE FOUNDATION: How has your service on our Board shaped your impression of The Foundation’s effectiveness? JL: Especially during COVID, the needs of nonprofits across our community have spiked. I’m so thankful that The Foundation has had the wherewithal and agility to respond to those needs, funding the shortfalls many organizations have experienced. I sit on committees that review grant applications submitted by a sizeable number of deserving charitable organizations. In our decisionmaking process, we spend a considerable amount of time reviewing the merits of each application. This enables us to ensure our grants are tailored to cover costs that will help an organization become self-sustaining, targeted for the achievement of The Foundation’s broader goals and hugely effective in addressing a wide range of needs in our community.

The funds we contribute through our DAF go even further, helping more people and fostering a culture of sustainable community support.”

THE FOUNDATION: You mentioned “agility.” Why is being flexible such a critical component of successful grantmaking? JL: In a typical year, The Foundation does its grantmaking in a particular way. But these last couple of years have been far from typical, and the requests for support we’re seeing reflect that. We decided early on that one of our metrics for success would be our ability to respond quickly. When an organization is struggling, all the money in the world won’t matter if it doesn’t come at the right time.

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DONOR INSIGHTS

Donor Advised Funds

A Donor Advised Fund is a powerful tool for emerging philanthropists to leverage tax benefits today and build a foundation for future grantmaking. Many community trusts offer DAFs, but I chose to establish mine with The Foundation because a portion of its fees are reinvested back into the community. These grants are thoroughly researched and communicate Jewish Angelenos’ commitment to anyone and everyone in need.” — Matthew Louchheim, Foundation Trustee (far right), with his sister, Jennifer, and parents Cathy & Mark.

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Having tzedakah already set aside in our Donor Advised Fund was a blessing when the pandemic hit. We had a source of funds readily available to help others in pain. It was so empowering.” — Daniella Naim Kahen, Foundation Trustee, with her husband, Dan, and children (from left) Joshua (9), Gabriel (11), Eliana (7), and Judah (3).

The Foundation is an ideal place to establish a charitable fund because it offers a turnkey solution. All of the due diligence is done for you, plus The Foundation provides wonderful support to help you target those organizations that best fulfill your giving goals.” — Bill Feiler, Foundation Trustee and former Board Chair, and his wife, Cece.

A Donor Advised Fund gives us the vast expertise of the Jewish Community Foundation at our fingertips.” — Leah Bishop, Foundation Advisory Board Member, with her husband, Gary Yale. jewishfoundationla.org 15


NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION US POSTAGE

PA I D

6505 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1200 Los Angeles, CA 90048

PERMIT NO. 4330 LOS ANGELES, CA

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JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES

The Jewish Community Foundation is pleased to introduce you to

Chair

Executive Vice President

President & CEO

Senior Vice President, Finance & Administration/CFO

Dan Rothblatt

Evan Schlessinger Marvin I. Schotland

David Carroll

Vice Presidents

Vice President, Advancement

Abby L.T. Feinman

Steve Gamer

NAOMI STRONGIN

Marcia Weiner Mankoff

Our new Vice President, Center for Designed Philanthropy

Scott H. Richland

Lew Groner

Mark N. Schwartz

Vice President & General Counsel

Harold J. Masor

Naomi has extensive experience and expertise that includes working closely with numerous donors to plan their philanthropy, engaging younger generations in giving, and advising on effective charitable giving strategies. As we head into year-end, now is a great time to

Eugene Stein Adlai W. Wertman

Ellen Rosen

Secretary

Natella Royzman

Connect with Naomi here.

Vice President, Charitable Gift Planning

Selwyn Gerber

Vice President, Center for Designed Philanthropy

Treasurer

Naomi Strongin

Anthony Chanin

connect with Naomi and her team at the Center for Designed Philanthropy to plan your giving. Warren Fong Senior Program Officer

Vice President, Marketing & Communications

TEL FAX

323.761.8700 323.761.8720

jewishfoundationla.org Please send your comments and suggestions to the editors at info@jewishfoundationla.org

Executive Editor: Janet Keller Senior Editor: Lily Reiner Design: Maxine Mueller

Charlotte Friedman Program Officer

Every year, we plant trees in Israel through the Jewish National Fund to offset our carbon footprint. FALL 2021

Sara Hahn Senior Program Officer

323.761.8700 nstrongin@jewishfoundationla.org

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