Foundation Focus FALL 2023

Joshua Stein Named Next Executive Director of JCF

The Jewish Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Joshua Stein will serve as our next executive director, beginning in January 2024. Josh will succeed Lauren Hoopes, who announced her retirement earlier this year. Josh is currently JCF’s director of philanthropy and has spent the last ten years working closely with Foundation fundholders and communal partners to inspire philanthropy and develop significant charitable resources that will strengthen the community for years to come.

During his tenure with the Foundation, Josh has overseen our fund development efforts which have included the establishment of 329 new funds, totaling nearly $45 million. Through his work with our Create a Jewish Legacy program, he has secured $65 million in new legacy commitments to communal organizations, and provided dozens of agency and synagogue partners with customized planned gift development training, consultancy and stewardship support. Josh has also cultivated the next generation of community philanthropists and leaders through his work with J-LEAD, JCF’s successful young adult giving circle.

“Having worked closely with Josh, I have great confidence in his ability to both carry on the tradition of great leadership at JCF, and create his own enduring legacy as our new executive director,” said Frank Lipsman, JCF Board president.

Irv Belzer, chair of the succession planning task force that oversaw the hiring process, agreed. “We knew we had ‘big shoes’ to fill and were fortunate to have an outstanding internal candidate for the position,” he said. “Based on his experience, strong relationships within the community, and dedication to the Foundation’s mission, Josh is uniquely qualified to successfully lead our organization into its next chapter.”

Josh brings to this position 25 years in Jewish communal leadership, a career that has been defined by strategic thinking and distinguished fundraising and marketing success. Prior to joining the Foundation, he worked for ten years as campaign director and marketing director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Oregon. Before his work in Portland, Josh was the assistant director of IU Hillel in Bloomington, Indiana. He earned a Masters Degree in Jewish Professional Leadership from Brandeis University and completed undergraduate study at the University of Kansas. After his graduation from KU, Josh spent a year working in the Jewish community of Lviv, Ukraine.

Josh is a Kansas City native and the son of Esther and Stewart Stein. Josh and his wife Sheryl have two children, Jonah and Leora. His volunteer work includes serving as a governing board member and executive committee member of Herzl Camp Association and as an inaugural school board member of the Beth Shalom Polsky Religious School Board. Sheryl is a math teacher at Blue Valley North High School.

The Foundation’s current executive director, Lauren Hoopes, has held the position for more than 20 years and will generously share the wisdom and expertise she’s gained during her tenure to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. “I’m so very pleased with the Board’s choice to promote Josh,” said Lauren. “Josh came to the Foundation with great communal experience, deep local roots, and most importantly, qualities of character – integrity, kindness, and the passion for giving – that have made him an outstanding professional, colleague, and community member. Over the past decade, he has grown in both knowledge and experience, now ready to take on this important leadership role. We’re all very excited to see what he will do with our fabulous Foundation in the coming years.”

As executive director, Josh plans to build upon the Foundation’s stellar reputation as a trusted and innovative center for philanthropy which prioritizes personal relationships and exceptional service. “It is a true honor to be amongst the illustrious company of those, such as Lauren, who have served in this role and have grown the Foundation to its current position of strength,” said Josh. “I truly believe that not only JCF’s future, but the community’s, will rely upon our continued success in inspiring the imagination of our generous community and giving people the tools and resources to fulfil their charitable goals.”

Happy New Year to Our Foundation Family!

Dear Friends:

The High Holidays always give us the great opportunity to reflect on the past year and consider how we can become better people, partners, parents, siblings, friends, and community members. The same is true of organizations that serve the community. In our fast-changing world, it is so important that organizations are flexible and adaptable while standing firm in their values.

In 5784, the Foundation recommits itself to remaining open to the changing needs of our fundholders and community partners, while remaining true to our core mission as the central resource for personalized charitable funds for individuals, families, and organizations throughout the region.

As we transition to the new professional leadership of Josh Stein as the Foundation’s executive director, we look forward with great anticipation to reading the next chapter in the story of JCF that he will write with all of you, our Foundation Family. With an appreciation for the tremendous impact we, as a community of givers, have had over the past year and with a sense of excitement about the many mitzvot we will perform together in the future, we wish you a new year of health, happiness, and joyful giving!

Frank Lipsman, President & Lauren Mattleman Hoopes, Executive Director

New Leadership on the B’nai Tzedek Youth Council

Members of the B’nai Tzedek Youth Council recently met for the first meeting of the 2023-2024 academic year. At this gathering these young community leaders learned more about one another and gained some insight on everyone’s charitable inclinations. Josh Stein, JCF’s director of philanthropy, shared information about the Foundation and how Judaism and philanthropy relate to one another.

The Youth Council will work closely with Tracie Holley, JCF’s legacy stewardship manager, who is the program’s new coordinator. Together, they will learn about community philanthropy and plan the B’nai Tzedek Shuk, a fun and engaging philanthropy fair for all B’nai Tzedek fundholders. The Shuk is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Recent funding for the B’nai Tzedek program has been generously provided by the Lowenstein Family Supporting Foundation.

If someone you know is interested in opening a B’nai Tzedek fund, please contact Tracie Holley at (913) 327-8284 or tholley@jcfkc.org.

High Holiday Baskets

In appreciation of our valued partnerships, Jewish Community Foundation staff and volunteers delivered baskets of apples and honey to our professional advisor and nonprofit partners. The High Holiday baskets were generously underwritten by the David Cohn Family Foundation, in loving memory of Sanford and Barbara Cohn.

JCF's Create a Jewish Legacy Program Offers Connection & Education

In July, JCF hosted a “Parking Lot” Happy Hour where representatives of communal organizations were invited to network and learn about upcoming legacy giving educational opportunities. The event was part of the Foundation’s Create a Jewish Legacy program which brings together lay and professional leaders engaged in planned giving efforts for collaborative learning and sharing of best practices and successful programs. The next event is planned for October and will feature JCF’s own Lauren Hoopes, who will share lessons learned over 30 years in the field. Create a Jewish Legacy is generously sponsored by the Sam and Lucy Gould JCF Program Fund.

JCF Charitable Gift Cards are the Perfect Hanukkah Gift!

This Hanukkah, share the joy of charitable giving with your family and friends. Give a gift that keeps on giving with a JCF charitable gift card. A charitable gift card is redeemable for a donation to any IRS-approved nonprofit organization.

Purchasing charitable gift cards is one of the many benefits of having a JCF Donor Advised Fund. Learn more at jcfkc.org/GiftCard.

Fall into Philanthropy!

Now is a great time to replenish your existing JCF Donor Advised Fund - or open a new one!

Grow Your Fund: Ensure you’re able to support your favorite charities on your own timetable - and receive significant tax advantages by donating appreciated stock!

Give More Strategically: Thoughtfully plan your giving to achieve your unique philanthropic goals.

Match Your Interests with Community Needs: Contact JCF’s expert staff to be connected with nonprofits that support your passions.

Community Legacy Fund Grants

JCF’s Community Legacy Fund supports programs and agencies which enhance and maintain the quality of Jewish life in the Greater Kansas City area. A total of $391,000 was recently granted to the following organizations as part of the fund’s core cycle:

Gan Chabad TLC: Kansas City Kosher Meals on Wheels Audit | Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy: Educational Needs; Scholarships | The J: Property, Liability, and Casualty Insurance | Jewish Community Campus: Utilities | JCRB/AJC: Operational Support and Staffing | Jewish Family Services: Chaplaincy Program; Pantry Rent & Technology; Priya | Jewish Federation of Greater KC - Sasone: Support for Jewish Institutions | Jewish Vocational Service: Office Space Rent & Furniture | Kehilath Israel Synagogue: Community Mikvah | KU Chabad: Texting Hotline | KU Hillel: Accounting Services | Midwest Center for Holocaust Education: Rent | National Council of Synagogue Youth: KC Jewish Student Union | Overland Park Eruv: Operational Support | Rabbinical Association: Part-Time Administrator | University of Missouri Hillel: Staff Salaries, Benefits & Facility Upkeep | Vaad HaKashruth: Kosher Supervision Staffing | Village Shalom: Financial Assistance Program