Before I embark on the next few posts, which will center on the Federation Health and Fitness Club of Phoenix, I wanted everyone to be aware of a really remarkable organization here in Phoenix: The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix.

From their mission statement:


Sustained by our heritage, the Jewish Community Foundation strives to create a permanent legacy for a strong, vibrant, enduring Jewish community locally and abroad.

For nearly 40 years, the Jewish Community Foundation has been helping people support the Jewish and secular causes that are important to them. We provide resources to make the community’s vision a reality and we respond to emergencies facing the Jewish people. The Jewish Community Foundation is the largest resource for Jewish philanthropy in the Greater Phoenix area. We have earned the trust of our donors and the community of professional advisors – attorneys, estate planners, trust officers, insurance professionals, accountants and financial advisors – who work with us to help donors achieve their charitable and financial goals.

This is the Crown Jewel of financial performance and propriety of our community.  They manage more than $41,000,000.00 worth of highly liquid assets, their organization dots every “i”  and crosses every “t”, and because their Board of Directors is filled with professionals, and not the interlocking nest of cronies that infects our Jewish Federation, they do not do stupid things with the community’s trust.  They are not a monument to themselves, and they are the only possible foundation for our future.  So, for those of you who really are able to and want to support Jewish Philanthropy, and want to make sure your money is not wasted on running health clubs and mismanaged schools (where self dealing is the coin of the realm), I would urge you to review the Jewish Community Foundation and direct your giving there.

The Synagogues of The Reform Community, while having had some vicissitudes, are very well run in the areas of financial disclosure and propriety, and they have been strengthened by good Boards of Directors and Rabbi’s who understand their core mission to their congregations.  These are also excellent places to support.  I know that one of our congregations, without fanfare and with great modesty, made a $100,000 donation to the city of Joplin to help with Tornado relief, and also made a further donation to help the Jewish Community of that tornado devastated city.

It is great to be able to admire what is best about our community.