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Tzedakah from the Heart

Last week I was walking with my father and children in Manhattan. As we crossed 7th Avenue, I turned around to make sure my dad was by my side. Instead he was talking to a blind man and asked him if he needed help crossing.

Unknowable Moments

Seth Cohen of the Schusterman Foundation recently captured my attention with a blog about “unknowable moments,” those moments of societal and potentially historical significance that in the moment make us feel disconcerted. 

Why Black Lives Matter to the Jewish Community

It has been a heart-wrenching few weeks in our nation. Young people massacred in a night club in Orlando apparently targeted because they were gay. 

Creating a Community Hug

Of Tears and Rainbows

Who am I? Who are We?

Never Forget

A Leader for Our Time

Michael Johnston shares one of his favorite stories about a little known biblical character by the name of Nachshon ben Amindadav.

Why Ask Why?

Kathryn Gonnerman explains the importance and value in asking "why?".

Annual Investor's Financial Letter

The Unsolvable Problems

Investing in Talent: What's Good for Business is Essential for Philanthropy

UPDATE: Charitable IRA Distributions Permanently in Effect

An opportunity to make an annual distribution free from federal tax

Symbolic Jewelry

More than just a necklace, Michael Johnston reflects on the symbolism and meaning in a special gift received from his wife. Read the full blog.

Embracing the Power of Philanthropy and Community

Hartford Courant's special 'Holiday Wishes' section on December 10, 2015 featured an article by Michael Johnston. The article discusses the tradition of charitable giving and how communities are at the heart of it all. Read the article.

The Art of Giving - Charitable Donors Rewarded with a 'Helper's High'

Hartford Magazine, December 2015 issue, features an article about philanthropy in Greater Hartford. Included in the article are quotes and insights from Michael Johnston along with a description and photo of our community ethical will inspired by the Aim Chai endowment campaign. Read the article.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

Center for Innovative Philanthropy featured in The Jewish Ledger 'Trending' Magazine

New blog post: Ancestors of the Future

Suitcase Ready

What’s so Jewish about a Sequoia Tree?

We are pleased to share once again Michael Johnston's blog from 2013 - What is so Jewish about a Sequoia Tree?

There are a few books I go back to again and again in preparation for the high holidays.  Most, as you might expect, are designed to make the reader consider the power of the Days of Awe and to set the stage for personal introspection. This year, I reread a short vignette on Sequoia trees that was more meaningful for me than in past years. Click here to read more.

The Meaning of Jewish Community: Our Experiment With A Community Ethical Will

Donating Appreciated Stock

Sharing is a Mitzvah

What is Planned Giving?

New Blog Post: The Critical Importance of Nonprofit Transparency

New Blog Post: Be of Service

Q&A with Kathryn Gonnerman

Kathryn shares insights as to how the Center for Innovative Philanthropy came to be and the work is it is charged with doing.

Read the Q&A.

New Blog Post: “Yes, And” Our Way to Success

Kathryn Gonnerman talks about the magic recipe for innovation and what it takes to make it stick.  Read the full blog post.

Giving Circles Unite Individuals for Greater Impact

A giving circle is a group of individuals, pooling their charitable donations and collectively deciding where and how to grant their money.There is an egalitarian and inclusive concept as the basis of all giving circles.

New Blog Post: Money Isn't Enough

In this blog post, Michael Johnston asks the question: what if by investing in our institutional infrastructure we could turn our common threads into steel cables that could hold us all up? What does this look like?

JCF Featured in West Hartford Life

recent article in West Hartford Life focuses on trends in giving. JCF's own Rise Roth, VP , Philanthropy, and Kathryn Gonnerman, Director, Center of Innnovative Philanthropy are quoted. Check it out!

West Hartford Life Article.pdf

New Blog Post: Center of Possibility

The Foundation's new Center for Innovative Philanthropy promises many things for many people. Read what that all means in its latest blog post. 

Impact and Sustainability at Core of New Innovative Philanthropy Center

A new initiative at the Foundation promises to increase the community's impact to do good, through innovation, smart investment in nonprofits, and new opportunities for donors.

New Blog Post: No Disrespect to the Challah

Why should a midrash about challah guide our work? Rise Roth explains...

New Blog Post: Words Matter

Michael Elfenbaum explains why carefully choosing words in your charitable planning can make all the difference.

New Blog Post: Not the Question I Expected

Important Update - IRA Charitable Rollover

What you need to know about the 2014 IRA Charitable Rollover.

Your Guide to Being IN! for 2014

These guidelines will help you to ensure that your gift is tax-deductible in the 2014 calendar year. 

New Blog Post: Danger, Writing by Committee in Progress

Rewriting a mission or vision statement is a daunting process -- and one that shouldn't be undertaken lightly. See what we came up with for the Foundation's new mission and vision, inspired by our five-year strategic plan.

Israeli Girls Advance Opportunities through the Lillian Fund

Underprivileged young Israeli women will benefit from greater employment and earning opportunities for years to come, thanks to a $7,000 grant voted on by participants in the Lillian Fund.

A Powerhouse Called Moishe House

Moishe House Hartford was just a concept two years ago, but has quickly become a powerhouse for Jewish programming among young people in their 20s. The Jewish Community Foundation is proud to have provided a grant that helped make this valuable center possible, and even more pleased to share its impact after just one year of programming.

Building a Community's Capacity to Do Good

What’s more important than community? Not much, according to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. The Foundation recently announced a new strategic plan, mission statement and vision statement that align the Foundation’s roles as philanthropic advisor, grant maker and community leader to increase the community’s overall impact.

Clever Ways Our Community Partners Aim Chai

As you know, Aim Chai is all about collaboration and innovation for the future. Our partners – more than 25 of them and growing – have taken this approach to a new level during the first few months of the public phase of the campaign.

New Blog Post: The Superhero's Approach to Impactful Giving

How do we know – really know – if the gifts we’re making are impactful? Here are 5 tips that will help you get to the heart of the matter.

Foundation Appoints Piaker, Temkin to Board

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford is pleased to welcome Steven F. Piaker and Gayle W. Temkin to its Board of Trustees, and gratefully acknowledges the service, dedication and commitment of departing Board member, Elliott D. Tertes.

New JCF Blog: Answers are Elusive

New JCF Blog: Building Doors to Opportunity

Jewish Community Foundation awards $375,000 for innovative learning in Greater Hartford

Just as the school year has come to a close, three innovative education programs are ramping up – thanks to the vision of dedicated community organizations and $375,000 in grants from the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford.

This is a Blog Post on Innovation

Innovation... Purple Cakes and Atoning Goats?

Surprise! You won a scholarship!

Two Hall High School students didn't know why they were called to the principal's office...

Foundation Welcomes Rise Roth as Vice President, Philanthropy

The Foundation is delighted to welcome Rise Roth as Vice President for Philanthropy.

Michael Johnston Named Visionary by Charter Oak

Charter Oak Cultural Center honored Michael Johnston, President and CEO at the Foundation, with Tony Award Nominee Anika Noni Rose (center) and Senator Beth Bye (left), at the 2014 Annual Vision Awards on May 12. Michael shared inspiring words about the call to repair the world, and what community means to him.

We're hiring! VP of Philanthropy

What's So Jewish About a Sequoia Tree?

Please click on the link

Making a Difference

The Lillian Fund is a giving circle that provides an opportunity for Jewish women to work together to positively impact the community on a project-by-project basis. Grants from the Fund are awarded each year to support innovative programs and projects that directly benefit women and families in need.

Foundation Announces New Fund Minimums

At its September 13th board meeting, the Foundation adopted new fund minimums designed to reduce barriers to participation for individuals and families wishing to create charitable funds at the Foundation.  The new minimum gift to start a designated, unrestricted and individual named custodial sub-fund is $5,000, reduced from $10,000.

Foundation Announces New Trustees

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford Board of Trustees has announced the election of three new trustees—Brian S. Fierston, Jill J. Hutensky and Melvin A. Simon.

Foundation and Federation Launch Multigenerational Family Philanthropy Program

Professionals at the Jewish Community Foundation and Jewish Federation have launched an initiative to effectively advise families about articulating their Jewish values, engaging their next-generation children, establishing their legacy of giving and achieving their philanthropic goals. Through a three part series, families will explore the underpinnings of their personal and familial values in interactive and experiential workshops.

40th Anniversary Celebration for Jewish Community Foundation

More than 150 donors and friends of Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford attended a reception on September 6th at Beth El Temple to celebrate the Foundation’s 40th anniversary.

Solomon Schechter Day School Receives $55,000 Grant from JCF

Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford was awarded a $55,000 Capacity-Building Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. The grant underwrites a Schechter initiative to transform its Early Childhood Program into one that is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, is rooted in Jewish values and follows the Connecticut Preschool Curriculum Framework. "In providing Capacity-Building Grants," says Michael Johnston, President of the Jewish Community Foundation, "our goal is to help Jewish communal agencies build signature programs that will enable them to fulfill their mission and strengthen our community. In underwriting this grant, we seek to support Solomon Schechter's efforts to provide a top-notch education for those families who are looking for an Early Childhood program that is nestled in a Jewish day school."

Hartford Magazine Features JCF

Charity begins at home in Greater Hartford. The area has a wealth of charitable foundations that support nonprofits, which in turn help our neediest neighbors. We spoke to five of these institutions... A shift in generational giving and increased giving to global causes are two challenges facing these charities. The generation of donors that came of age during WWII has a different giving philosophy from baby boomers and younger people, which is causing foundations to rethink their mission plans, says Michael Johnston, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford.

Big Tent Judaism Initiative Funded by the Jewish Community Foundation

The Foundation is awarding over $138,000 to the Mandell Jewish Community Center and Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford for a program called the “Big Tent Judaism Initiative.” It is one of the first programs to be awarded a grant under the Foundation’s New Initiative Grants Program.

Investing in Talent: What's Good for Business is Essential for Philanthropy

Investing in Talent: What's Good for Business is Essential for Philanthropy

The Meaning of Jewish Community: Our Experiment With A Community Ethical Will

What is Planned Giving?

A Conversation with Kathryn Gonnerman

Read the Q & A. 

The Temkin Family: Why We Aim Chai

The Temkin Family has been a generous, active supporter of Jewish Hartford even before they moved here from Torrington two years ago. Now Gayle, Steve and their two daughters, Alyssa (age 8) and Lily (age 6) are among the first to commit to the Aim Chai Endowment Campaign...

Jewish Community Foundation Special Blog

Please click on the link for a special blog reflecting on the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut.

Students Learn to Become Exceptional Fundraisers

Students from the Teen Leadership and Philanthropy Institute, a program funded by the Jewish Community Foundation, successfully raised almost $2,000 this year. 

JCF Launches Blog

Expert Shares Tips on Promoting Legacies and Bequests

Agency and synagogue staff and lay leaders in the Greater Hartford area attended a Fundraising Academy workshop regarding using print and electronic media to promote legacy giving. This workshop was sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation as part of its Leave a Jewish Legacy initiative.

JCF Israel Fund Supports Program to Empower Israeli Youth

The Israel Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford awarded a $10,000 grant to IT Works’ Youth Empowerment Program, which is designed to appeal to at-risk youth in poorer communities and provide them with an experience that will start them on the path to skilled employment by providing career opportunities in the growing technological sector.

New President Arrives at the Foundation

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford announced the selection of Michael Johnston as its new President & CEO. He will join the Foundation in February.


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