The Jewish Endowment Foundation was founded in 1972 by a few far-sighted men and women of the Jewish Federation. Their goal was to assure essential growth and survival of the entire family of Jewish communal services. JEF was created as a reserve for the future, an insurance policy to protect Jewish institutions in times of economic crises.
The Jewish Endowment Foundation's funds are used to meet the community's changing needs and new demands; to support thoughtful solutions to communal problems. JEF's funds are judiciously invested by professional managers and monitored by a volunteer Investment Committee.
The mission of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Massachusetts is to solicit, administer and invest gifts from donors in order to build a strong endowment which will ensure that the Jewish community of Western Massachusetts will have funds for present and future needs and to help serve the needs of world Jewry and the general community of Western Massachusetts.
JEF takes a conservative approach to investing, focusing first on the preservation of principal and second on growth. Our Investment Committee uses an asset allocation model intended to preserve capital and provide growth, ensuring continued financial support for the community. Ten percent of our portfolio is held in Israel Bonds - providing both a good investment and support for the State of Israel.
The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Massachusetts is a division of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, Inc. Authority for all aspects of the operation of the JEF has been delegated by the Federation to the Board of the JEF. The JEF Board is made up of members of the community, and consists of 25 members serving 3 year terms, plus past presidents who may participate as voting members during their lifetime.
In addition to the Board, the JEF has several volunteer committees. Committees include: Grants Distribution (making decisions on grants from our Unrestricted Fund), Anna P. Housen Committee (providing grants to benefit organizations in Israel or to improve local awareness of Israel), Springfield Council of Jewish Women Scholarship Committee (provides academic scholarships to undergraduate students regardless of religion), Common Fund Scholarship Committee (providing assistance to individuals travelling to Israel for educational purposes, and college scholarships to local Jewish students), Marketing Committee, Development Committee, and Nominating Committee.
Jewish Endowment Foundation Board
Ronald Weiss, Chair
Executive Committee (Chairs of JEF Committees)
Susan Goldman (ex officio, President of Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts)
Carol Engleson (ex officio, Treasurer of Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts)
Susan Weiss Firestone
Martha Finkel Cappetelli
Elizabeth Heit Gaberman*
*Past Chair, lifetime, voting member
**Honorary, lifetime, non-voting member
Jewish Endowment Foundation Staff
Michelle Lancto, Donor Relations and Operations Manager
For a complete list of Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts’ staff click here.