New partnership gives the Jewish Federation Foundation more resources to serve the community

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A new partnership with Rhode Island’s largest community foundation will enable the Jewish Federation Foundation (JFF), to better serve its donors and its community.

JFF will invest its nearly $60 million endowment with the Rhode Island Foundation – giving JFF access to an investment pool that earned 17.3 percent in 2017 and has an average annual return of 8.4 percent for the 20-year period ended Oct. 31, 2018. The Rhode Island Foundation will also provide operational support services to JFF.  

“We are excited about furthering the mission of the Jewish Alliance and the Jewish Federation Foundation with this partnership and feel it will allow us to benefit from the professionalism of the RIF while also maintaining our Jewish values,” said Sharon Gaines, chair of JFF.

The new relationship is the product of three years of talks with the Rhode Island Foundation. The Jewish Alliance’s board of directors has ratified the agreement, which gives JFF access to the resources that an organization with $1 billion in assets can offer. 

“We believe this new relationship will enhance and enrich our work with donors and the community,” said Adam Greenman, president and CEO of the Jewish Alliance. “We will continue to be the main contact with our fund-holders, and they will not need to adjust to any major changes.”

JFF will continue to provide personalized customer service and stewardship to its fund-holders. The Rhode Island Foundation also will help JFF roll out an enhanced online fund management tool, making it even easier for donors to fulfill their philanthropic objectives.

“We are excited about our partnership with the federation and look forward to supporting their work serving the Jewish community while also reinforcing our broad charge as the state’s community foundation – to meet the needs of all Rhode Island,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Rhode Island Foundation’s president and CEO.

Daniel Kertzner will serve as the Rhode Island Foundation’s liaison to JFF. He will bring his years of grantmaking experience and his work as a philanthropic advisor to bear in supporting JFF’s mission. 

“Our grantmaking and fundraising are complementary, and we are thrilled to bring JFF on as a new partner,” said Kertzner. “I look forward to working closely with JFF.”

JFF’s mission is to support the work of the Alliance and to enhance the quality of Jewish life in the greater Rhode Island community and worldwide through educational, charitable, social service, cultural, religious and recreational endeavors.

JFF’s roots go back more than 60 years, when community patriarch Max Alperin and others saw the need to create a financial institution that would uphold Jewish values and be accessible to the entire community. With this in mind, they created the forerunner of what is now JFF to ensure that support for Rhode Island’s Jewish community would continue in perpetuity.

JFF enables donors to invest in the Jewish community with confidence that the Alliance will use the resources where they are most needed. Trine Lustig, chief development officer at the Alliance, helps people consider their giving options. She can be reached at tlustig@jewishallianceri.org or 401-421-4111, ext. 223.