Stronger together at Jewish Federation Foundation

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Recently, both Temple Beth-El in Providence and Temple Sinai in Cranston chose the Jewish Federation Foundation to help manage congregational endowment funds.

At the beginning of June, Beth-El moved close to $9 million of its endowment to JFF. This represents a significant portion of its endowment.

At the end of December, Temple Sinai created a new endowment with JFF, aimed at funding the synagogue in the future.

These synagogues join Rhode Island Jewish agencies and synagogues large and small that have investments totaling more than $16 million in JFF.

JFF endowment funds are managed by the Rhode Island Foundation, a relationship that was established four years ago. The funds are invested with the Foundation’s more than $1 billion portfolio, a move that has significantly benefited the JFF.

“We are so pleased to have so many synagogues and agencies who have chosen to invest with the Jewish Federation Foundation,” said Adam Greenman, president and CEO of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. Moving a fund to the Foundation or creating a new fund shows a commitment to being our partner – to investing in the Jewish community. Our endowment has a more than 70-year history of supporting the community. Thanks to our partnership with the RI Foundation, our investment returns are stronger than ever. Thanks to Temple Beth-El, Temple Sinai and the other agencies and congregations who have put their trust in us.”

Investment decisions are never made easily. At Temple Beth-El, the move involved lengthy consideration.

Tonya Glantz, president of Temple Beth-El, said in an email, “Partnering with the Jewish Federation Foundation provides a thoughtful way for Rhode Island’s diverse Jewish community to come together to build unity and strength socially, fiscally, and communally while still retaining our unique identities and presence in the state. In this way, I believe that standing together today is sure to bring the promise of a brighter tomorrow. 

“As president of Temple Beth-El, the rich history of our synagogue and the strength of our community, which has existed for close to 170 years, humbles me and leaves me hopeful for its future. I am a social worker, and my training and work have taught me about the importance of solidarity, because we are always better and stronger together.” 

The strength of a larger organization with a track record of investments was attractive to a congregation like Temple Sinai. In an email comment, Gregg Rosen, president of Temple Sinai, said, “Who said running a Temple’s donations, special funds and endowments is easy? At Temple Sinai we are so happy to have the JFF available to help us answer challenging questions and give us sound advise on how to invest.

“It is an honor and a mitzvah when you receive a donation that has been given to your Temple. What does the donor want to use it for? How do we set it up? Who will manage the investment to help it grow? Do they understand how a Temple runs? Will they invest safely and wisely? We are lucky to have the JFF. They understand how a Temple runs and the importance and timing of distributing these funds yearly. To have monies you can count on each year for perpetuity to help us continue to operate and serve our congregation is incredible. We are blessed to have donations, and it is our job together as a Temple and the JFF to protect them and grow them to help sustain our future.”

For more information about the Jewish Federation Foundation, contact Sara Masri, chief development officer, at endowment@jewishallianceri.org or 401-421-4111, ext. 223 .

FRAN OSTENDORF (fostendorf@jewishallianceri.org) is the editor of Jewish Rhode Island.