Donor Stories

Frank and Janie Gumpert

Frank and Janie have been longstanding partners in philanthropy through the Jewish Community Foundation of the West (JCFW). They chose to become donors through the JCFW because of the shared values of the Jewish community and global giving. In 2000 they decided it was the right time to begin their philanthropic journey with the Foundation. They were both leaders in the Sacramento Jewish Community. Janie was the president of Mosaic Law Congregation’s Sisterhood. After listening to a presentation by Sandra Felderstein and Barbara Ansel about JCFW they knew it was the “right thing to do”.

Because the JCFW is a Jewish Community Foundation makes it even more meaningful to Frank and Janie.  “JCFW represents a way to make safe and secure contributions because the organization is embedded in honest values with excellent leadership.” Being a part of this foundation allows the Gumperts to give to the Jewish community as well as many other organizations helping make the world a better place. When the Gumperts recommend grants they take great pride in knowing that the organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish, receiving their gifts will see that the money is coming from the Jewish Community Foundation of the West. They take great pride in showing organizations that the Jewish community cares about everyone.

Passing on to the younger generations the values of giving and being philanthropic has been very important to Frank and Janie. It has become increasingly important as they moved into the role of being grandparents. When Frank was on the JCFW Board he heard about a fund that Danny Goldstein set up for his children. That was a powerful and very tangible way of passing down the values of tzedakah to the next generation. They decided to set up a fund for their children to give them a hands-on opportunity to be philanthropic, work together as a family, and make giving a part of their lives. This has had tremendous success and their 4 children, their spouses, and now grandchildren are all engaged in tzedakah on an ongoing basis. They have passed on a legacy of giving to the next generation.

The JCFW has Frank and Janie to thank as they are model philanthropists who have helped make the Sacramento Jewish community stronger through their tzedakah. They have modeled giving and have encouraged many others to give.  May we all be blessed to give tzedakah wholeheartedly like Frank and Janie Gumpert. The JCFW is lucky to have its ongoing support and commitment to giving.

Larry and Sharon Saltzman

Sharon and Larry Saltzman each have more than 35 years of giving back to the community. Larry is a retired physician and Sharon is a freelance designer and photographer. They have worked together in business and they work together to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Larry was an Executive Research Director and Sharon in the past served as the TNT League Co-Chair, Greater Sacramento. This cause is very personal to them as Larry continues to be in remission from an aggressive form of both diseases. Sharon and Larry are founding members of the Land Park Association and served on the Mosaic Law Congregation Board of Directors. Sharon is an associate member of TDX and a past Israel Bond Chairwoman. Using her professional skills, Sharon was a volunteer at the JCFW doing design work for our organization. One of the most important roles for Sharon was her time on the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region Executive Committee, first as Treasurer and then as 1st Vice President. It was during that time that Sharon saw a need to fund teen trips to Israel and she and Larry provided the seed funding for the Teen Trip to Israel Endowment, held at the JCFW and benefiting youth on Federation-sanctioned trips to Israel. This fund was started with $25,000 in 2006 and has grown to $110,000 while providing numerous students with monetary stipends for life-changing experiences, defining the true definition of an endowment with preservation and growth of principal while at the same time distributing funds.

Larry served on the Shalom School Investment Advisory committee. He continues to serve on the JCFW Investment Committee and has served on the JCFW Board of Directors from 2009-2019. Both Sharon and Larry are committed to furthering the legacy of our Jewish community through their donations of time and funding at the Jewish Community Foundation of the West. And recently, they chose to fulfill their Life and Legacy commitment by creating a new Endowment benefitting Mosaic Law Congregation.

Sharon and Larry answer the question of why fund our Life and Legacy commitment now. "We believe that endowments are the way to build a strong community. A decade ago, we endowed a fund at the JCFW and we are proud to see the impact that it has had. We decided to fund our commitment to Mosaic Law through the Life and Legacy program this year, so we can once again see the benefits to our community in our lifetime."

Mike and Lynn Dean

Lynn and Mike Dean are both attorneys. Each has served on the board and then as President of Temple Or Rishon (TOR); although when Mike was president it was called Sunrise Jewish Congregation. Their devotion to TOR is tremendous with Mike overseeing the purchase of the land the synagogue is built on and Lynn overseeing the construction of the Temple’s first permanent home. As the then rabbi of TOR, Marvin Schwab, joked, in a reference to a saying regarding R. Moshe ben Maimon (the Rambam), "Mi Dean ad Dean, lo kam k’Dean." ("From Dean to Dean, there was none like Dean.") Both Mike and Lynn have served on the board of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region, with Lynn also serving several years as its President. Mike has lent his time to Shalom School, AIPAC, and the JCRC. In addition, Lynn was President of the Federation’s Women’s Division and served on the Placer County Commission on Aging. Mike, on the other hand, has lent his time to the Shalom School board, AIPAC's Northern California Advisory Committee, and the JCRC.

Of course, with respect to the Jewish Community Foundation of the West, Mike just recently ended his 3-year term as JCFW president in 2017, where he provided terrific guidance over many changes and wonderful growth. Mike has been on the JCFW board for 9 years and remains on the JCFW board at this time serving not only as a board member but also as a member of the JCFW Investment Committee. Not to be outdone, Lynn preceded Mike on the JCFW board serving as its secretary and on its Executive Committee for 9 years, Mike and Lynn have over 30 years each of giving back to our community.

And, as if that were not enough, in addition to participation in JCFW’s Life & Legacy program and their other tzedakah on behalf of both Jewish and non-Jewish causes, last year Mike and Lynn chose to directly fund the Temple Or Rishon Legacy Endowment, held at the JCFW.

In their words; "We support Life & Legacy because it is important to us that we do our part to ensure that the Jewish institutions that mean so much to us are financially secure in the future. And, we chose to make a portion of our gift during our lifetime so that the endowment fund could begin to grow now."

Hal and Anne Eisenberg

When Jewish Family Service closed its doors in 2009, Anne and Hal Eisenberg felt the loss deeply. "The essence of a Jewish community is compassion and taking care of those who cannot care for themselves." So when the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region picked up the pieces of JFS and began filling that crucial role, the Eisenbergs wanted to make sure the program wouldn’t fail again.

They decided to take a two-pronged approach to the long-term stability of JFS. To start, they gave a current gift from their IRA, taking advantage of tax opportunities associated with making mandatory distributions to a charity. Anne, a former long-time member of JCFW's board, knows well the importance of Endowment Gifts, and so the Jewish Family Service Endowment Fund was born. "We are incredibly grateful for the foresight and generosity of donors like Anne and Hal who clearly understand the importance of an endowment for JFS, and the impact this fund will have to ensure the most basic needs of our community are met, in perpetuity" explained Willie Recht, JFSR Executive Director. The creation of this endowment, through the JCFW, was a critical step in making sure that the mission of the Federation - caring for those in need, without discrimination – remains sustainable and that no one in our community is left behind, or without.

A one-time gift to fund an Endowment wasn’t the only thing the Eisenbergs had in mind. "We feel this is our community, our home," they said. "The stronger our community, the more we give to it and the more we get back." They rounded out their commitment by ensuring that a portion of their estate would be gifted to the JFS Endowment Fund through a LEGACY Gift, growing the fund and allowing an even bigger impact.

Anne said, "We all want to ensure our children and those we care about inherit something, but if you leave them 90% of your estate, then 10% can be donated to organizations that you care deeply about. You’re creating a different kind of legacy and being a good example to your children."

Anne and Hal happily encourage others to leave a LEGACY Gift to their treasured organizations. "Talking about a legacy gift is a positive experience," said Hal. "People can feel good about helping to ensure the future of organizations and services they care about", Anne spoke passionately about each person’s responsibility. "We all need to ensure the future of our Jewish community."

At the Jewish Community of the West, we seek to guarantee a Jewish tomorrow through the creation of a culture of legacy within the community by empowering individuals and organizations to engage in effective, meaningful giving.