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tv   Mosaic  CBS  September 29, 2013 5:00am-5:31am PDT

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. good morning, and welcome to mosaic. i'm rabbi eric and honored to be your host this morning. throughout our country, faith community and other resource organizational structures in order to meet the social, educational and other needs of their particular community across the nation and worldwide. with us this morning is jennifer, the ceo of the jewish community federation and endowment fund of san francisco, marin and sonoma counties, and the pe nins ra. joining with us is tom, the chair of the board of directors of the jewish community federation. welcome jennifer and tom. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> let's just jump right in. jennifer, what is the
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federation. >> the federation has a very simple role that is sort of much more complicated in execution. our goal is to create a vibrant and healthy jewish community wherever jews are in the world. so here in the bay area as well as in eastern europe, latin america, and then, of course, israel, as well. >> so how does a vibrant community get formed? i know that's a general question, but in the context of what a faith community has and to the rest of the community, what formulates a vibrant community. >> really, there is three principles derived directly from the torrah and depending on one's background, can be interpreted more or less strictly or literally. our social security a very looser flexible interpretation because oaf the diversity of the bay area. we think they're swinging ingredients to a healthy vibrant jewish community. one is education and identity. without building the next generation of juice who know where they came from and have the opportunity to figure out where they want to go shths what
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our values are and our traditions are, then it's difficult to imagine continuity of the jewish community in the future. so that's a strong emphasis of ours. another that is absolutely essential is caring for our vulnerable. this is a jewish value looted in the torrah. absolutely. then the third is culture and public afares. we are part and parcel of the community in which we live. we are as much a cultural people as we are a faith-based people and so our cultural institutions are very pornlt for us to foster, nurture and protect. >> you're the chair of the board of directors of the jewish community federation, and i think everybody knows that every organizational structure has its own vitality based on that relationship between the executive and the lay leadership. i'm wonder fg you can talk about how the lay leader ship functions within the context of the jewish community federation and endow. fund. >> sure. we actually took a look at our
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govern nans structure not that long ago to look at how we can tielthen it even further in terms of the relationship between the professional staff and the lay leaders so we have an executive committee, which is about 12 people, and then we have a board of directors, which is around 34 people, and then we have a board of governors, which is about 70 people. the decision-making responsibility in terms of making decisions for the federation rests with the board of directors, but we are part of the community. the federation is part of the community so we wanted a larger body where we could bring members of the community in to discuss issues of importance or to provide feedback to the professional staff if they had questions or they wanted to explore a particular subject. so the lay people are really here to support the work of the
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federation and to support the professional staff. they provide guidance. they provide counsel. they may raise questions for us, but we really work together for the benefit of the entire community. >> and i would add something to that, eric, which is that we had very strong committees and subcommittees so we have over 700 volunteers coming in and out of the federation in any given year. our endowment committee, for example, is made up of over 30 members of the community who are among our oldest, most established founding families, and others who are entrepreneurs and invaters so that we can make sure that the individual philanthropy that is pursued through the endowment fund is something that remains a high point of the work that we do. people have a lot of trust in us. we also have an executive allocations committee, a group out of very committed lay leaders who help us to make our
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grants in a very strategic way throughout the year. >> can i add one other committee? we have, as jennifer said, a lot of -- we have the committee called the capital planning committee, which works with all the agencies in our community when you have a capital project to help them think through the capital project to review the financial aspects of them, to help them put together the best project that they can both in terms of getting it done but also in terms of financing it. >> thank you so much. we're going to take a quick break and return in just a moment here on mosaic. we'll see you in just a moment back here.
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. good morning. i'm r abbi eric weis sks. welcome back. we're in the middle of a swonder of conversation with jennifer,
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who is the ceo of the jewish federation endowment fund of san francisco and sonoma counties. welcome back jennifer and tom. we were talking about the -- the architecture of the federation and how it's set up and that it gives grants and other resources to skwluish community agencies. i'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about what that granting process is right. >> sure. from the grant-making standpoint, we were talking earlier about the importance of making a healthy and vibrant community. so we have a family of funds aproecht to visit an investor. wleek at our donors and our youish community as investors in their community. we've create add portfolio approach, family of funds for each of the segments of the community that we want to strengthen. so the first is the core fund. right? you think of the core.
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a lot of people take pilates these dais. it's very important to have a strong core, a strong infrastructure, otherwise nothing else works properly. we have israel fund. that's where we support jews around the world to get what they need and in israel to support a pluralistic tolerant just society. and then new in the past two years is our bay area initiative fund where we look at the largest challenges facing the bay area as a whole and how we as a backbone organization can deploy a variety of agencies all together to achieve a goal such as in the area of special needs. then finally our invasion fund because if we don't keep our eye on innovation all the time and allow the next generations to create the jewish life that they want to have, we'll really be holding our community back. so that's the primary way in which we make grants as a cloektive, but, of course, we
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also have over 970 donor-advised funds and family foundations, and we help these individuals to pursue their own vision, passion in the general community, as well as the jewish community. and our hope is that by making opportunities available in the jewish community, these folks will also make grants to the same that are priorities for us, and that creates great leverage, as well. so in total, we grant out about $173 million of grants a year from all of our sources, about 16 or so from the annual campaign and our unrestricted endowment, and then this great amount from our individual philanthropists in the community. >> you know, when d when we look at the demographics and the way that our society is fundamentally shifting, one of the central questions that is asked no matter what sort of part of the sector one is in is why people give. why do people give their time?
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why do people give of their own financial resources? why do people give of their own expertise? why do people get involved in something that is beyond their own particular zone of individual life? i'm wondering from your perspective, tom and jennifer, what are some of the shift that is you see at work that are important for us to pay attention to? i might add, in an ever shifting landscape. uong it's the way we stereotypically thought about things @ past where we think something is going to land some place and stay there for awhile, and we can cultivate that, whatever that is. really there's a multiplicity of factors that work there ever changing in the global landscape and certainly in the jewish landscape. i'm wondering sort of what your observations about that have and how they then come to land in the federations world. >> so i think in the
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philanthropic landscape generally, we are in a rapid-changing environment that nobody would have predicted even five or ten years ago with the advent of such wide use of the internet and the ability of any public charity anywhere in the world to not only create a site but to seek donations on that site. a lot of our young people are really looking at not only the internet, as you would think of historically on a desktop computer or laptop, but facebook and twitter as means of really learning about and connecting with charities wherever they are. that's the -- the first sort of general trend. the second is that young people want to be very connected to the cause to which they're giving. they want to be involved. they want to see, feel, touch the impact. historically in the jewish community, our parents' generation, our grandparents, too, i think, felt an obligation to give to the jewish community.
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it was just something you did. it was in your bones. part and parcel of being a jew was caring first for our family and then for your jewish community and then for the strange among you. i think today our young people think of themselves as part of the broader world around them. thecht to help the people who are living on less than a dollar a day anywhere where they are in the world, and they also want to care for their jewish community. so the way we've tried to engage them is through slenture philanthropy, think about who's doing the very best job of tackling that issue, really interacting a lot with the potential grantees, and then together, making a decision about where to place those funds and then really sticking with those organizations for a couple of years so that we can really monitor how they're doing, and these donors feel very engaged both in the process and in the organization. so ultimately, we think that
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this is an approach that will benefit the community at large because these are young people who didn't know very much about the jewish community, who now know a lot about the jewish community and feel very connected to it in a variety of ways. >> jennifer, tom, we're going to take a quick break and come back to this wonderful conversation in just one moment.
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. good morning. welcome back to mosaic. i'm honored to be your host. we're in the middle of oo conversation with jewish community federation and chair of the board of directors.
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before the break, jennifer was talking, tom, about shifts she's observed in the community. i'm wondering from your perspective what you see, as well. >> well, i think there's been almost shifts in the whole world of fi lan there pi. if we go back in our history, we used to be called jewish welfare federation. our primary goal was righteous need, taking care of people who had needs. caring for the vulnerable was our primary focus. but as the economy has developed, as the people have been successful, they are now locking to broaden their philanthropic goals. what we look for is we try to match the neesd in the community, which the federation is in a unique position to gauge because we do have a view out of the entire community. as jennifer said earlier, we engage hundreds of people from the community. to take those needs and match them with the passion of our
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donors, so what are donors passionate about today because we can extend beyond just caring for the vulnerable, as jennifer said earlier in terms of our philanthropy. so we connect those passions with the needs so we're -- weir a bit of a connecter in the community, and we try to network organization and donors together to really attack or deal with the specific issue where we can have a significant influence and -- and result. today, donors are looking for connection to what they believe in. they are looking for results. they want to know that their dollars have been well spent, and i -- i think it's wonderful that donors have the confidence in the federation to know where those needs are and that we evaluate those needs and the organization serving thoedz needs so that we can be most effective and relevant in the community. >> you know, you remind me that
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one of the most dynamic aspects i think, of the fed raths is that it isn't only a granter of money, that it always gets engaged in a lot of other ways in which an organizational structure can -- can use its expertise in different arenas. i'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about the other kinds of resources that the federation offers the community at large to -- to help bolster that vie ran si. >> sure. so earlier tom mentioned the capital planning committee, which is a really important group of people who are real estate experts, banking experts, all manner of experts connected to real estate projects or developments. they've probably contributed, i don't know, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of hours in any given year. in addition to that, you know, we talked before about grant making, right? so we play three roles in the
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community. strategic investing, capacity building of which capital planning is a part, and the development of leaders and philanthropists. so in our capacity-building area, we match pro bono experts in the community, which we have about 175 signed up to date, and the organizations in the community who have particular needs. we made 45 matches last year in the areas of real estate leasing, it, marketing, finance, legal and more fblth, and then we also have these communities of practice, communities of learning that are consisted of -- or consist of the executive directors of jewish organizations, their finance professionals, they're fund raising professionals. we bring in outside experts or use our own staff, each of our organizations, to really provide learning and best practices so
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that everybody can really thrive. our feeling is that a financial invest. in the community isn't sufficient. it has to be followed with the sort of insurance that everybody is getting everything they need in order to succeed, so much out of which is nonfinancial, as you know, and in addition to that, they need leaders for the future. they need people who are going to sit on their boards and really help to guide and inform their decisions, and they need donors. how are we going to get those? well, by developing leaders very proactively, we're going to help the community to have successive generations of people who are skilled and knowledgeable about the issues of the community, who are interested in being part of those organizations and continuing them into the future. >> we'll take just a really quick break and come back in just a moment here on mosaic.
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. good morning. welcome back. i'm honored to be your host this morning. we're in the middle of a conversation with tom and the chair of the board of directors of the jewish community and endow ument fund in san francisco and the peninsula. jennifer, ceo. welcome back tom and jennifer. how does our particular jewish community federation fund compare to others around the country? we have a federation region in the south bay, one in the east bay, and jewish community federations exist in different forms in nearly every single urban center across the entire country and, in fact, north america, sxo i'm wondering how -- how do we compare to the other federations around the -- the country, around the continent. >> well, every reck, we share a
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lot of common characteristics in terms of some of the work we do, but there are some distincttive differences between our federation and some of the others. we have perhaps the broadest geographic reach of any federation, as you noted. we go from sonoma all the way down to the south peninsula, which is a very large area. because of where we're located in -- in -- in the heart of silicon valley and technology and bioindustries, we put, i think, more emphasis on innovation and on creativity and entrepreneur ship. we're always looking for new things of doing things, innovative ways of doing things. an example is we created the impacts grant initiative or what we call igi. this is really a combination of several things. one, we gather a group out of people. i was at the kickoff of one of
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our igis about a week ago in san francisco with young people learning to be philanthropists. so we bring them together. we help them -- we expose them to philanthropy and what it means to be a philanthropist, and we help them through the process of how do you allocate money, how do you raise money, and then how do you allocate money, and they actually go through a process over a ten-month period that culminates in they're ability to allocate some funds to ajenisis that they have researched through an rfp process or request for proposal. so they have to evaluate these proposals and decide where to spend the money. one of the things they, of course, lesh fairly early on is that the needs far exceed the resources. so how do you channel these precious resources where they can do the most good in our community? . >> so, tom, from your perspective as chair of the board as a lay leader through
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the years, there's always an organization, a kind of conversation between what is proactive and what is reactive. where does the organization exert its mission and its vision in a proactive manner and to what degree does it react to what the -- the grass roots is also bringing forward? and i'm wondering if you can talk about that kind of a concept within the context of how our federation on this side of the bay functions. >> well, i think it -- it begins with strategy, and recently, we just went through a strategic planning process where we could step back and kind of take a look at the whole community and start to look where -- where the needs are and where we could make a difference, where we would be relevant and where we could make a difference. i think we were very proactive about that. so we look at these challenges, and we become proactive in trying to address those challenges through the work that we do. but we alsz have to react to changes in the veerment because
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as you noted earlier t environment is constantly changing. so we need to keep our finger on the pulse. the last study we did was twrour where we did an expensive community study. we need to stoort looking at maybe redoing that study because a lot of time has passed by. also, there are times when there are just issues that crop up immediately, particularly on the national/international level. we've seen some of the natural disasters that have taken place where we will immediately try and step in and provide a vehicle for our donors to be able to help address the needs as a result of those kinds of issues. >> always an ever-changing environment. jennifer and tom, believe it or not, we have come to the end of our time together so i want to thank you so much for being here and say to you thank you so much for joining us here on mosaic. this is the kind of comma in the conversation. we encourage you to go to the federation's web site to learn
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more about them and to engage them in whatever way you think would be helpful to yourself and your community to give back your time, your energy and your money. thank you so much for being with us here on mosaic.
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. welcome to bay sunday, everybody. i'm your host frank. good to have you with us. we begin with our weekly pitch. if you've got a show out there, we would love to hear from you. all you've got to go is show time now and the cinema spotlight will be shining brightly on marin county's mill valley as city preps for its 36th annual film festival sponsored by kpix 5 and kbcw. the vips of film-making industry make their annual stop academy award winner wan na be show off their hard work there. we are please to have had the programmer, the mill valley film festival with usnd


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