Organizational Leadership

Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund


The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund (the Federation) is a philanthropic catalyst, connecting Bay Area Jews of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to improve the world. For more than 100 years, the Federation has been supporting a vibrant, caring, and enduring Jewish community in the San Francisco Bay Area, in Israel, and around the globe. The Federation invests strategically in the community by making and facilitating grants, developing leaders and philanthropists, providing consulting and other services to organizations to strengthen their operations and to ensure the future of a healthy and sustainable Jewish community. The Federation partners with donors, organizations, and foundations to address the pressing issues facing the Jewish community and develops innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact. In fiscal year 2013-2014, the Federation made $22,165,000 in direct grants to organizations supporting the Jewish community.

The Federation’s $1.8 billion Endowment Fund serves as a trusted advisor for philanthropic services by aligning donors’ personal and financial charitable goals with Jewish values. Laura currently serves as Vice Chair of the Endowment Fund, which guides donors, connects funders, and leverages resources to achieve sustainable, positive change for our community and the world we share. By combining local and global insight into complex issues with a robust and rigorous grantmaking process, the Endowment Fund provides funders with personalized and innovative funding strategies to realize their philanthropic vision. In fiscal year 2013-2014, the Endowment Fund administered $160,700,000 in grants through personal philanthropic vehicles under its management, including over 900 Donor Advised Funds and 30 Supporting Foundations.

Laura has served in numerous other leadership capacities at the Federation, including Campaign Chair in the South Peninsula in 1997, Chair of the Diller Teacher Awards Committee from 2005 to 2009, Vice Chair of the Executive Allocations Committee in 2011, and co-founder of the IGI- Impact Grants Initiative, a venture philanthropy allocations initiative, in 2012. Since the pilot IGI in 2012, the Federation has convened 16 IGI grant rounds, making over $4 million in grants to 57 organizations both locally and in Israel. In 2013, Laura partnered with another funder to create an innovative Entrepreneur’s Trip to Israel, which brought together Silicon Valley high-tech leaders for a week-long learning and social action trip to the State of Israel. This successful pilot was replicated in 2015. Laura and Gary also provided seed funding to create a Director of Philanthropy Education position at the Federation. Through this support, the Federation is able to offer a multi-pronged approach to philanthropic education, consisting of cohort centered experiences, programming at events and curriculum for affinity groups, one on one philanthropic coaching, and small group issue area gatherings.

Laura and Gary have contributed more than $2.5 million to the Federation’s annual campaign and in support of other projects since 1997. As a result of Laura’s commitment to and leadership at the Federation, she was awarded the Dinkelspiel Young Leadership Award in 1999 and was honored as Volunteer of the Year in 2011.