Foundation History

Former JCF Trustee Jeremy Lite

Trustee Jeremy Lite at the 2012 dedication of the new JCF offices.

jcf_missionOur vision is that all individuals, families, and organizations realize their philanthropic passions during and after their lifetimes, securing our communities for future generations.

We believe in a thriving future for the Jewish people and we welcome non-Jews into our family, because together, we forge a stronger community for all of us. To ensure a strong community, legacy planning is essential to continue the culture, tradition, history and beliefs that have sustained our livelihood for nearly 6,000 years. Tzedakah, our obligation to do what is right and just, and tikkun olam, repairing the world, are core values of Judaism that the Foundation emphasizes in all aspects of our work.

2013 – Foundation assets surpass $86 million.

2012 – JCF moves offices to new location in the Catalina Foothills.

2012 – After 23 years, Carol Karsch retires and moves to Israel.  Tracy Salkowitz moves from San Francisco to become the new CEO.

2010 – Southern Arizona is chosen as one of five communities across the country to pilot an Areivim program focused on educating and building community legacy planning.

2009 – First Jewish Legacy Forum held in Tucson, Arizona.

2008 – The economic downturn causes a 30% decrease in assets, yet the Foundation continues distributions at a healthy level due to its fiscal responsibility and spending rate policy.

2007 – The Foundation’s investment pools are moved to SEI, a national investment manager specializing in foundations.

2007 – The Foundation upgrades its accounting and database software system to Foundation Information Management System (FIMS).

2006 – Dr. Jerry Neuman presents at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations, stating that “a strong development staff and trained volunteers working in concert, and with a clearly developed sequence of actions, can be successful in putting endowments and future endowments into place one legacy at a time.”

2005 – Foundation assets surpassed $54 million.

2005 – Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona opens the first agency endowment fund.

2005 – 500th person signs the Endowment Book of Life.

2005 – Project Dor Habah is created to identify paths for outreach to the “next generation” of young families and future philanthropists.

1998 – Foundation assets surpassed $36 million.

1996 – Foundation assets surpassed $18 million.

1992- Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona becomes an independent corporation that is an affiliated agency of the Federation. Carol Karsch becomes the first Executive Director and Louis Pozez the first President.

1991 – Inaugural Endowment Book of Life signing event.

1986 – First Donor Advised Fund established as a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Established in 1975 as a committee of the Tucson Jewish Community Council (which later became the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona). Over the first 15 years, Ben Brook, Joe Gerber, Marvin Schotland and Michael Green serve as Directors of the Foundation.