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About Us

Making a difference down the street and across the globe.

For over 25 years the Jewish Foundation of Memphis has led our Jewish community in all aspects of charitable giving by supporting agencies, synagogues and schools, and inspiring donors of all ages.

Our Mission

Encourage Charitable Giving


Support  Partner Agency Endowment Development


BuildSustain a Vibrant Jewish Community


Our Beginnings

Individuals can make a difference; together we change the world.

Since its inception, the Jewish Foundation of Memphis has worked to secure the financial future of our local Jewish community. Chartered as Jewish Community Development, Inc. on September 7, 1995, by the State of Tennessee, the Jewish Foundation of Memphis began its mission to raise endowment funds for the long-term planning goals of its participating agencies in the Memphis Jewish community and to engage Jewish families in setting and achieving charitable goals.

Establishing the Jewish Foundation of Memphis was an undertaking spearheaded by Steve Graber and Ronald Harkavy, who served as the organization’s first president. The initial board of directors was comprised of the following individuals each of whom exhibited a high level of commitment to a secure financial future for the Memphis Jewish community: Ron Belz, Susan Chase, Mike Goldstein, Steve Graber, Mark Halperin, Ben Isenberg z”l, Diane Mendelson, Hal Newburger, Max Ostrow, Nancy Robinson, Steve Wishnia, Ed Young

With support from a Plough Foundation grant, the Jewish Foundation of Memphis began fundraising in support of ten partner agencies, partnerships which continue today.

The Jewish Foundation of Memphis has seen phenomenal growth in assets since its 1995 charter. As of 2022, assets managed by the Foundation now exceed $110,000,000.

“The Jewish Foundation of Memphis has brought together all of our institutions under one umbrella for the economic viability and stability of our community for generations to come. For the future, all would hope that the work of the Foundation would empower each institution to assure that Jewish priorities and values will not be compromised by the need for funding. We can only remain strong if our values remain strong.”

Ronald HarkavyFoundation Board Chair, 1995-2001

Foundation Support Team

Carrie Richardson

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Lisa Schroeder

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Courtney Shemper

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Matt Timberlake

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Jewish Community Partner Colleagues

Phyllis Abraham

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Sophie Bloch

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Amanda Braswell

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Steven Holman

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Judy Lansky

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Elyssa Pfeffer

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Carolyn Pruitt

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Tim Wheat

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Lorraine Wolf

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Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein

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Current Jewish Foundation of Memphis Board 2022

Chair: Jason Salomon

Term Expiring June, 2023:

Stanley Bilsky, Aileen Cooper, Wendy Rotter, Irvin Serenco, Jerry Sklar

Term Expiring June, 2024:

Rick Fogelman, Reed Landau, Anthony Morrison, Jason Salomon, Jeff Wallace

Term Expiring June, 2025:

Larson Arney, Pace Cooper, Ron Lazarov, Elkan Scheidt

Agency Appointees to JFOM Board: 

Dot Bilsky, Beth Sholom Synagogue

Judy Bookman, Memphis Jewish Community Center

Marlene Gerson, Memphis Jewish Federation

Paula Jacobson, Temple Israel

Emily Lennon, Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South

Alla Lubin, Bornblum Jewish Community School

Laura Paller, Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth

Judy Royal, Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab

Elaine Wagner Skopp, Baron Hirsch Congregation