Donor Profile: Paul and Dorothy Wachter

Paul and Dorothy Wachter see Israel as the nexus of Jewish identity and culture for Jews worldwide, and feel a deep personal bond to Israel as individuals and as philanthropists. As Paul and Dorothy explain, "Israel is the center of our peoplehood, and the character of Israeli society and the social welfare of all its citizens are of great significance to us. Israel is critical to the survival and thriving of the Jewish people, and, as such, must continue to strive to be ‘a light unto the nations.’ There are aspects of Israeli society that need to be addressed, such as issues of religious pluralism, women's rights, economic justice, minority rights and inclusiveness, to name a few. We feel it is our responsibility to participate in addressing these issues." 

Support for the Federation's annual campaign has always been a cornerstone of Paul and Dorothy's charitable giving, as a means of supporting both local Jewish programs and key work in Israel. In addition, Paul has taken a leadership role with the New Israel Fund, serving on the Regional Board and on the International Council of that organization. "We feel invested in programs that are crucial to strengthening the social fabric of Israeli society," he says.

Paul and Dorothy have also found it gratifying to support several Ethiopian-Israeli nursing students directly with monthly stipends through the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry's Adopt-A-Student program, which enables students to complete their education and enter various professions in the Israeli workforce. Beyond this financial support, Dorothy has maintained a personal relationship through correspondence with each of these students over the years.

Paul and Dorothy have consistently designated a significant portion of their charitable giving to addressing the needs of the Jewish community, seeing this as a central part of their family's legacy. Working in partnership with the Federation, they have become true philanthropists, who see themselves as donors engaged in meaningful work over the long-term. Moreover, they have evolved in their philanthropic sophistication and objectives, adopting a broad, multi-generational approach.

"Through our Donor Advised Fund, we have been able to allocate our philanthropic resources and engage our next generation, similar to the benefits of a private foundation, without the administrative overhead costs and legal bureaucracy,” Paul noted. The couple credits the Federation's professional staff with providing guidance and introducing them to "a wonderfully broad perspective of philanthropy."

At this stage in their lives, it is important to Paul and Dorothy that their family's philanthropy continues into subsequent generations. Through their Donor Advised Fund, they are in the process of welcoming their children and grandchildren into this important endeavor.

Categories: Community, Philanthropy


April 15, 2015


Roxanne Cohen