Philanthropy through the Generations

The Amazing Saxe Family

Tzedakah has always played an important role in the lives of Dorothy and George z”l Saxe. It’s a value Dorothy learned from her own parents, who modeled generosity and compassion. Dorothy recalls how, even with limited means during the Great Depression, her parents would feed complete strangers who showed up on their doorstep.

Dorothy Saxe signing the Book of Life

Dorothy and George moved from Indiana to Menlo Park in 1959 as George pursued new professional opportunities in the Bay Area, and they quickly became involved in the Jewish community. The couple, together with their children, Loren, Joel, and Ellen, have been consistent leaders, participants, and supporters of the Jewish community.

Their exploration of the arts began in the late 1970s as a special shared pursuit. “George played golf and I went to the opera and ballet,” Dorothy explained. “We wanted to find something neither of us knew anything about that we could do together.” Fast forward 30 years and today the Saxe collection of contemporary art, glass, and crafts is world renowned.

Dorothy and George have touched countless lives through the generosity of their time and resources – providing leadership and support to the Federation, Temple Beth Am, Jewish Community Centers, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Jewish Home, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and countless more organizations along the way.

Their desire to do good in a Jewish way also extended to their grandchildren. Dorothy and George established Donor Advised Funds for each of them when they were teenagers in order to instill a sense of community, responsibility, and philanthropy early on.

There’s much to be proud of. “There was a time when the kids were growing up, we took them to services every single week – even if we had to drag them there!” Dorothy said. Today, her children and grandchildren have followed in her footsteps, taking prominent leadership roles in the Jewish community themselves.

Thanks to Dorothy’s commitment to the Federation's Centennial Campaign, the Saxe family legacy will carry on for generations to come.

“I’m thrilled that my commitment to the Jewish community continues to strengthen with each passing year.”

Dorothy Saxe

Back Row: Daniel Saxe, Dave Saxe, Loren Saxe, Aaron Saxe
Front Row: Ellen Saliman, Dorothy Saxe, Shelley Saxe, Meredith Saxe


For more than a century, the Federation has helped shape the contours of Jewish life in the Bay Area and overseas by responding to the many challenges and opportunities that arise. The Centennial Campaign seeks to raise $250,000,000 in legacy and estate gifts order to protect the investments that we have made in our lifetimes, and to ensure that the organizations and programs that we have so proudly built will continue to thrive into the future.

For more information, please contact Debbie Berkowitz, Centennial Campaign Director, at 415.512.6291 or

Categories: Philanthropy, Community


August 11, 2017


Jackie Krentzman