Roxanne Cohen, Professional Advisor

Family Values Inspire a Career in Jewish Philanthropy

As a Senior Philanthropic Advisor at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, I have the privilege of working with individuals and families at all stages of their philanthropic journey. In my role as an Advisor, I begin by meeting the clients where they are – learning about their interests, values and current approach to giving. From there, we work together to move the needle on their philanthropy by setting goals and priorities, and discussing how to be strategic with grantmaking. For many, this also includes how to involve their children and grandchildren and ensure a lasting legacy. Among the most gratifying aspects of the work is engaging with thoughtful and caring people around issues that are also close to my heart, including creating a vibrant Jewish community, providing services for those in need, supporting Jewish communities worldwide, and strengthening Israeli society.

I find it enriching to learn from clients and donors the stories, values and experiences that motivate their philanthropic giving. For some, charitable values were passed down from their parents or previous generations. For others, philanthropy is a new experience borne of business success and a drive for social justice. The unifying theme is a desire to do good in our world and make a meaningful impact.

Paul and Dorothy Wachter are no exception. As donors to the Federation for over 25 years, their intention in establishing the Wachter Family Fund in 2005 was to perpetuate the Jewish ideals of philanthropy and tikkun olam – the betterment of the world. Over time, their vision is to build a permanent fund that will allow for their children and grandchildren to engage in philanthropy and support meaningful Jewish and non-sectarian causes for generations to come – including the priority of strengthening civil society in Israel.

Donor Advised Funds at the Federation are consistently credited with being effective tools for individuals and families to manage their philanthropy. Clients are grateful for the dual benefits of simplicity in using their DAFs, coupled with support from the Federation’s professional staff to assist them in meeting philanthropic goals. My colleagues and I appreciate the trust that clients have instilled in us to be their partners in this important endeavor. 

In working with Paul and Dorothy, I am reminded of my parents, who instilled in me the Jewish values that have driven me to a career in Jewish philanthropy. My own family’s understanding of community, Jewish identity and relationship to Israel allows me to work genuinely with clients who share a passion for these issues, so that, together, we can make our world a better place.

Categories: Philanthropy


April 15, 2015


Roxanne Cohen