April 2020


There is a Yiddish proverb that says, “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”

Although we find ourselves, yet again, in a time of uncertainty, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation remains strong thanks to you and the legacy of those who came before us. Click here to read a message from Steven M. Foldes, Chair of The Foundation and Scott Kaplan, The Foundation Director.


During these challenging times, The Foundation Investment Committee, our investment consultant Cliffwater and our professional staff are in constant communication and continue to monitor the situation to ensure the health and preservation of our funds. The Foundation remains fiscally sound as we recognize the importance of our role as stewards of our community’s precious financial resources.

The first quarter of 2020 was one of the most challenging capital market environments due to the unprecedented economic shock from COVID-19. Fear gripped financial markets, liquidity disappeared and leveraged investors were forced to sell at deeply depressed prices resulting in significant losses in risk assets. Global stocks declined -21% during the quarter. Other risk assets such as high yield, REITs and commodities suffered significant losses of -14%, -27% and -23%, respectively, during the quarter. The losses for risk assets during this period were equivalent to 50-60% of the losses incurred in 2008 due to the global credit crisis.

The Foundation’s Blended Strategy Portfolio declined -12.5% during the quarter versus its passive relative benchmark, which declined -13.4%. Like other long-term investors, the portfolio has a significant allocation to public equities (approximately 40% of the portfolio), which declined -24.1% during the quarter. Fixed income and hedge funds (35% of the portfolio) declined -8.1% and -4.5%, respectively. While public REITs (2% of the portfolio) declined -24.7% during the quarter, private equity and private real assets generated marginally positive returns as valuations are lagged. Despite the losses, performance is within our expectations. As we have reminded our fund holders, the portfolio is designed to generate healthy returns in good times and minimize losses in bad times.

During the first three weeks of April (ending April 17), markets have recovered approximately one-third of the first quarter losses. Markets have reflected the positive impact of monetary and fiscal stimulus measures. We estimate the portfolio has increased 4-5% during this period.

As in other times of volatility, we are adhering to a long-term investment perspective by keeping our discipline and rebalancing the portfolio to strategic targets. We continue to actively monitor portfolio liquidity and risks and evaluate new investment opportunities.

We value your support and trust in us.

Steven A. Wagner, Investment Committee Chair


The Foundation is offering a workshop, via Zoom, with Merle R. Saferstein, educator, author and legacy and story-writing expert, for all Federation Legacy Donors, Lions of Judah and Forever Lions. In this two-part series on Wednesday, April 29 and Wednesday, May 6 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Merle will guide us in the writing of our Jewish legacies.

At one time or another, most of us have asked ourselves these questions: What life lessons have I learned? What do I want to pass along? Am I living my life the way I want people to remember me? What gives my life meaning? Together, we will explore the answers to these questions and many more and will understand that how we live our lives becomes our legacy.

To RSVP for the workshop, please click here.


The professionals in Golden Care, a care management service available to members of the Heritage Society, have been busy taking care of members during this difficult time. While we cannot be there in person, we are working remotely to assist them with daily tasks and, of course, keeping in touch by phone to check on their well-being. Some of our activities include helping members access videoconferencing for adult education classes and different opportunities to socialize and engage with others safely from home, rescheduling medical appointments, arranging for home meal and prescription deliveries and making certain members have what they need to feel comfortable and secure at home for the time being. Click here to read more about Golden Care.


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides more than $2 trillion in relief touching nearly every corner of the US economy: large and small businesses, health care providers, nonprofits, individual citizens and more. Click here to learn how you and/or your company can maximize your charitable giving with greater benefit to you.

Stay Connected with Your Jewish Community

Stay connected to your Jewish community by visiting our Coronavirus Community Resource Page.

Your Donor-Advised Philanthropic Fund at The Foundation

As the current crisis has changed the way we do business, we want you to know The Foundation continues to be fully operational and is making grants on a weekly basis in support of charitable organizations in our local community and around the world. If you already have a Donor-Advised Fund with The Foundation, we encourage you to access your fund through our secure donor portal site. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 and we are here to show you how to securely login with your unique username and password to access your fund, check balances, make grant recommendations, see your giving history and more. Read more.

About The Foundation

Whether you want to make a difference in the world, reduce your taxes or benefit from an increased income stream, The Foundation of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation is ready to work with you, your family and your professionals advisors to help you meet your philanthropic goals and find ways to give smarter.

Your Foundation gift can feed the hungry, care for vulnerable elderly Jews, educate children or fulfill the vision you have for a better tomorrow for the Jewish people. If you want to strengthen Jewish identity, safeguard Jews in Israel and around the world or encourage the next generations to embrace their rich Jewish heritage in meaningful and innovative ways — or all of the above — The Foundation can turn your philanthropic aspirations into reality.

Steven M. Foldes, Chair of The Foundation
Scott Kaplan, The Foundation Director
Steve A. Wagner, Investment Committee Chair
Gabriel Simkin, Investment Analyst
Jill Hagler, Director of Foundation Development

Golden Care Foundation
Paul Kruss and Dr. Joseph Singer, Co-Chairs
Mindy Tucker, Golden Care Director
Miriam Masia, Golden Care Assistant Director

Jeffrey Scheck, Chair of the Board
Jacob Solomon, President & CEO
Isaac K. “Ike” Fisher, General Campaign Chair
Jeffrey Y. Levin, Chief Development Officer
Abbey Feinberg, Annual Campaign Director