PrintFont SizeShare
Decrease Text Increase Text

Family Philanthropy During these Trying Times

When the world seems chaotic, Sean White finds solace by looking at a photo of his grandmother making matzah balls.  This is Sean's most treasured memory of Miriam Toubman, z"l, who was beloved for running a kitchen in constant motion, always trying to weave the many threads of her family together.

More than 30 years ago, the Toubmans began a tradition of family philanthropy to honor their father and grandfather, William, who passed away at age 52. The family tradition continued when they honored Miriam in 2010 by creating the Miriam Toubman Family Fund, a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at the Foundation, after her passing in 2009. Recently, they renamed the fund to include William, and broadened its charitable goals to also reflect his passions and allow for combined decisions in grant-making (including organizations both William and Miriam might support).   

Every year, the six siblings and extended family research topical local, national and international issues, exchange data-filled emails, talk in person and hold group calls to discuss how they will honor their parents with a charitable donation from the family fund. Those discussions also allow the siblings to share stories, and the values, of their parents with their younger children or grandchildren who did not know these inspiring ancestors.

A 49-year-old computer science professional, Sean was only 18 when his aunt and uncles, his parents and the extended family started including him in the family’s charitable discussions. “They never treated us as kids with a pat on the head,” says Sean.“They let me in on the conversations, they let me know that I was a partner in these decisions.” That’s why Sean is engaging his two pre-teen children in the conversations about honoring their great-grandparents’ values.

“We’re talking about the pandemic, and food insecurity and housing issues in education,” Sean explains. “How can this year’s donation tie together with the holistic well-being of students, so we can help students, both in high schools and colleges, better understand the world, and to learn and think as citizens?” 

The family just decided on a Zoom call to give to Foodshare in Connecticut, recognizing that, without adequate food for people during this crisis, not much learning will happen.  

Family members continue to contribute regularly to their DAF to grow it, so future generations can continue William and Miriam’s legacy. From this DAF, the family recently created the Miriam Toubman Scholarship Fund to honor Miriam’s passion for education.

Miriam never attended college due to a lack of family resources, but she was well read and proud of being Jewish, according to one of her sons, Sheldon Toubman. The scholarship is intended to support a promising Jewish female student with financial need.

William and Miriam’s legacy is a blessing that is still keeping everyone together even if they all can’t get together in person right now to share those memories – and Miriam’s matzah balls.


Current Donors

Through your charitable fund, you are strengthening and improving the community. The Foundation is here to support your giving goals. We offer flexible solutions, educational opportunities, and personalized services in philanthropy. 

Give to an Existing Fund

Giving to an existing fund – whether you are the advisor or not – is easy. Your donation will go to the Jewish Community Foundation, and you can specify the fund in the comments, the memo line of your check, or by notifying our staff.

For giving instructions on varying gift types, go here

To make an online gift, go here.

View Fund Activity or Recommend a Grant



Login to our online donor portal, DonorCentral, to review your donor advised fund activity, view past grant history and recommend a grant online. 

DonorCentral Quick Start Guide (Advisors)

DonorCentral Quick Start Guide (Organizations)

Review the Community Wish List


Make an immediate difference by funding a request through the Community Wish List. See what Foundation grantees have listed as current needs for grants of $3,000 or under.

Schedule a Private Consultation



Shape your philanthropic objectives and long-term strategies with support from our expert staff. Please contact Kathryn Gonnerman, VP of Philanthropy, at 860-523-7460 or

Explore Family Philanthropy


Explore your family giving goals and develop a plan to make them successful.



Sign Up For JCF Enews