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The S&P 500 of Giving


This month’s Reflector is highlighting the world of finance and investment.

Economic growth, investment earnings, tax rates and stock returns are often topics of conversation. We discuss and share the efficiency of companies and the Return on Investment we are likely to see. Often, we use the ROI to make decisions about how we deploy our resources, invest our time and take risk.

So, when we share there is one type of investment that produces a guaranteed high rate of return with no risk, people’s ears perk up.

Before I share the best investment tip in decades let’s return to our history for some background. The Torah Portion Ki Tisa, which we read during a recent Shabbat, contains one of the biggest investment blunders in history.

Ki Tisa details the story of the giving of the Ten Commandments and the sin of the golden calf. As Moses is atop Mount Sinai for 40 days, receiving the Torah from G-d, the Israelites wait for him at the foot of the mountain.

As days go by and Moses does not return, the Israelites grow impatient. They wanted an immediate return on their investment in leaving Egypt and trusting Moses.

Their impatience and desire for gratification leads them astray. The Israelites “hedged their bets” by investing their gold in an idol. One of the worst investments ever made.

You likely know the rest of the story. Moses returns to the scene and disgusted, breaks the tablets and punishes those responsible.

So, about that investment tip with a guaranteed rate of return. It’s a company that has wide impact in a variety of key health and welfare industries, is present in 70 countries around the world, provides innovative solutions to complex challenges and has an 86-year track record of return on investment. That investment is the Jewish Community Federation Annual Campaign.

Decades ago, Jews everywhere found themselves in search of anywhere they could call home, feel connected and safe. It was then when Federation built the foundation that supports the weight of the Jewish people.

An investment of unmatched strength, inspiring leadership and historic partnerships that the infrastructure of Jewish communal life now stands on.

And while the needs of Jews today may not look the same as they did decades, months or even days ago, Federation remains uniquely qualified to meet those ever-evolving needs head-on.

Our foundation will support the weight of a strong, powerful, flourishing Jewish future. Because the investment we make in each other and our community produce the ultimate return… a vibrant, inclusive and connected Jewish world.

To reach me, email daniel@jewishrichmond.org.