Jessica Nadel & Josh Feffer
by Steve Gamer, Vice President of Advancement
Josh Feffer and Jessica Nadel established a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) in 2015. Josh is a geologist and founder of Feffer Geological Consulting, which ensures structural integrity in homes and buildings. Jessica was a longtime educator who served as assistant director of Kehillat Israel school in Pacific Palisades, among other roles. Twenty years ago, when their two children – Jake and Olivia – were young, they joined a Jewish Federation young couples’ initiative, ultimately leading to a deeper commitment to tzedakah. Josh was encouraged by former Foundation Trustee Brian Shirkin to become involved in the Federation’s Young Leadership Division, which led to him to join their National Young Leadership Cabinet.
As their children grew, Jessica became more involved on several nonprofit boards, serving on an endowment fund committee that helps children of Brentwood Country Club employees attain their educational goals. They’re passionate about the Jewish community and a range of causes, including social justice, the Harold Robinson Foundation – which builds bridges between diverse student groups through summer camp – and Partnership LA’s efforts to transform inner-city schools. Here are highlights of a recent conversation with Josh about his family’s charitable pursuits:
The Foundation: Where do you get your passion for philanthropy?
Josh Feffer: I love Judaism, our traditions, and being part of a people that has been doing good for so long. I love implementing positive change and believe that giving to charity should be fun and eye opening, so that’s how I approach it!
The Foundation: How did you get involved with The Foundation and decide to open a DAF?
Josh Feffer: A good friend had a DAF and really enjoyed it, and the idea of being able to manage our charitable giving more effectively appealed to me. Making donations into our “charitable bank account,” getting an immediate tax deduction, and then disbursing the resources over time made a lot of sense.
The Foundation: What impact has your fund made on your children?
Josh Feffer: Our kids – now 22 and 23 – have gotten more involved in philanthropy through our fund and manage some of the grants. For example, when they were in high school, we gave them each $500, and they met with experts at The Foundation to determine how best to direct the money. Recently, our family decided to make several social justice grants, and this experience gave our kids a feeling of empowerment that they were making an impact. I love the fact that our Donor Advised Fund is perpetuating a legacy of giving in our family!
The Foundation: Your advice for aspiring philanthropists?
Josh Feffer: To be a better person, you need to spend time and capital giving back for the greater good and those less fortunate. We have such a dynamic landscape of charities right here in LA, and any cause you choose will be a good choice. Just do it intelligently and with passion.
This article was featured in The Foundation’s Winter 2020 Legacy magazine.