As an Emmy award-winning comedy writer and producer, Michael “Mickey” Ross, of blessed memory, helped create some of the most popular and iconic television shows of his era—including All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and Three’s Company—in the process, gaining financial success he could have never imagined. But his memory of his immigrant parents and their struggles during the Great Depression remained with him throughout his life, and inspired Ross’s drive to help the most vulnerable members of the Los Angeles community. Now, the Michael and Irene Ross Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation supports a wide range of critical services for LA residents.
When it came to his philanthropy, Mickey was looking for a place where he could create an endowment to help those in the Jewish and general communities; that had the capacity to truly get to know him and carry out his charitable vision. It was Ross’s estate planning attorney, Alan Watenmaker, of Hoffman, Sabban & Watenmaker, who first connected Ross and his wife Irene, of blessed memory, with the Jewish Community Foundation where Ross met with the staff from the Center for Designed Philanthropy. “Mickey was looking to leave the bulk of his estate to an organization he could trust to reflect his values in the community forever,” says The Foundation’s President and CEO Marvin Schotland. “He was genuinely impressed with the services of the Center for Designed Philanthropy, and felt he could trust us to continue to fulfill his charitable wishes in perpetuity.”
At Homeboy Industries, the Ross Endowment supports an intensive 18-month program that assists former gang members in establishing and attaining personal, educational, and vocational goals. And at Beit T’Shuvah, the residential addiction treatment center and spiritual community, Ross Endowment funding helped create and sustain Creative Matters, an in-house design and photography agency.
The Ross Endowment also supports Skirball Hospice and Jewish Family Service’s two SOVA food pantries, and has made grants to Bet Tzedek, Children’s Bureau Foundation, Jewish Vocational Service, LA Regional Foodbank, and a host of other nonprofits that support the most vulnerable populations in the Jewish and general communities.