Shari Foos: Expanding Perspective and Deepening Empathy

“I care deeply about people, social justice and equality,” Shari Foos stated. “It pains me to see injustice, but it pains me even more to see people taking that injustice that was thrust upon them and perpetuating it.” 

It is for this reason that Shari founded The Narrative Method, a nonprofit providing an immersive group experience of storytelling and conversation that increases awareness, wonder, and empathy.

Like the nonprofit she started, Shari views philanthropy as the practice of expanding our perspective and deepening our empathy. “We strive to do the things in the world that mean so much to us,” Shari noted. “When you’re connected to yourself, you’re clear about both your passion and what your purpose is.”

Shari is also a co-founder of IKAR, an innovative LA congregation. She is proud that Judaism is focused on tikkun olam—healing the world—and appreciates that it can potentially feel overwhelming because there is so much to heal. 

How can one person make a difference? “It’s not our job to decide how important our role is,” Shari explained, “but just to do our part.” 

Her husband, Richard Foos, agrees. He is co-founder and chairman of Shout! Factory, a home video and music company, and Rhino Records. Richard is also passionate about social justice, serving on a variety of nonprofit boards in Los Angeles.

Along with close friends Janet and Adlai Wertman, the couple established the Foos/Wertman Family Fund, a Donor Advised Fund at The Foundation, in order to create a path for their children to grow through giving. Shari is grateful that The Foundation is there to lead the way. “I just think it’s an incredible opportunity for people to have their hearts and hands held by The Foundation through the philanthropic process, because it can be complex. Being connected to an organization like that devoted to goodness and social justice, and every cause that happens to be your passion, is a really big deal.”