The Mid Kansas Jewish Federation (MKJF) is proud and honored to announce the receipt of a $1 million bequest from the Joan S. Beren estate.
The Joan S. Beren - For the Love of Israel Fund
The Mid Kansas Jewish Federation (MKJF) is proud and honored to
announce the receipt of a $1 million bequest from the Joan S. Beren
estate. At the request of the Beren family and to honor this most
significant and special contribution, the MKJF Board of Directors is
proud to establish The Joan S. Beren - For the Love of Israel Fund.
The board believes the Joan S. Beren – For the Love of Israel Fund is
a fitting legacy and tribute to Joan who was a much admired
philanthropist and supporter of the MKJF for over the last 60 years.
Joan served as President of the MKJF from 1977 – 1979, and was a
steadfast board member for many years. The MKJF will allocate funds
from Joan’s bequest to support missions to Israel for members of our
While Joan was an advocate of the many programs supported by the MKJF over the years, she was especially interested that community members understood the central role the State of Israel plays in the identity of Judaism. Joan was always a very ardent supporter of Israel and she sponsored and led the first significant MKJF 10 day Mission to Israel in 2003, with 25 community participants. Through Joan’s generosity, the MKJF led a 2nd Mission to Israel in 2006, with 28 community participants. Joan believed in, and fully supported Israel missions because she knew they fostered closer ties for community participants with the people
and land of Israel. We believe she would have wanted MKJF to continue to sponsor and encourage trips to Israel.
The Joan S. Beren - For the Love of Israel Fund will provide meaningful stipends to qualified recipients who desire
to travel to Israel on missions whose strategic objectives are supported by, or in line with, the goals of the Jewish
Federations of North America (JFNA). The MKJF is proud to support this new fund and encourages community
members to start planning for many trips to Israel in the coming years to honor Joan.
The MKJF is pleased to announce its first allocation from The Joan S. Beren - For the Love of Israel Fund to the
Wichita Jewish Community School which is being renamed the Joan S. Beren Jewish Community School. An
allocation in the 2017 calendar year will be granted for a trip to Israel this summer for the school teachers and staff
in conjunction with, and in honor of, the renaming of the religious school, and the introduction of the school’s new
Jerusalem University partnership. Jamie Smartt, the School Director will be the group leader for this trip. We believe
this gift is a fitting way to kick off this new Mission fund, since it wonderfully and appropriately combines Joan’s love
of the religious community school and Israel missions. We just know Joan would have liked and whole heartedly
supported this allocation.
Also, the MKJF is proud to announce its second and final allocation for the 2017 year from The Joan S. Beren - For
the Love of Israel Fund to a group of Moms from the Wichita and Istanbul Jewish Communities to participate in a
“Mom’s Birthright” trip to Israel this summer. Joan was first and foremost a mother of her Jewish children and
prioritized Jewish continuity through her actions as a Mom. We believe Joan would have wanted to help support
Moms in Wichita and around the world to instill Jewish values and aspirations in their children and families. As such,
the MKJF will allocate funding to the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project for this one of a kind, inspirational trip to
Israel, and for local programming to support this group before and after the mission. Joan’s grandparents came from
Lithuania and we believe Joan would be very heartened to know she was able to make possible Jewish continuity
for Jewish communities in need wherever they may reside. Jamie Schmaltz will be the group leader for the trip.
Starting in 2018, The Joan S. Beren - For the Love of Israel Fund will continue to allocate at least $10,000 per year,
or at least $30,000 over a three year period, for Israel experiences for members of the Wichita Jewish community to
be paid for from the Joan S. Beren bequest. (The terms for receiving funding for this year’s participants, and those in
years to come, are available from the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation.)
The Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation will actively promote and publicize The Joan S. Beren - For the Love of Israel
Fund and will to do its part to finance, sustain and foster a healthy Wichita Jewish Community School whose name
will now bear Joan’s name.
We are very excited to kick off The Joan S. Beren - For the Love of Israel Fund by supporting these meaningful trips
and programs in her honor.