Inspired and guided by our tradition of tzedakah (righteousness/charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), the National Women's Philanthropy of Jewish Federations of North America is dedicated to the continuity, connectivity and thriving future of our North American communities, Israel and the Jewish people. We believe that the future well-being of the global Jewish community is inextricably linked to the power of women's philanthropy, the fastest growing phenomenon in fundraising today. 

The efforts of MKJF's Women's Philanthropy are led by our Lions of Judah ($5,000 and up donation to the Annual Campaign) and Pomegranates ($1,800 to $4,999 annual gift). Wichita currently has six Lions and seven Poms. In addition, we have five LOJEs (Lion of Judah endowments), women who are dedicated to making sure our Federation remains strong into the next generation!

According to Jewish tradition, the highest form of tzedakah or charity is giving to a central campaign or community fund or kupah.

Throughout Jewish history, in small towns and large cities, within both Israel and the Diaspora, it was the custom of Jewish communities to create an address for centralized giving. This guaranteed the privacy and dignity of the poor as well as the successful maintenance of communal "agencies." Today, the kupah (literally translated as community fund) is the annual campaign of the Jewish federation.

The gift to the communal kupah, or centralized campaign, is a noble expression of devotion to the entire Jewish people. It demonstrates a love of community which is without limitation - a proud statement of commitment to our individual communities and to every individual Jew.

There are those who maintain that the most "Jewish" way to give is to bypass the centralized campaign and give directly to those in need. In fact, the Talmud insists that the contribution to the centralized fund is the highest form of tzedakah, for it is the best way of ensuring the anonymity of both donor and recipient. Moreover, the general community fund is best prepared to meet the challenges of emergency issues which require a united front, such as responding to anti-Semitism or organizing rescue missions for Jews in danger.

Tzedakah derives from the Hebrew tzedek, denoting justice or righteousness. Tzedakah is based on the sense that justice requires sharing.

Jewish Values

While a designated gift may satisfy the desires of a particular donor and the recipient agency or cause, it is the gift to the centralized campaign which works towards satisfying the needs of all-transcending specific institutions or projects. The centralized campaign is concerned with the entire community - its continued viability and vibrancy - and the dignity of all of its members, including our brothers and sisters who may live thousands of miles away, but are no less precious to us than those who live next door.

Participation in the centralized campaign is a statement about Jewish values. As Jews, we count on the ability of individuals to uplift the entire collectively, and we treasure our historic desire to be full participants in a community's welfare. A donation to the federation annual campaign is an investment by the donor in his or her community; it is a statement by the donor that he or she belongs to the Jewish people.

The Annual Campaign embodies the values and traditions of the North American Jewish community more than anything else we do. It says that we care about people, not about their politics or religious practices. It says that we will ­as a community ­address critical, often life-threatening issues.

Everything from domestic abuse to public health problems to hunger and disaster relief and more.

The impact of the continuing and unparalleled philanthropic success of the annual campaign is priceless. Millions of lives saved, cared for, reached out to and rebuilt; centuries-old Jewish traditions and values preserved for future generations.

Based on the thoughts and writings of Arna Poupko Fischer, Judaic Consultant

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
Jewish community. 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.












"I did not find the world desolate when I entered it. And as my parents planted for me before I was born, so do I plant for those who will come after me." -Talmud

Your commitment to the Jewish community is evident in everything you do. Now you can extend your commitment into the future by making a planned gift through the MKJF's Fund for the Future.

Your bequest or other planned gift through the Fund for the Future will keep our Wichita Jewish community strong for generations. It's an expression of your trust in future community leaders. A way for you to be there whenever help is needed. It's your sacred covenant with the Jewish people. Whether you use a will or other estate planning vehicle, your generosity can do a world of good.

Your legacy can reflect everything that is most important and meaningful to you. The legacy planning process can engender heartfelt conversations with your family and build bonds with your partners in the community.

The act of creating a legacy empowers you to complete the work of your heart, and to enjoy the peace that it brings. You are assured that your work will continue and the Jewish future will be bright.

Everyone has a unique family and financial situation. Your legacy gift of any size can be designed to match your personal circumstances. Options include:

  • A simple charitable bequest
  • An outright gift using appreciated assets or cash
  • An IRA or pension plan
  • A life insurance policy
  • A charitable gift annuity
  • A charitable remainder trust

For more information on "Creating a Jewish Legacy" through the MKJF's Fund for the Future please contact the MKJF office at 316-686-4741.

The Maimonides Society is an honor society of Jewish healthcare professionals. It has been formed to foster and maintain:

  • Educational and cultural enrichment;
  • Community leadership in ethical and moral issues;
  • A focus on the Jewish perspective in matters relating to the Jewish community; and
  • Support and strengthening of Jewish life through active involvement in the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation and Jewish Federations of North America, the national umbrella organization of the 153 local Federations and over 300 Network communities.



The Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation builds, strengthens and preserves Jewish identity within our local community, in Israel and around the world through tzedekah, education and cultural events.


nurtures and sustains the Jewish community, cares for people in need and responds in times of crisis.

Through our Annual Campaign, we:

  • Ensure Our Jewish Future
  • Build Jewish Identity
  • Promote Jewish Culture & Engagement
  • Provide Jewish Caring - Tikkun Olam
  • Respond in Times of Crisis
  • Connect to Israel and Global Jewish World



What impact would you like to make on the world?

You can make it for as little as $18.

You make a difference in Jewish lives with your gift to Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation.

Tikkun Olam. Repairing the world.  It’s one of the foremost Jewish values — and it starts with you.

With your gift to Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation, you’re supporting Jewish communities in a myriad of ways. Every single day. You’re giving Holocaust survivors the dignity they deserve — providing food, shelter, healthcare and companionship. You’re providing books, facilities and Jewish education for families who may not have the means but have a deep desire to give their children a richer Jewish life.

And when our people are challenged around the world through overt anti-Semitism or attempts to legislate bans on our most sacred traditions, you become the catalyst for the Jewish leaders who make our case.

A stronger Jewish people, enriched Jewish life, the promise of a brighter Jewish future — it all starts with you and your gift to the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation.

In Wichita an elderly person is visited and enjoys the company of someone in their community. Across the country, a single mother updates her professional skills, gets a higher-paying job and provides for her children. And, all across the globe, millions of young adults connect or reconnect with their Jewish heritage on Birthright trips to Israel.

Your gift to the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation goes right to the very heart of the better world you want to create.

Just $18 provides a homeless shelter with fresh produce for the better part of a week. $180 weatherizes homes for as many as five fixed-income seniors so they can lower their utility bills. $400 ensures safety, nourishment and transportation for a Jewish schoolchild in Kiev.

Please give what you can. With the impact you make, MKJF Lunch & Learns can continue to enhance the lives our community, continue to pay for security at JBJSC,  Jewish artists and museums can flourish, discovering new ways to illuminate our history and culture. Libraries and technology centers can spring up in remote corners of the world, and immigrants worldwide can feel the warm embrace of their new homes.

In a very real way, it all starts with you. Thank you for making Jewish Federation your vehicle to make the world a better place—in all the ways you see fit. You can make an IMPACT TODAY!

CONTACT MKJF TODAY AT 316-686-4741 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or DONATE ONLINE at