The Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal (JCF) encourages charitable giving by making it easy, efficient, and tax smart.

Humble Beginnings

Since being founded in 1971 by Arthur Pascal and a group of leaders in the Jewish Community, the JCF has grown to become one of the Canada’s largest community foundations helping to administer philanthropic funds for families and managing endowment funds for many charities and legacy gifts.

The Foundation’s vision is to create a more philanthropic society, enabled by the JCF’s expertise in impactful giving. It is what’s called Smart Philanthropy®; helping individuals and families support the causes they care about and achieve their philanthropic goals in the most tax-effective way.

From its modest beginnings fifty years ago, the JCF now manages over 2,200 funds, ranging from small philanthropic funds to large family foundations. This tremendous growth has taken place as family foundations and individuals have valued the JCF’s expertise and efficiency; while having access to gift planning tools that maximize giving.

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are the fastest growing philanthropic giving vehicle, enabling donors to give in a flexible and tax-effective way.

“The JCF has provided me and our family fabulous resources and guidance to establish excellent parameters for our philanthropy.”
– Jonathan Wener 

What is a donor-advised fund?

Donor-advised funds serve as a kind of charitable bank account. They are the fastest growing tool for charitable giving in the US and Canada. The use of DAFs has simplified and streamlined the process of giving.

So, how exactly does a DAF work? Put simply, it is an account where you can donate assets (which could include cash, appreciated stocks, real estate and more), and make grants to charities of your choice over time. As “the donor”, you receive an immediate tax deduction for making contributions to your DAF. This is an important feature because it allows you to take a tax deduction for all contributions at the time the initial donation is made, with grants disbursed to registered charity when you choose to. Meanwhile, the funds can be invested and continue to grow tax free.

“The JCF is recognized as a center of excellence in planned giving, tax planning and innovation in philanthropy.”
– Kathy R. Assayag, JCF Executive Director

What are the benefits of a donor-advised fund?

Ease: It has never been easier to donate to the causes that are important to you. Without the burden of writing cheques or chasing tax receipts, the JCF makes it easy to direct your funds to the charities of your choice by phone, email or online. All your donations are centralized in one place.

Avoid Operating and Administrative Costs: Increasingly, individual donors are choosing to contribute to DAFs because they can advise how funds are invested and distributed but also because they avoid the administrative burdens and operating costs involved with running a private foundation. Private foundations can be costly to run when you factor in staffing, legal set-up costs, annual financial statements, administration, and other requirements.

Privacy: DAFs provide full privacy, unlike private foundations, which are searchable on-line, donors are not required to disclose private information. Donors are therefore able to make significant charitable donations to as many charities of their choice while choosing to stay as anonymous as they wish.

Positive Impact on Charities: The JCF prides itself on being one of the largest community foundations in Canada and a staunch promotor of philanthropy. Collectively, its fundholders granted over $133 million dollars last year alone. Grants were given to a wide variety of educational, cultural, and health and social service-related charities, both within the Jewish Community and the wider community including Federation CJA, the Jewish General Hospital, the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA, the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, McGill University, Concordia University, the MUHC Foundation, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Chez Doris, the Old Brewery Mission, St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, just to name a few. In total more than 1,000 charities received funds from our generous fundholders.

In addition, through the generosity of many families, 118 students received scholarships for higher education in 2021.

As DAFs become more popular, we can expect to see grantmaking to charitable organizations grow substantially. Thanks to the Jewish Community Foundation, they make this possible by continuing to be the source of expertise in philanthropic giving.

“The JCF is an invaluable resource to me and my clients. Through our collaboration, I have been better able to serve my clients by helping them fulfill their charitable dreams, and we have fostered more deeply rooted relationships.  The JCF not only has the highest level of technical knowledge, but they also understand and offer a holistic approach that speaks to my clients’ values.”  – Barry Pascal, partner Bell Pascal Associates.

 For more information, contact a Philanthropic Advisor by phone: 514-345-6414; email: [email protected]; website: