Building a Stronger Community
The Saltzman Family Fund, DESK and the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven’s Collective Impact
Since 1987, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK) has been a well-known presence in New Haven, offering daily hot meals and a food pantry to those in need.
Addressing evolving societal needs, the organization has expanded its focus beyond food assistance, opening a daytime Drop-in & Resource Center to support the unsheltered homeless as a place of refuge.
Steve Saltzman, a partner at Brenner, Saltzman & Wallman LLP had witnessed the transformation of DESK over the years. DESK’s mission struck a chord with Saltzman, and he felt a responsibility to take action. “It’s important that we support the entire community,” Steve Saltzman emphasized. Guided by this belief, he took meaningful steps to create a long-lasting positive impact.
Enter the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven. Founded with a vision to connect donors with community causes that resonate with their values, the Jewish Foundation offers expert endowment management services, and connects generous individuals to such organizations, growing resources to help build the future and ensure the community’s lasting strength. Saltzman worked directly with Lisa Stanger, Executive Director of the Jewish Foundation, and established an endowment fund to support DESK’s efforts and uphold the organization’s mission
“The Saltzman Family Fund, borne out of Steve’s dedication to his community and philanthropic goals, became a shining example of the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven’s partnership with donors and community organizations,” said Stanger. “With the Jewish Foundation, you can create an endowment to benefit what is important to you. We are thrilled to support DESK with the Saltzman Family Fund, and look forward to watching the fulfillment and expansion of DESK’s mission.”
According to Luis Olmo-Rivera, DESK’s Development Director, the Saltzman Family Fund will cover operational expenses for flagship programs like nightly dinners and the Drop-in & Resource Center. However, the intention is to eventually channel these funds toward developing new services that can effectively address the evolving needs of the community they serve. “The Saltzman Family Fund is crucial for ensuring DESK’s sustained operational funding, enabling the organization to continue its mission of assisting the most vulnerable in Greater New Haven,” says Olmo-Rivera.
The Saltzman Family Fund, DESK, and the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven demonstrate the power of collaboration, compassion, and progress. Through transparent communication, endowment expertise, and a commitment to community, dedicated individuals and forward-thinking organizations can shape the future of positive change through impactful philanthropy.
Steve Saltzman has also established endowment funds at the Jewish Foundation for the benefit of the Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater New Haven, the ADL to fund Holocaust Education, Friends of Jewish heritage Poland, a PACE Fund (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment ) for the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign, a Donor Advised Fund, as well as a LOJE fund (Lion of Judah Endowment ) in memory of his late wife, Marilyn, to endow her Lion of Judah gift to the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign.