About Us


Get to know us, and see what makes TJF the right choice for your philanthropic home.


The Tidewater Jewish Foundation was created in 1984 to establish deep roots of philanthropy that would bear fruit for future generations. Its formation made it possible for individuals to fulfill their philanthropic intent and to enrich their lives through tzedakah.  The origins of the Foundation, however, go back much farther to 1969 when a grass-roots campaign to collect letters of intent and help strengthen the community’s future began.


By 1980, the Endowment Fund reached the million-dollar mark. Donor-Advised and Memorial Funds were established by members of the community as a means to enjoy spiritual and emotional rewards and to create a mechanism for the distribution of funds in a tax-favored manner.





The Fund grew to $2 million by 1984, and it formally became known as the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, which distributed its earnings annually in support of the Annual Campaign and the Federation’s agencies. Despite having a very small staff, TJF grew to over $11 million by 1993. More importantly, over $1 million was being gifted each year to worthy causes as distributions from Donor-Advised Funds and grants from the Foundation’s unrestricted assets. The Foundation was incorporated in 1992 and recognized as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.