Elizabeth and Joseph z’’l Wilf and Judith z’’l and Harry z’’l Wilf set a profound example as philanthropists who drew on their experience as Holocaust survivors to help improve countless lives.
The Wilf family immigrated to the United States in 1950 and, in 1954, Joseph and Harry founded Garden Homes, Inc., now one of the largest real estate companies in the United States and in Israel. They were as philanthropic as they were successful and were dedicated to enhancing the lives of the global Jewish community.
Joseph and Harry were also active within the Federation, volunteering their time to help raise vital funds for the community. In addition to their commitment to the Federation, Joseph and Harry contributed to many other Jewish causes. They were among the original founders of the American Society for Yad Vashem and served as benefactors and board members of Yeshiva University.
Joseph also served as president of Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey and board chair of the Jewish Educational Center (JEC) in Elizabeth, N.J. He was Chairman of the March of the Living, North America, and was a board member and longtime benefactor of United Jewish Appeal, Israel Bonds, Jewish Family Service, Jewish Community Center, YMHA, the Jewish Museum, Park East Synagogue, Jewish Agency for Israel, the Joint Distribution Committee, and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
In 1964, Joseph and Harry established the Wilf Family Foundations. The family’s second and third generations continue the family legacy of philanthropy, supporting charitable organizations in the United States, Israel, and elsewhere in the world, including Jewish causes, education, health, arts and culture, emergency relief, military veterans, social justice, and many more. As local and national leaders of our Jewish community, the Wilf family has enabled our Federation to continue meeting the community’s needs today, including making a difference for hundreds of Holocaust survivors in Greater MetroWest.
In honor of Federation’s 100th anniversary, the Wilf Family Foundations made a historic $15 million lead gift for our Centennial’s Targeted Giving Today, which recognizes donors making significant current investments over the next five to seven years to enhance and strengthen Federation’s key programmatic, service, educational, and outreach work throughout the Greater MetroWest Jewish community as it enters its second century.
The Wilf Family Foundations’ commitment funds areas of Federation’s vital work throughout the Greater MetroWest Jewish community including:
- Holocaust education
- Care for Holocaust survivors
- Jewish education
- Leadership development
- Providing community security, combating antisemitism, and promoting social justice
- Maintaining the Wilf family’s most generous commitment to the UJA Annual Campaign
The Wilf Family Foundations’ extraordinary gift has inspired other members of our community and will continue to serve as a model for others throughout our Campaign, positioning our community and our Federation to emerge stronger than ever for generations to come.
“The Wilf Family Foundations is honored to make this gift to the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest New Jersey to mark its centennial anniversary and continue our family’s legacy of support for our community,” said Jane Wilf. “As we approach the 100-year mark, we are deeply grateful for all the Federation does to support the Jewish community in New Jersey and globally and look forward to many more years of unparalleled impact.