- Meet Our Leaders
San Francisco native, entrepreneur, and family man, Steven Feinberg joined the JFCS Board in 2017. Having recently sold his thriving company of 25 years, SF Global Sourcing, he now runs Finstar Capital, LLC, a private equity advising and investing firm. Steven is no stranger to JFCS. Before taking on his new role as Board member, he and his wife, Jenna Feinberg, had been ardent members of the Fammy Gala Committee and spirited supporters for years. The dedicated father of three young adults, Steven says, “JFCS’ services are all about family from start to finish, and its programs help kids reach their potential. Children are the future and it’s why I’m so passionate about the work that JFCS accomplishes.”
How did you first get involved with JFCS?
About 25 years ago a group of my San Francisco friends organized a charity ball and we donated half of the proceeds to JFCS. That was my first introduction to the agency and its good work.
Years later Jenna got very involved as a volunteer for JFCS’ domestic violence program, the Dream Program. She is an enthusiastic member of JFCS’ incredible “Dream Team,” which raises money for survivors of domestic violence and their children. The team provides these vulnerable clients with everything they might need to rebuild their lives and ensure a safer future for their families.
We have also attended the Fammy Gala for a number of years with good friends and have been members of the Gala Committee. It’s an incredible and inspiring event and I’ve learned quite a bit about the agency through my involvement.
Jenna and I both find the mission of JFCS important and meaningful, and I was happy to join the Board when asked last year to take on a larger role.
Tell us a bit about the community where you grew up and your background.
I grew up in San Francisco and Hillsborough; my family has been in San Francisco for many generations. My father had his Bar Mitzvah at Congregation Emanu-El and Judaism was definitely a cultural part of my identity growing up—we were always members of a local synagogue.
Before Jenna and I got married we talked thoughtfully about how we wanted to raise our future kids and we took a class in Judaism. We discussed traditions we could create together that would bring us meaning and connect us to our Jewish values and agreed that we wanted to make Shabbat an essential family tradition.
As our three children were growing up we asked them the same questions each week at dinner. “What do you have to be thankful for? What are you proud of that you accomplished this week?”
Now that our kids are busy young adults (age 17 to 21) our questions have evolved, and we now ask, “What are you proud of that you did to help others this week?”
Shabbat remains family time that we all cherish. It’s where we can celebrate our accomplishments, give each other support when we have challenges, and remind each other what we are grateful for. It’s been a wonderful way of passing along Jewish values and building gratitude in our family.
How did you get involved in philanthropy?
Throughout my career I’ve always given my time and expertise to young entrepreneurs and business professionals but, truthfully, for many years my focus was building my career and raising my kids.
I have to give credit to Jenna, who has taught me the most about the importance of giving back. My wife has been my role model and seeing how meaningful giving was for her has taught me so much about the importance of philanthropy and sharing our good fortune with others.
Kerri Lehmann, a JFCS Board Vice President, who has known both Steven and Jenna for years, says, “The Feinbergs are a powerhouse team that always give their all to a cause they care deeply about. Steven brings with him exceptional entrepreneurial creativity and strategic thinking to the Board.”
What motivated you to join the JFCS Board?
I was looking to increase my involvement in a cause that I believe in, and joining the JFCS Board seemed like the right opportunity and a perfect fit. The title of the organization—Jewish Family and Children’s Services—really says it all, because these are the things I’m passionate about! My family and children are the most important things in my life, Jewish values are important, and I like that the agency serves the entire community.
How do you encourage others to become involved with JFCS?
I tell people about how JFCS is an organization that helps all families in so many ways (health needs, food needs, emergency assistance needs, education needs, counseling needs, parent-coaching needs, and more). I tell people that it is an extremely stable and well-respected organization because of its unique and innovative model. If you are in need of a financial subsidy, you can get it; and if you can pay, you pay. This allows the organization to offer such a great breadth of incredible services.
Anything else you would like to add?
I had a great childhood and great parents, but not everyone is so lucky. Obviously some kids and families are going to need extra support. If you or someone you know has a need, JFCS is here to help you get back on your feet, and that’s really important work.