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Nancy Livingston z’l and Fred Levin sat for this interview in 2018. May her memory be for a blessing.
The dynamic husband-and-wife duo, Fred Levin and Nancy Livingston, honor a family legacy to support the Jewish community. Well-loved patrons of the Bay Area’s arts scene and married nearly four decades, they are the type of couple who regularly complete each other’s sentences. Fred and Nancy have been steadfast and passionate supporters of JFCS for over fifteen years, having served on JFCS’ Special Events Committee and worked on the Annual Campaign. Nancy says, “The scope of JFCS’ work is truly amazing.”
How did you first get involved with JFCS?
Part of our family foundation’s mission is to support Jewish social services. In 2002, when we took over the responsibility of managing the foundation, we requested a meeting with Dr. Anita Friedman of JFCS. Since then it has been a privilege to know her and work with her, and our respect for JFCS has only deepened as we have learned more and more about the many services that the agency provides.
Our dear family friend, Gerry Rosenstein z’l, was also a vocal JFCS advocate and his enthusiasm of course rubbed off on us!
Has JFCS helped you or has your family used its services in some way?
Yes, we have a close relative who needed help and JFCS stepped right in to provide it, and continues to be a major force in working with our loved one. Over the years we’ve also heard about the agency’s exceptional work through others’ wonderful experiences.
To make sure that more families get the support that they need during challenging times we established the Fred M. and Nancy Livingston Levin Fund for Adults with Disabilities in 2010. Since its creation, this endowed fund has been providing services to adults with disabilities, and it will continue to do so for generations to come.
In addition to our annual support of JFCS, it has been rewarding to add to the Fund, watch it grow, and know that every year there are additional resources available to support JFCS’ Disabilities Services program in the community.
How did you both get involved in philanthropy?
For both of us giving was a family activity and a tradition modeled in our homes growing up—we absorbed it, took it in, and expanded on it. We consider it such a great honor to continue the legacy of our families.
Nancy grew up in Cleveland and both her parents were involved in the community, serving on boards and with the local synagogue. Her mother was a vice president of the National Council of Jewish Women and even wrote the monthly bulletin for a time.
Fred, a fourth-generation San Franciscan, is from a long lineage of philanthropists. Fred’s great-grandfather was the second president of Hebrew Free Loan and his mother’s family, the Shensons, were active in Jewish community affairs for more than a century
Why do you feel that giving is important?
Because it is! If you or someone you know has never needed JFCS, support the organization now, just in case things change in the future.