- Donor Stories
- Named Endowment Funds
For Michael Rolnick and Linda Himelstein, community service is an essential family value.
As they were raising their children, Jillian and Ben, in Hillsborough, Michael and Linda made it a priority to model the importance of giving back. “We wanted to nurture in our children a lifelong habit of giving back—not just money, but also time,” says Linda, an award-winning author and journalist. “This should be a vital part of life.”
They began volunteering as a family at the JFCS Peninsula Food Bank. When Jillian and Ben were in high school, they participated in the YouthFirst service-learning and leadership development program. For Jillian, this led to a transformative internship at the award-winning JFCS Holocaust Center.
In 2016, the family deepened their engagement in the mission of JFCS when Michael, a respected and successful venture capital investor and entrepreneur, joined the Board of Directors.
After many years of involvement in JFCS’ mission, Michael and Linda felt that establishing a Named Endowment Fund was a natural next step in their philanthropy. “The Named Endowment Funds offer an excellent vehicle to make a long-term commitment to a specific need,” says Michael.
Michael and Linda considered the many aspects of JFCS’ comprehensive system of care before choosing teen mental health as the focus of the Rolnick-Himelstein Family Fund. As chair of the Peninsula Task Force that identified teen mental health as a pressing, under-addressed community need and as a member of the Advisory Council of JFCS’ Center for Children and Youth, Michael has sought to promote solutions to challenges facing teens and their families.
“One of the insights staff on the front lines shared is that children and youth in the Bay Area face unique difficulties. The relative socioeconomic pressure of growing up in this area is almost unparalleled,” says Michael. “More needs to be done to alleviate this almost invisible pressure.”
“The need among teens is even greater now, due to the pandemic,” says Linda. “We’re especially concerned about the effects on teens of being at home, feeling isolated, and not seeing their friends.”
This is why the work the Rolnick-Himelstein Family Fund is supporting at the Center for Children and Youth is so important today and for years to come.
“JFCS reinforces the social fabric,” says Michael. “Supporting this work is very fulfilling.”
To learn more about leaving your legacy through a Named Endowment Fund, click here >
If you or someone you care about needs assistance, please call JFCS today at 415-449-3700.