On April 27, CJP’s Business & Professionals network in partnership with Jewish Free Loan will host a panel discussion on the topic of investing. Attendees will hear tips from a variety of panelists about setting oneself up on a path of financial and philanthropic success.

The event is in partnership with Jewish Free Loan in honor of Financial Literacy Month, and attendees will enjoy drinks and networking before hearing from the panelists. Click here for more information about the event, and read more about our panelists below.

Ellen Friedman SacksModerator: Ellen Friedman Sacks, Executive Director at Jewish Free Loan – Ellen Friedman Sacks is the Executive Director of Jewish Free Loan. She has been a part of JFL since 2010 – first serving on the Board of Directors before joining the staff in 2012 as the organization’s first Director of Programs and PR, and later serving as the Associate Executive Director. Ellen has over 25 years of experience working with non-profit organizations, including SOVA Kosher Food Pantry & Resource Center (Los Angeles, CA), MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix. Ellen is currently the President of the International Association of Jewish Free Loans’ board of directors, sits on the advisory committee for UPI Loan Funds, and serves on the Emergency Food & Shelter Program’s allocation committee. She volunteers with several community groups, is a former mentor in the Women’s Leadership Institute (Co-Horts 1 & 2) and participated in the inaugural class of 50 Women Who Will Change the World – a leadership program for nonprofit professionals designed by Take The Lead Arizona. Ellen has a graduate degree in public administration and lives in Phoenix with her two kids, Leah and Justin.

Gail Baer formal headshot 2022Panelist: Gail Baer, Vice President, Philanthropy at Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix – Gail Baer has been committed to serving the Phoenix community since she and her husband, Michael, and three children relocated to Arizona 17 years ago. Working for Grant Thornton, an accounting firm, Gail helped launch the organization’s corporate giving initiative. Through the program, Gail helped young team members understand the importance of volunteerism; supported executive leadership in their efforts to join boards of directors and guided the firm’s financial commitments to important causes in the community. In 2011, she left her private-sector career for the nonprofit world, first for a position with Valley of the Sun United Way and then in 2016, with five years of dedicated service under her belt, to Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Gail’s time at JFCS showed her first-hand how generous the community can be and how that generosity can transform lives. And now, in her new role with the Foundation and the Federation, the possibilities for impact are endless as she works to create life-changing philanthropy plans for our entire community.

Russell Goldstein headshotPanelist: Russell Goldstein, CFP®, CAP®, CSRIC™, Senior Vice President. Private/Institutional Client Advisor – Russell Goldstein is a Private Client Advisor and Institutional Client Advisor at Bank of America Private Bank in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has a passion for working with institutions, foundations and nonprofit organizations, as well as individuals, who are committed to making a difference in their communities. Russell guides clients in setting strategic direction to pursue their philanthropic and social responsibility goals. He has more than 18 years of experience providing education and working closely with clients to execute and monitor strategies that focus on their needs and mission. Russell joined the Private Bank (formerly U.S. Trust) in 2002. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ CFP® professional and holds the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) and Chartered SRI Counselor™ CSRIC™ designations. A graduate of the Social Impact Strategy program at the University of Pennsylvania School for Social Policy and Practice, he also earned a Master’s degree in sustainability leadership at Arizona State University (ASU). Russell is BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer and a frequent presenter at national conferences focused on planned giving, philanthropy and building exceptional boards. He serves on the national board of SeedSpot, a social entrepreneur incubator. In the community, he is president of the ASU School of Sustainability alumni board and the Arizona Community Foundation professional advisory board. He also serves on the advisory boards of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Phoenix Fashion Week. Russell is a past president and advisory board member of the Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona.

Dr Emily Schwartz HeadshotPanelist: Dr. Emily Schwartz, AVP, Financial Education Manager at MidFirst Bank – For the past 10 years, Dr. Emily Schwartz has built and managed MidFirst Bank’s MoneyMoments financial education program in Arizona, providing live workshops and on-demand personal finance content. What began as a small initiative on the Arizona State University campus, has grown to help thousands of people a year, from business professionals to college students, revamp their budgets, save for large expenses, manage debt, and more. She holds degrees from the University of Southern California and Arizona State University including a Ph.D. in education specializing in theories of learner motivation.


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